Drow Cuisine


Second Darkness


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

My party is going to be at a drow dinner with some of the higher ups in the noble house they are working for. My tiefling rogue enjoys fine foods, so I want to be able to describe the interesting foods that drow eat. Any ideas for what to serve?

I'm thinking of a flumph stew and a mold salad. What should I have for the main course?

Sovereign Court

Roast Deep Gnome flank with a lovely blood wine sauce served over some kind of under dark lettuce?


Vegepygmy salad with rust monster meat, the finest olive oil and the finely minced tongue of a rebellious slave for that special, yet nearly indistinguisable flavor except for the expert darklands gourmet.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Hmm, I need a good dessert. What kind of fruit grow in the darklands? Do drow serve a sorbet course?

I'm thinking olive slime should be used on that salad. Cave moray could work for the fish course.

Sovereign Court

Desert should be something really unexpected, like lime flavoured sherbet.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Ok, here's what I think I am going with:

1st course - Rust Monster Pâté
2nd course - Flumph Stew
3rd course - Vegepygmy Salad with Olive Slime Dressing
4th course - Lime Sorbet
5th course - Sautéed Cave Moray
6th course - Roast Deep Gnome Flank with Blood Wine Sauce
7th course - Gelatinous Cube

If anyone else has cool ideas I will file them away for later.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

From an IM conversation:

Chriss wrote:
No coffee and port to follow the 7th course?
deinol wrote:
Perhaps, although what kind of coffee would Drow drink?
Chriss wrote:
Okay, a bottle of 1147 Spider Tear Wine and cups of slow-aged grey lichen tea.
deinol wrote:
nice ;)

Liberty's Edge

deinol wrote:

Ok, here's what I think I am going with:

1st course - Rust Monster Pâté

Served on darkwood platters and cut with bone or stone knives.


I love you guys :)

My players have been working in the kitchen, and I've had trouble coming up with new things.

Here's the list so far:

  • Slow-roasted mushrooms/other fungi
  • Centipede sandwiches (served on potato bread)
  • Lots of roots/tubers, etc.

    Love the lichen tea!

    I imagine things like Deep Gnome, Olives (oil), and darkwood would be rare. Strawberry Gelatinous Cube for the win!


  • Don't overlook stuffed/finger food items, like stuffed white mushrooms, or portobello "pizzas." The filling for the pizzas could be chopped watercress or spinach, some crumbled feta, crushed pistachios and a citrus vinagrette (if serving cold), or if serving hot, get a turkey breast from the deli and shred it, thinly slice green onions, mix it with a bold cheese (sharp cheddar, pepper jack, etc), and sprinkle with crushed crackers. Broil until the cheese melts and the cracker crumbs toast. If you're doing the portobellos hot, brush them with some olive oil first and broil them a bit so they dry out and get a nice flavor before you fill them.

    Try finding some tea that come in little pearls (tight little balls of tea leaves), and serve the tea in clear heat-resistant glass. The balls will uncurl as they release their flavor, making your "lichen" tea.

    Liberty's Edge

    Another thing that would be common in the diet of any subterranean race are insects. Giant cave crickets (nutty), cockroaches (seafoody) and various grubs (mealworms are sorta bacon/coffee flavoured if roasted) are high in protien and easy to raise.

    This may the equivalent of "fast food", and you could present it as such with the equivalent of street vendors selling various common edible insects. Fancy foods couold be exotic, rare or dangerous insects though.

    I don't recommend serving them to your friends for real, unless they're really adventurous IRL though. Plate fright is pretty high with long-leggedy-beasties. :0


    Iowa State University's Tasty Insect Recipes

    Liberty's Edge

    Dogbert wrote:
    Iowa State University's Tasty Insect Recipes

    Some of these recipes are pretty good at hiding the "bug" content in the food. Underdark species would probably eat them in less disguised ways (think how we lobster or crab).

    They might even have the same plate fright about some things surface creatures eat (I'm not eating that!). I know my kobold bard turns up his nose at cheese (rotted glandular discharge from the skin ducts of a mammal? eeeeew!) and still takes every opportunity to pick up bugs, rats and goblins for snack food whenever he can (home cookin').

    The drow could have a merry dinner time game of shooting their hand crossbows at a bunch of giant crickets or whatnot that are loosed on the table and dropping them into hot oil, using the bolt (possibly specially designed) as a skewer. Like hot pot or fondue night, only with bugs and crossbows. :)


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    SPOILER-ISH!

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    I am thoroughly looking forward to Endless Night (we're at Armageddon Echo). I love the tactic that Alicavniss uses with the surface foods, trying to get a reaction. I want to set that up by making fairly frequent descriptions of the foods they have to endure while living as drow, so even now I'm brainstorming about stomach-turning fare to with which to assail them.

    I want the players to feel that their characters are constantly queasy.

    Furthermore, I want to avoid the monster manual/bestiary route, so no gelatinous cube salads and black puddings for dessert. I want it fairly mundane; I think it's more disgusting that way.

