World Building: Diet

It’s not something people think about often when they begin to write. However, it’s important to know what kinds of things the characters eat. After all, people eat everyday so it’s very likely that the characters will stop for dinner or lunch at some point in the story.

Part of what goes into figuring out what the characters should eat is the climate and geography where the story takes place. In my case, the characters live in a temperate climate and near water. That means fish will probably be a good part of their diet. There may be other meats as well. Fowl seems to be a popular one, possibly pork and beef as well. So, having the basic meats, what vegetables and fruits will I require?

Apples, grapes, pears and different kinds of berries grow well in temperate climates. Also, they might have plums, cherries, apricots and peaches. Gourds and squash seem to do well in such areas as well. Legumes and root vegetables are also popular ones. Wheat is a popular grain for drier areas, but might not work well in my world. I might actually do better with rice, since I’ll be working with a fairly wet island. Cheeses would probably be harder types, like cheddar or parmesan, since those also work well in temperate climates.

I know that the characters will drink something the call tea, but it may not actually be brewed from tea leaves. They will have some kind of sweetener, probably honey, to add to the drink in order to cut the sharpness of the flavor. They would also use it in baking and cooking.

More than likely, they would pickle some of their vegetables, as that seems to be a popular form of preservation. Drying fruits would be another option, as would canning them. Meats could also be dried or smoked, in order to preserve them. For cooking, grilling, frying and broiling would work well for most of their needs. There would, likely, also be baking. Vegetables and rice could also be steamed.


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