Documents of Tabat: Street Foods of Tabat

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What are the documents of Tabat? In an early version of the book, I had a number of interstitial pieces, each a document produced by the city: playbills, advertisements, guide book entries. They had to be cut but I kept them for web-use. I hope you enjoy this installment, but you’ll have to read Beasts of Tabat to get the full significance. -Cat

An Instructive Listing of the Street Foods of Tabat, being Pamphlet #5 of the first series of “A Visitor’s Guide to Tabat,” Spinner Press, author unknown.

The visitor to Tabat will find themselves faced with a multitude of new things, and the food of the city is no exception. Carts and food stalls in particular supply many of the daily food needs of the populace.

No matter where you go in the city, you will find the bakery carts. Most belong to the Figgis Bakery, but you will also see some from smaller and independent bakeries. They sell a multitude of breadstuffs, including several pastries unique to the city: two and twos, large flatbreads which are half one color, half another; hyacinth cookies with their distinctive purple icing; and jelly cups.

Close to the docks, particularly around the Fish Market, vendors sell all varieties of sea food, cooked on the spot and fresh from the boats that have just brought it in. Many of these use the seaweed spices Tabat is famous for: ironbite with its metallic peppery taste; summer salt; and the mix of dried fish and seaweed that forms the basis of chal. Look for kerik, the sweet purple nodules of seaweed that are harvested in late summer, for a particularly exotic treat.

Sweets are usually flavored with honey from bees or Honey-mothers, or a touch of Fairy honey for those with more expensive tastes. Of late, though, the Southern Isles have been sending sugar to Tabat, expensive and rare, and a dusting of such atop a pastry or cake is considered to render it the height of culinary sophistication.

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About Cat Rambo

I am a science fiction and fantasy writer and editor. My three collections of short stories are THE SURGEON'S TALE AND OTHER STORIES (with Jeff VanderMeer), EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT, and NEAR + FAR (forthcoming this September).
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