Eat Gud (Transcript)

Raquel: Welcome to Rite Gud, the podcast that helps you write good. I’m R. S. Benedict, and I’ll be your waiter this evening. On tonight’s menu, we’re starting off with a discussion about the lack of physicality in contemporary speculative fiction. Then we’ll move on to the entree, in which we chew on why, exactly, it’s so important to consider food in your writing.

And for dessert, we will leave you with an [00:01:00] assortment of examples to follow. Joining us is Karlo Yeager Rodriguez, storyteller and head chef at PodSide Picnic. Thank you for coming, Karlo.

Karlo: Well, thank you for having me. And you know what? I will be also the waiter at the table of success at writing good.

Raquel: Because you are a hater.

Karlo: I am a hater.

Raquel: This is a haters only podcast.

Karlo: I mean, I do. I do try to put in the special ingredient. I try to put in hater into creator every day.

Raquel: You are making fresh squeezed haterade.

Karlo: Damn straight. But yeah, thanks for having me back. Let me just throw out something really funny because it is something that is a big culture shock for me.

Raquel: Mm

Karlo: having been born and raised in Puerto Rico, I think most Latin American countries have it carried over from like, probably from Spanish, like Spanish customs.

Where you [00:02:00] if you see someone eating you you actually say buen provecho, which is you know, the equivalent of saying bon appétit

Raquel: hmm.

Karlo: You know, good luck may fortune favor you is is pretty much what you’re you’re saying And it’s such a weird thing to just people just chow down and if you bother them there They look at you they give you a stink eye and it’s like

Raquel: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, the closest thing we have is to like comment on it.

Karlo: Yeah, hey,

Raquel: ” That looks good.”

Karlo: I guess, yeah, I guess that that’s where you leave the space so they can just post their food to Instagram. We are now shifting to, uh, kids on our lawn yelling at them. But yeah, like I do, I do think that it’s very odd to me. The very few instances in, I’m not going to say I’m like, I have read everything, but a lot of novels and short fiction, well, you know, you can sort of see why, but [00:03:00] unless it’s about making food, you don’t really see it in short fiction and novels.

It’s very odd to see any mention of food.

Raquel: Yeah.

Karlo: like there’s glancing mentions, but not anything like, I don’t know, the literary equivalent of like the beginning of Eat Man Drink Woman or something, you know? Where you’re watching the old guy making an entire meal.

Raquel: Yeah, yeah, I think that is part of just the general lack of physicality of bodies in a lot of fiction, contemporary fiction, especially sci fi fantasy that lack of attention to food is part of that. But in general, you kind of, I get a sense in a lot of fiction that people don’t really live in bodies and they don’t have spaces.

There are neither bodies nor spaces. They’re just sort of vague floating intellects operating upon things, but no one’s really, like, in a body that much. And I think part of that is just the way we live is very, like, [00:04:00] sit and look at screen. Look at the bad screen in the office and then go home and look at the good screen.

And… We’re in a very non physical society, at least in contemporary North American society, and, and part of that, too, I think, is that Anglo culture is a very, non physical culture in a lot of ways.

Karlo: You just, you just reminded me that, specifically the online aspect. I do feel, because there is, there is a somewhat perhaps jokingly misanthropic, transhumanism, like, that you’ll see perhaps in older, in, specifically in older fans who will say, “ah, this old meat sack,” you know, and they dismiss their own bodies.

And I do wonder if the fact that, essentially, you create an ephemeral you that only exists online has sort of affected things in [00:05:00] general.

Raquel: Yeah, I definitely think that’s a big part of it. And also, especially with geeks, there’s a lot of self hatred with the body, and a lot of contempt for the body, too, like… I know it’s kind of stereotypical, but how much do geeks hate sports? How much do they look down on sports, people who enjoy sports, people who play sports?

We don’t like sports. Sports are for jocks, and jocks are bad.

Karlo: Yeah, well, I mean, yeah, if you’re operating on the usual weird 80s binary of Revenge of the Nerds, which is a horrible movie, yes, you’re not wrong.