    Mostly, I figure they eat a variety of fungi, molds, and lichens. Cave insects would be a staple, from large, steamed crustaceans as a main course to snacking on small, hairy legs like pretzels. Blind fish are probably the most surface-like, so I'd make them see-through, or eaten raw (or fermented).

    Basically, the slimier, the hairier, or the squishier, the better.

    Any further ideas along those lines?

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
    Stalwart wrote:

    SPOILER-ISH!

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    please use:

    SpoilerTag:
    [_spoiler=spoilertitle]My Players are watching[/_spoiler]

    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

    I wasn't running SD but instead used portions to help flesh out the Vault section of Dead Gods. It was a great time though. One of my players was playing a cowboy who didn't know much about the fantasy world he was sucked into. I love that when the Svirfneblin course came up he quietly asked the tiefling (who is CE) what it was. The tiefling told him not to worry about it. When the cowboy learned later what it was, he retched in the corner.

    If you aren't going to go with too many exotic foods (is it bad that I'm now in the habit of looking through bestiary's and thinking, how would I cook that?) here are some suggestions:

    Stir-fried cockroaches with mushrooms.
    Grubs with lichen based pesto sauce.

    Ok, a quick google found these lists:

    6 Terrifying Food
    6. Escamoles: Giant ant eggs, traditionally used in tacos. I'm thinking you should give them to your players as porridge.
    5. Casu Marzu: Cheese with larvae in it. Live larvae. No need to alter this at all. It is illegal in modern times. The larvae can survive being eaten. Good stuff!
    4. Lutefisk: Cod steeped in lye and served cold. Just make it a cave fish and you are good.
    3. Baby Mice Wine: Perfect as is. Substitute any small rodent, cave rat, whatever.
    2. Pacha: Boiled sheeps head. Maybe switch to one of those giant geckos instead? Remember to point out the eye is still intact.
    1. Balut: Duck eggs. Not the way we normally eat eggs, but a fertalized egg with the duck grown to almost hatching. I'm thinking Giant Gecko eggs instead.

    10 Disgusting Delicacies
    1. Casu Marzu: Maggot Cheese again. See Above.
    2. Boodog: Using hot stones to cook a goat from the inside. I keep thinking giant gecko is the drow sheep/goat replacement.
    3. Duck Egg: See Above.
    4. Boiled Sheep Head: See Above.
    5. Octopus, Raw: Just make it a cave octopus and you are solid.
    6. Fermented Salmon Heads: Albino fish left to rot to perfection!
    7. Deadly fish: If prepared wrong, can kill you. Spiders or scorpions work well for this.
    8. Jellied Moose Nose: I'm thinking Jellied Mole might be fun.
    9. Bat Paste: Perfect for any drow meal!

    Disgusting foods around the world
    Chicken Ass (Bishops Nose):
    Rooster Testicles:
    Chitterlings (Pig Intestines):
    Chrysalis: Caterpiller cacoons!
    Larvets: Any kind of dried larvae.
    Crickettes: Crunchy crickets.
    Natto: Rotten soybeans, but rotten lichen could work too.
    Duck Blood Soup: Blood soup of any variety will make your players squirm.
    Wasp Crackers: Bake any insect into crackers.
    Bread Shaped Like Body Parts: For the poor drow who can't afford real human flesh.
    Escamoles: Everyone loves the ant eggs. See Above.
    Pacha: Boiled Sheep Head again.
    Bamboo Worms: Another larva snack.
    Scorpions on a Stick: Drow street vendor food.
    Bull's Penis: What's the largest underdark mammal you can find? Umberhulk probably isn't a mammal..

    I wish I'd found those lists before. If it is edible, someone will have figured out how to eat it. I keep wanting to make a halfling cook book, but I'm not sure if anyone would buy a pdf of strange fantasy recipes.


    Let's not pass up one of the biggest ways to up the creep factor of a meal: live food. For example, in Korea many people are fond of live octopus. Or perhaps you'd like something a little more like this: frog sashimi

    One could easily be distracted by the large bowl of live spiders or insects set in the center of the table for people to pick out of. The sound of their constant scrabbling as they try to climb the steep, slick, glazed sides of the ceramic bowl could be quite unnerving to adventurers.


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    deinol wrote:


    1st course - Rust Monster Pâté

    Personally, I'd avoid Rust Monster meat. We're talking about a creature whose entire "calorie" intake involves metal. There's a such thing as too much iron in your diet. ^_~

    Seriously, I'd probably make an organic life form eating Rust Monster flesh go through more Fort saves than if he ate fish living next door to a thermometer factory.

    EDIT: Actually, you know what might be kind of awesome? If Rust Monsters were kind of like Fuegu Fish, and if you prepare them just right and eat just the right part, it's good. If not.... >;}


    some horderves

    deep fat fried Elf fingers

    elf ribs

    both are slim pickings but go well with barbeque sauce

    as a beverage; pure crystal clear subterranian mineral water


    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

    I'd have some dairy products, but with milk from some of the creatures listed above rather than from cows.


    tbug wrote:
    I'd have some dairy products, but with milk from some of the creatures listed above rather than from cows.

    gecko milk


    Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
    tbug wrote:
    I'd have some dairy products, but with milk from some of the creatures listed above rather than from cows.
    gecko milk

    Unfortunately, reptiles don't have mammary glands. You might be able to garner a milk-like substance from a gecko's body, but I don't want to know where from, and I certainly don't want to drink any.


