If you have even a smidge of geekiness in you, you are probably already obsessed with the George R. R. Martin dark fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, which has spun off into a popular and critically acclaimed HBO series, Game of Thrones.If not, well, feel free to move onto the pictures of hotties. But first know this: What we're talking about is, in a nutshell, Lord of the Rings with sex instead of hobbits, and hardcore bloody gore instead of elves.
And now, it's about bizarre foods from the world of Westeros that you'd actually want to eat in the real world -- thanks to an culinary fan website -- instead of Middle Earth's lembas bread (essentially J. R. R. Tolkien's Elvish version of melba toast). How bizarre? You'll need to find a good locust dealer for some of the recipes.
The fiction-made-real recipes are the project of the Inn at the Crossroads website, which is trying to re-create the foods found in the Song of Ice and Fire books. And Martin -- who, judging from his pictures, is someone who appreciates food -- talks about the meals the characters eats a lot. A lot.
Here's a sampling of what the Inn at the Crossroads folks have conquered already: potted hare, quails drowned in butter, hot spiced wine, aurochs with roasted leeks (which, considering that real aurochs are extinct, understandably substitutes beef instead), cream swans, goat with firepods, sweetgrass and honey, and, yes, honey-spiced locusts. (For that last one, the creators used freeze-dried grasshoppers they bought on Amazon.com.)
The cool thing is, they're not pulling these recipes out of their asses. Just as author Martin is loosely basing much of what happens in his books on actual events in medieval Europe -- specifically the Wars of the Roses and the general savagery of the period -- the Innkeepers are taking their inspiration from culinary analogs in medieval cookbooks, then adapting them to a modern kitchen.
All in all, it's very cool. And very geeky. And very, very tasty.
As Eddard Stark might say: "Dinner is coming."