Raquel: And I know that doesn’t necessarily reflect the reality we live in, but for a lot of geeks, and it’s not just dude geeks, women, girl nerds and girl geeks absolutely have some version of this too that’s pretty similar, the idea that you live in a body is bad, or the idea of really enjoying a physical life is bad, and that can include like how we [00:06:00] approach food and how we approach sports, it’s like food is fuel for the body, also exercise.

If, if you do it as like maintenance for the body or a chore, the idea of, hey, let’s all go out and play some sort of sport, or go swimming or go hiking for fun. It’s like, no, ew, no, that’s jocks. Why would you do that? Why? Why would you enjoy swimming? Like, well, swimming’s kind of nice. It’s pretty nice.

Feels good. It’s nice to swim.

Karlo: Well, I, I, I think that there’s also, to your point about, contempt or, or dismissiveness of the body, some of that may simply be, people that have, like, chronic pain issues or chronic illness. That’s perfectly understandable, but yeah, like that it sucks But yeah that like you are still part of a body and it I suppose it could be acknowledged

Raquel: Yeah. Yeah

Karlo: But but yeah, I think that it’s it’s also like apart from that if if [00:07:00] not sort of factored in there, uh, I would also wonder if it’s something about like just feeling embarrassed about some of the gross stuff that your body does and wants to do.

And, you know, it’s just sort of like, I don’t know. I got over puberty a long time ago.

Raquel: yeah Yeah, yeah,

Karlo: Thankfully, I didn’t have a traumatic pub, uh, you know, like adolescence. So, there is that. Or at least not, not, uh, above the baseline of trauma that just having a body gives you, right?

Raquel: So, food is, I mean, obviously a part of having a body. You have to put food in it, and the foods you do put in it do affect the body you have. So, while food is obviously, a subset of this lack of physicality, we’re going to focus on food. Because specificity is good and also we’re, we’re both people who enjoy food.

We, we are both people who like eating a whole lot.

Karlo: Yes, yes. And,

Raquel: food. I fucking love that shit. [00:08:00] It’s great. I’m very fond of it.

Karlo: and I have a wide variety of, I’m like, I, I love cooking, but also, I also, just like anyone else, loves garbage food.

Raquel: Oh, yeah.

Karlo: Like, put, put a bag of Cheetos in front of me, I will decimate it.

Raquel: Yeah, I love cooking, I love great food, I love junk food, I love delicious healthy food, I love trying food from other cultures, from other parts of the world. Uh, I,

Karlo: Try, trying new recipes from other

Raquel: New recipes, new types of cuisine. I’m always very excited about that stuff. I grew up in a house that was very obsessed with food in good ways and bad ways.

Both of my parents were a bit gluttonous, but also obsessed with dieting. So I got like both weird ends of it. I got to live through my mom going through every weird diet trend of the 90s and like, like Snackwell’s cookies and you know, [00:09:00] watching the Susan Powter Stop the Insanity VHS tape and all that bullshit.

Karlo: you took it straight out of my head. I was

Raquel: Yeah. She watched that

Karlo: what her name is. Yeah.

Raquel: I remember seeing it and thinking as a little kid, “this woman’s crazy. Why are you listening to her? She’s insane.”

Karlo: Yeah, like, like the first minute or so, you’re like, okay, yeah, yeah. And then she veers off into like La La Land. You’re like, wait, hold on. I’ve made a horrible mistake. Let me change the channel.

Raquel: goes, she’s just fuckin bananas.

Karlo: Yeah.

Raquel: So, food is so important, and especially if you’re a woman, food is such a big part of you. On one hand, you’re supposed to be a good cook, but on the other hand, you’re not supposed to eat. Or like, you’re supposed to be thin, but you’re not really supposed to diet, because girls who worry about being thin and who don’t like to eat are bad.

So you’re kinda, I don’t really know, you’re kinda fucked coming and going. Um,

Karlo: unless, unless you’re French and then you just smoke

Raquel: then you’re just [00:10:00] magically thin, I don’t know, I guess.

Karlo: No, I mean, uh, I think, I think I read somewhere that, one of the, the more pithy observations about the French diet, why do It’s like, yeah, you’re, you’re not thinking about how much these people smoke.

Raquel: How much they smoke, and how there’s, you can walk to things in France. You can walk to things, not everything is car.

