Culture

To collect theme specific information related to the culture in Matora.

Drinks

Contributed by the player of Lucrezia

These are stimulants, like coffee and tea:

'Stag's Pine' (pino di daino), resembles pine boughs lying on the ground, its leaves are scale-like and apressed, and its glossy and evergreen. It makes large clonal colonies, carpeting the ground. It is found from Navagerse down through Avicorse, then south-east through the Bergatino City States to taper off in the Paragon states, but only in undisturbed mountainous terrain where it creates dense monocultures. It is a popular winter food with herbivores, especially deer, and farmers also use it to bolster livestock feed in winter. It is said the milk from cows fed with stag's pine is especially sweet, and keeps longer. The leaves hide fleshy spore capsules that are harvested in autumn and dried to make a mildly stimulating gold colored beverage that is said to also be good for headaches and migraines, and are also popular for kindling as they burn with extraordinary potency even when wet. The flavor of the drink is described as sweetly grassy.

Queen's Rose (La Rosa Della Regina) - a perennial flowering pant, that grows wild in the northern parts of Matora and the other northernly city states, as well as in the Divine Empire and in Sumrov. It is a few inches tall, fleshy, with several thick stemps growing from a short, scaly rootstock. The flowers have four petals, dark red to light pink in color sometimes tipped with green, and bloom from spring through summer. The bright green leaves and shoots are eaten raw, having a pleasantly citrus-y, mildly bitter flavor, or cooked which makes them taste more like spinach. The roots can be dried and then used as a tea (greenish in color, slightly bitter and astringent) to combat stress, anxiety, altitude sickness, sea sickness, morning sickness and most other gastroinestinal distress. However, if the roots are dried by heating the resulting tea (bright cherry red, smelling like fresh cut hay, with a complementary spicy warm flavor) turns into a stimulant, good for increasing physical endurance and fighting overall fatigue.

Shipwreck's Treasure (Tesoro del Naufragio) - A strange looking plant, bright purple shoots with pale blue clouds of flowers in summer and large leaves like fleshy palm fronds. It is a common sight above the high tide mark on sandy beaches in Matora and Landro, as well as in the north-eastern coastal Paragon states and the Kingdom of Borzia. It is also seen in the Kingdom of Calpera, Santos Coria and the Kataro Empire, but not elsewhere: it seems to be limited to the northern half of the Catellus Sea. Shipwreck's Treasure is a forager's dream as it is one of the few wild plants that provide food all year round, and can be easily spotted even in winter when its flowering shoots turn into distinctive gold-shimmering brown seed heads, which persist until early spring. In early spring the deep purple coral-like shoots show up, the leaves being succulent, with a crisp texture and a sharp cabbage-like pepperiness. If covered in dirt and left buried for a few weeks at that point they produce long stems that can be cooked and tastes like high quality asparagus. Leaf colour varies from silverish pale green-blue to vivid amethyst. The flowers smell strongly of honey, and tastes like sweet peas. When dried, both the flowers and leaves make for a stimulating tea that is particularly good to strengthen long term endurance - it takes about an hour or two to start, but then lasts for five or six hours. The flowers make the better tasting beverage, honeyed and floral. The leaf tea is said to be more potent, but has a distinctively peppery, vegetal flavor.

And then there is the Tea of Marcus. The Chantry at the Centum di Marcus has a secret jewel of herbology in the shape of its temple garden, and one of the things they have developed is a special variety of chicory, unique to the region. The root of the plant when brewed makes a dark, smokily bitter brew that pairs excellent with honey or sugar, and is considered beneficial for everything from the common cold to helping in recovery from major wounds. But the chicory, when combined with stag's pine, queen's rose and shipwreck's treasure, makes for a remarkably potent stimulating beverage that warms and energizes both body and spirit. It was first developed around 1315, and the past few decades have seen steady refinement in the blend and preparation, aided in the past few years by the recipe becoming known outside the temple walls. Most recently, adding milk or cream to cut the bitterness has become fashionable in the city, as is the addition of warming spices like cinnamon. In the warmer part of the year the tea is popularly drunk cold, cut with almond milk.

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