Sci-Fi Foods

Do you ever create foods for your sci-fi worlds if they include other planets? How do you handle commerce concerning imported foods and such (if you do?)

Thoughts on how earth grown foods would be received in the wider universe?

I once created a terraformed desert world where water was very limited in a seed ship scenario, so I had to figure out what food/animals they would grow in a limited water situation. Didn’t create foods, but definitely carefully chose which animals/plants they would have brought and maybe genetically modified to be able to grow them on this world with very limited water.

There weren’t aliens in that scenario, though, so earth-foods were generally accepted the same as they would be on earth XD and commerce didn’t come into it because there was only one planet.

How about you?

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I created multiple foods that are imported/exported from each planet, what they taste like, look like, and who/what can eat them.

Apparently coffee is mildly deadly to half the species in my universe.

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Makes sense! Caffeine is a pretty strong upper. Are tea, yerba mate, soda and other caffeinated drinks also deadly?

I take it most of your aliens are carbon-based and have similar digestion systems to humans?

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I do not think too much into it, and try to reference why I need to present foreign food instead.

  • Part of the world-building? Come up with food unknown to your character(s) so that they react upon seeing and/or tasting it.
  • Bonding over some rock broth soup? Mm, delicious-try sprinkling some of that granite pepper spice, you will love condiments imported from planet X. Oh no, you’re allergic to granite!?
  • You can even serve plot points:

-They have been fighting over Petal Ham for centuries.
-What’s Petal Ham?
-Apparently something tasty enough to fuel wars over.

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Some teas yes, but it depends. There’s a huge caffeine ban on certain planets and others don’t have it.

They have a market system where humans can specialty order human foods from earth and other colonies on alien planets but it takes a lot of paperwork.

There’s carbon based, gaseous, and energy based. The carbon based do make up 80% of the aliens present in the book, though.

Some of them can’t process caffeine, and some don’t have a tolerance for it. Some could chug a whole coffee pot and be fine.

My story mainly focuses on two races, the Humanai and the Quieses. They had common ancestry, but have since diverged slightly. The main difference between their cuisine is the humanai sweetener Chenope that comes from the Humanai home world. Quieses are unable the digest chenope due to a lack of a vital enzyme and it causes them to have severe stomach pain, bloating, vomiting and headaches (Mixed individuals of both Quieses and Humanai descent have a 50/50 chance of also being intolerant, but there is a pill available).

Due to this, many Quieses eat nutrient cubes while in the Humanai territories because chenope is so widespread. Nutrient cubes are effectively a tasteless, cheap blend of essential nutrients and vitamins that apparently have the texture of soggy cardboard.

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Sounds about like a nutrient cube XD

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Having been deeply influenced by Douglas Adams I tend to focus on alien intoxicating beverages.

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neat! That’s a cool system. I love seeing alien diversity!

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Thank you! I’ve had four years to work on the world so I have a rather expansive universe at nearly 20-30 planets and probably like 10-15 races :sweat_smile:

That’s a huge world to explore! That’s awesome.

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Four years will do that :sweat_smile:

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Four years?!? Wow. What made you work over the idea for that long?

With food all of the worldbuilding come together. With nothing more than a meal you can include: climate, agriculture, trade, social stratification, aesthetics, language, and religion. All in only a few words.

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Um…passion? I don’t know, but it’s in revisions currently, so I’ve got a little longer to go still.

Must be a truly incredible world you’ve built!

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I hope so

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I’ve got maritime world that’s slightly cooler than earth. It’s like Norway, Alaska, Tierra del Fuego, or Nova Scotia. I research foods that can be produced in these areas along with recipes. I buy cook books and try cooking the things I describe in the books. Coffee, tea, and Chocolate are out. :frowning: This contributes to the plot because the inhabitants of these planet want access to space purely to get these products. Also no citrus. I would hate to eat fish without lemon or lime. I decided thought that I’d go with greenhouse grown produce which means tomatoes and peppers. Maybe citrus.
To substitute for lime it go with vinegar, either apple or barley malt. I have them using barley as the primary source of alcohol, sugar, and vinegar. They don’t have much arable land and so don’t feed grain to livestock. Instead they get there protein mostly from fish. I decided on goats for milk and cheese. Goats can eat a variety of forage. So the bit issue is what is for breakfast. I’ve worked out a granola recipe sweetened with barley malt. For a hot beverage there’s spruce tip tea, mint, and boricha (barley tea). You can see why these folks want access to space. Instead of bacon there’s smoked haddock or smoked salmon strips. Maybe cranberry juice. The beer uses spruce tips instead of hops. The big meal is at noon with maybe baked cod, coleslaw, and potatoes. Supper would of course be chowder served with rye bread. Dessert? Blueberry cobbler, rhubarb tarts. For alcoholic beverages: beer, whiskey, vodka, apple cider, apple brandy, barley wine, and cloudberry wine.

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