Even as kings were dying left and right and peasants were being burned and their babies slaughtered, there’s always a time for feasting in Game of Thrones. That’s because the book’s author, George R.R. Martin, is quite particular with his food descriptions that even the most disgusting and repulsive dishes in the realm sounded mouth-watering enough.
Make no mistake, there were as many vile and weird cuisines in Westeros and Essos as there was grand and delicious food. The descriptions for them are all equal and even something as base as worms and bugs were vividly pictured. Now, those aren’t the only bizarre foods in Westeros and Essos but among them, these stomach-churning “treats” stand out as if they were made to kill someone— fitting and quite common for Game of Thrones.
10 Raw Pig Feet
Pork is good, no doubt about that but most people’s impression of good pork is the meaty and fatty part of the animal. Everything else is supposedly discarded unless you’re Southeast Asian. Point is, only the hungriest of warriors will resort to consuming the more unconventional parts of a pig, like the feet. As it is, the Hound is that hungry.
One episode in the show thought it would be good to emphasize just how ravenous the Hound is by having him consume raw pig feet, likely just a few hours after they were slaughtered, some parts of the claws were even covered in dirt and mud for additional flavoring perhaps.
9 Acorn Paste
Acorn is a nut like almond and nuts are usually good when turned into paste. However, in a dark medieval fantasy setting, there’s no luxury of turning acorn into a discount Nutella. Such was the case for the fugitive Arya Stark when she traveled aimlessly with her friends Hot Pie, Lommy, and Gendry.
Their group had to resort to eating frogs, bugs, worms, and the occasional berries. However, the meal that stood out was the improvised acorn paste they had to make by crushing them with rocks and them mixing them with something. Obviously, rock flavored acorn paste tasted awful.
8 Grilled Snake With Venom Sauce
Sounds like something Bear Grylls would have considered a five-star meal and it is— at least in Dorne. Since snakes, both literal and figurative were ubiquitous in that Southern part of Westeros, the locales had to make do with what their region gave to them.
Grilled snake, for that matter, is pretty straightforward. The usual method of cooking is cutting up the snake into chunks and then cooking them over a spit. That in itself would have been enough but the Dornish people love their flavor so they slather up the grilled snake with a sauce made with drops of its own venom. Poetic justice that one.
7 Dried Horse Meat
Across the Narrow Sea and into the strange Oriental lands of Essos, the Dothraki are ravaging kingdoms in their ever-mobile armies, fueled mostly by dried horse meat. It’s not as bad as it sounds or as bland as Daenerys views it though, especially in the show.
The Dothraki serve horse meat on occasion that’s roasted and even served with some honey and peppers. Those should be sufficient enough as a flavoring. The leftovers were likely dried and stored for long marches until they pillage another village.
6 Raw Horse Heart
Being a Dothraki is harder than being a Westerosi, it seems, so these warriors usually need to make themselves hardy and strong by making sure that no edible part of the horses goes to waste. That includes the highly nutritious but tough horse heart which Daenerys was (un)fortunate enough to gobble.
She even did it raw and wriggling as the heart was still bleeding and was probably still alive and functioning a few minutes earlier. It’s a meal that’s enough to test anyone’s gag reflex or how powerful their mandibles are to be able to bite through raw heart muscles.
5 Rancid Meat Stew
Turns out the men of the Night’s Watch don’t have it any better than the Dothraki. In fact, they often have it worse since their typical food amidst the frigid climate of the North is a meat casserole that barely passes off as a digestible stew. Think of Spartan blood soup but more rancid.
Literally, rancid, by the way since the meat used was cheap and sometimes bad. Castle Black has to be thrifty with its resources. Besides, most of their residents are criminals and outcasts anyway who are probably used to such a dish. Nevertheless, this also explains why Jon Snow deeply regretted joining the Night’s Watch.
4 Pigeon Pie
Pigeon pie might sound like an odd dish but back in the medieval era when chicken and other common meat such as pork and beef were less available, people had to make do with what they have. Pigeons weren’t off the menu and even the elite of Westeros enjoyed them.
They’re lean, readily obtainable, and similar enough to chicken. Joffrey even had one on his wedding day although his Pigeon pie was more unique and bizarre compared to others as it contained live ones. That probably didn’t matter to Joffrey since he likes to kill and bully anyone under him.
3 Lamprey Pie
Pigeon pie wasn’t the end of the weird pie recipes, however, as the Westerosi also dabbled into making lamprey pies. For those who aren’t familiar with the animal, lampreys are eel-like fish that suck blood from bigger fishes. One would think that a dish made out of a hideous bloodsucking animal is for the downtrodden peasants but no.
In fact, the lamprey pie is cooked exquisitely with spices and wine before being covered with the pie crust. Such ingredients are mostly accessible only for nobles with maids to cook for them. It’s a luxury food that’s customary in Casterly Rock, among the Lannisters.
2 Bowl Of Brown
Bowl of brown is what it sounds like. The brown component is pretty much anything the poor common folk of Westeros can get their dirty overworked hands on. This can be anything from pigeons, spoiled meat, and even rats depending on their desperation.
Most of the time, though, the brown component is an unrecognizable sludge that might still provide a bit of nutrition or at the very least, fill a raging belly. This one’s a staple stew in Flea Bottom and some of the residents there even cook it communally, throwing in anything that might add to the soup’s measly value.
1 Jellied Calf Brain
Such a meal is a repulsive thought for most people but bear in mind that nobles of Westeros treat this one like caviar. That’s because slaughtering calves for their brains is a luxury when a fully grown cow could easily provide more meat.
Of course, there’s also the method of cooking and consumption. Jellied essentially means eating the calf brain semi-raw. As for who in their right mind would serve this? Why, none other than Walder Frey at the Red Wedding nonetheless! He just loves to normalize serving disgusting food to his guests before serving them disgusting deaths.
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