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    They could milk some great, subterranean, monstrous aphid.


    Shadowborn wrote:
    Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
    tbug wrote:
    I'd have some dairy products, but with milk from some of the creatures listed above rather than from cows.
    gecko milk
    Unfortunately, reptiles don't have mammary glands. You might be able to garner a milk-like substance from a gecko's body, but I don't want to know where from, and I certainly don't want to drink any.

    who says drow have to have that opionion? they do live underground. they just wouldn't tell outsiders.


    Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
    Shadowborn wrote:
    Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
    tbug wrote:
    I'd have some dairy products, but with milk from some of the creatures listed above rather than from cows.
    gecko milk
    Unfortunately, reptiles don't have mammary glands. You might be able to garner a milk-like substance from a gecko's body, but I don't want to know where from, and I certainly don't want to drink any.
    who says drow have to have that opionion? they do live underground. they just wouldn't tell outsiders.

    Yes, but knowing me, I'd be playing a wizard. They'd say "Have some gecko milk." I'd reply: "Geckos are reptiles; they have no mammary glands." Then they'd tell me how they extract the "milk." Then I'd have to make a Fort save, and I'd fail, and a terrible breach of drow table ettiquette would occur.


    Shadowborn wrote:
    Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
    Shadowborn wrote:
    Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
    tbug wrote:
    I'd have some dairy products, but with milk from some of the creatures listed above rather than from cows.
    gecko milk
    Unfortunately, reptiles don't have mammary glands. You might be able to garner a milk-like substance from a gecko's body, but I don't want to know where from, and I certainly don't want to drink any.
    who says drow have to have that opionion? they do live underground. they just wouldn't tell outsiders.
    Yes, but knowing me, I'd be playing a wizard. They'd say "Have some gecko milk." I'd reply: "Geckos are reptiles; they have no mammary glands." Then they'd tell me how they extract the "milk." Then I'd have to make a Fort save, and I'd fail, and a terrible breach of drow table ettiquette would occur.

    most pc adventurers wouldn't care, due to the living conditions imposed by thier quests. the "Gecko Milk" would be not very different to them. as they probably live off similarly disgusting things.

    Dark Archive

    deinol wrote:

    6 Terrifying Food

    5. Casu Marzu: Cheese with larvae in it. Live larvae. No need to alter this at all. It is illegal in modern times. The larvae can survive being eaten. Good stuff!

    Naaa, I've seen this on UK food programs, imported from a small village in Spain.


    A few dishes I came up with earlier this evening, while pondering this topic further:

    Giant ant larvae/eggs (probably steeped in some rich sauce, served with porous fungus for sopping)

    Dire bat, slow-roasted, with wing cracklins

    Fire beetle soup (Made using the beetle's glands, this soup retains the beetle's natural luminescence, making it a rather grand opening course)

    Cave fisher cakes, served with a spicy dipping sauce

    Deep-fried darkmantle

    Gelatinous cube (As much alchemical science as culinary art, the acidic matter of the cube's body is neutralized, flavored, and magically chilled into a masterful dessert)

    Gorgon (A rather tough meat, if served in large portions it is often tenderized using a brine containing diluted extracts from various oozes; also slow-cooked in stews)

    Dark Naga (Reserved for special occasions in the greatest drow houses, this defeated foe is roasted whole and mounted in a coiled striking pose, serving as both centerpiece and main course.)

    Spider's Nest Soup (An amusing opening course. The spiders used for this dish are made to spin a web that forms a spherical shell about it. This is dropped into a boiling broth made from various fungi and fish. The trick is to carefully pull apart the web sphere, exposing the spider, without allowing the angry arachnid to attack. The diner then pins the spider to the bottom of the bowl with a fork, simultaneously drowning and cooking the spider for consumption.


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
    Shadowborn wrote:
    A bunch of cool ideas.

    I know I started it, but I must say I love this thread.

    This is the best kind of thread necromancy. Even though I'm long past my drow adventure I still like to throw in strange and exotic foods during my players travels. I'll definitely be adding some of these to my list of foods to use in the future.


    deinol wrote:
    Shadowborn wrote:
    A bunch of cool ideas.

    I know I started it, but I must say I love this thread.

    This is the best kind of thread necromancy. Even though I'm long past my drow adventure I still like to throw in strange and exotic foods during my players travels. I'll definitely be adding some of these to my list of foods to use in the future.

    I'm glad I found your thread. I've not yet run Second Darkness for my group (another DM is doing Legacy of Fire at the moment,) so I have had plenty of time to sit and muse how I want to present the atmosphere of the later modules. This was a fine catalyst for further thought.

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