How to Make Authentic Neopian Recipes at Home
Any user who visits Neopia or makes a home here knows two things. First (and foremost), Neopia is the land of inspiration; and second, it is the land of delicious food! But with so many deliciously enviable meal options for our Neopets that we ourselves can't eat, how can we try to replicate them at home, in our (non-Neo) kitchens?
Actually, the "ingredients" for your own Neopian cuisine at home are very simple. All you need are two parts discretion, three parts ingredients and four parts imagination to make your very own Neopia-inspired dishes!
Here are some tips for the burgeoning Neopian cuisine-inspired chef. Gathered from culinary experts in Neopia and well-known human-world chefs with Neopian influences, this guide is sure to help anyone, from the user who has only just stepped into the kitchen to the one who plays Neopets while on the job at a five-star restaurant (yes, I'm talking to you, and I hope you can stay employed). Enjoy, and bon appetit!
Step one: Choose your Recipes
It is an unfortunate fact of life that not all authentic Neopian foods are tasty to those of us with non-pixelated taste buds. Take, for example, the Dung Muffin. To some Neopian residents, this is a delicacy that only grows riper with time. However, to what I sincerely hope is the majority of users, the Dung Muffin is totally inedible. Similarly, dishes like the "Large Grundo Toe With Lint Side Order" and "Deep-Fried Space Rocks" are difficult to translate into your kitchen at home without compromising the integrity of the original Neopian recipe. There is another side to this as well - dishes like "Cup of Tea" and "Buttered Toast" are so similar to their human-world counterparts that none of your friends will be impressed by your extensive knowledge of Neopian cuisine. The key is to pick recipes right in the middle - ones you can make in a way that won't compromise their pixelish tastes, but ones that will be recognizable as Neopian dishes. Finally, pick recipes that inspire you! The best part of cooking is tasting delicious food, so get creative.
Some classic Neopian dishes with great human-world potential include:
- Many flavours of Borovan
- Fiery Faerie Chicken Nuggets
- Evil, Cloud, Fyora Day and Sutek muffins (substitute other ingredients for sand for the Sutek muffins!)
- Altador Cheeseburgers or Altador-style Bratwurst
Step two: Consider the Laws of Physics
There are certain elements to dishes, and also certain dishes themselves, that you can't translate into success in your home kitchen. The Invisible Muffin, for example, is universally agreed to be delicious, but is unfortunately impossible to make in the real world. In order to make the perfect human-world Roast Gargapples, the cautious Neopian-inspired chef must regrettably alter the recipe to make it gravity-compatible. The most resourceful and well-respected chefs are the ones who can take a seemingly difficult Neopian recipe and make a delicious human world alternative that stays true to its inspiration - and obeys the laws of physics. While I'm sure any chef able to do the former and not the latter would be even more respected, this is an aspiration that will have to wait at least until after you've made your first Neopian-inspired dish.
Step three: Read the Cookbooks
Okay, so you've chosen your Neopian recipe, you've made sure to make allowances for physics and you're thoroughly inspired to start cooking, so you head to the kitchen... and that's when the reality of cooking sets in. You have no idea how to proportion your ingredients - or, for that matter, which ingredients you should use. So how will you know whether to add one cup or one tablespoon of Chemical Z?
This is that point in time when you have to go on a little adventuring. Whether it's to your mom's basement, your local library or the Net, you'll need some practical facts - yes, folks, it's time to Hit The Books.
Your first step will be to look up similar recipes to the one you're making. If you're making Illusen's Cream Cookies, for example, find a recipe for cookies that you like and that you can mould into a similar shape, and then find a recipe for a cream with a flavour you like for the topping. You don't have to follow those recipes to the tee (I'm sure you want to add your own Neopian twist), but pay attention to the ratio of solid to liquid, flour to butter to sugar, and so on. Getting these ratios wrong can cost you a recipe, so it's always better to learn from experts first before experimenting yourself!
Step four: Think ingredients
This is where cooking gets fun. Once you're inspired and ready to make a little Neopian cuisine for your (soon to be completely impressed) friends and family, it's time to gather your ingredients. Of course, as any (Neopian or human) chef will tell you, this is also the time when everything can go very right or VERY wrong. Here are a few tips to make your Neopian food as authentic as possible:
- Buy local, fresh ingredients.
- Ask your kitchen-savvy friends and family to help you pick out the best items in the right quantities.
- Use natural food colouring - instead of using red chemical food colouring, for example, use pomegranate juice.
Now comes my favourite part...
Step five: Make your Dish
Need I say more? Get into the kitchen and get working! Just remember to take these precautions in the kitchen and while planning your Neopia-inspired culinary creations:
- Always remember to get your parents' permission before using the kitchen.
- Speaking of parents, ask for their help when using sharp objects, stoves, ovens or any other scary kitchen equipment. It's not as easy as it is in your Neohome!
- Always consult recipes before choosing your ingredients - even small substitutions can completely change or ruin a dish. Do your research!
- Stay in the kitchen while you're cooking - if you absolutely need to, bring a chair or stool, but don't leave the room without getting someone else to watch your food. Otherwise it could burn or an accident could happen!
Step six: Take pictures
...and show everyone in Neopia your culinary expedition! We're all looking forward to seeing it (and I'm sure you're looking forward to tasting it)!
Well, what are you waiting for! Get cooking, and once again, bon appetit!