Karlo: Wait, they have 15 minute cities? I thought that was a bad

Raquel: Yeah, yeah, that’s oppressive. You can walk to things. You can walk to a little cafe and grab a little croissant as you walk to work. It sounds lovely. It’s a really nice way to start the day.

Karlo: And walk down, walk down the, the, the rue, you know, whichever rue you’re on and chuckled, chuckled to yourself in the French manner going, “ho, ho, ho,”

Raquel: Yeah, that sounds really good. And also I have the two different, you know, Dad was very like German Greek and then Mom Puerto Rican, so you have these two very different attitudes toward food of the like, you know, German [00:11:00] Protestant attitudes toward food versus Puerto Rican attitudes toward food.

Karlo: yeah,

Raquel: And it’s such, it’s such a strange…

It is, it is a very strange combination there, but, but you get to see how different, like, food culture is from

Karlo: oh, yeah, yeah.

Raquel: and I think Americans, especially kind of like white, Protestant Americans have a really bad food culture.

Karlo: Well, I mean, let’s not forget those, uh, mid century horrific recipes.

Raquel: Yeah. Yeah, you look back on them and you’re like, Oh yeah, that’s why people were thinner back then. Do you want more lima bean gelatin? Like, no. No, I don’t. No one will ever want more of that.

Karlo: Why do, why are there olives in my lime green jello? What the hell?

Raquel: god.

Karlo: I, I, I wouldn’t, I, you know what, actually, now that I think about it, it might actually taste fine if it’s just olives, [00:12:00] but, you know, anything else, hmm,

Raquel: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. American food culture is really weird, it’s very warped, where we’re simultaneously really puritanical and all about self control and self denial, but also disgustingly excessive at the same time. And somehow these two opposing impulses, instead of balancing each other out, they just make each other more extreme.

Karlo: You just reminded me of one of the weirdest anecdotes from one of the weirdest, not weirdest anecdotes, actually a very good anecdote that sort of explains this, explained it to me, from the weirdest source, which is Mike Huckabee.

Raquel: Huh.

Karlo: was like, he was talking about, I think they were, they were interviewing him.

It might’ve been some old Bill Maher thing or something, you know, he sucks. But this, this, this is definitely one of these things where he asked him like, “Oh, I, I see that you’ve lost some weight, your diet’s going very well, blah, blah, blah.” And, Huckabee said [00:13:00] that, “yeah, for a lot of my life and during my upbringing, I was told that if I was a good boy, I could have treats.”

I mean, I’m boiling it down a little bit. And so, therefore, you equate moral goodness with having this excessive… Sweet thing, you know as a reward and that that sort of like really opened things up for me. He’s like, oh Yeah, I could see that. That’ll fuck you up

Raquel: yeah, yup. It’s weird, like, we We’re obsessed with food, but we hate it and we’re ashamed of it, too. A lot of this probably comes from German Protestant culture. They eat cold bread for dinner. Fuck’s sake, are you kidding me? At least put it in the toaster! At least toast it, motherfucker! And geeks, I think, see the body as a vehicle for intellect and not a home.

And to be fair, like, Say, if you’re, you know, if you have a disability, you might have a more [00:14:00] fraught relationship with your body. Or if you’re on the spectrum, you might have a fraught relationship with your body or with food. Like, a lot of people who are on the spectrum have issues with certain textures or something.

A lot of kids, autistic kids, will go through a phase where they only want to eat, like, white food. Or something like that. Like, they’ll only eat white foods and they’ll just freak out if any food with color appears on their plate and stuff. And, and there is, you kind of see that with this American food culture.

We have, like, soylent meal replacers, we have meal kits, we have a lot of fast food in general. It’s kind of seeing food as a shame or a burden? But not as a joy?

Karlo: yeah and also, There’s a weird insistence on even if it’s Quote all natural, right? It needs to be processed in some way and and you just reminded me of like the Juicero you remember because it’s

Raquel: Juicero!

Karlo: You remember the Juicero? I

mean it was

Raquel: I love it.

Karlo: it was supposed to be [00:15:00] like basically a juicer, right?

Raquel: The Tesla of Juicers.

Karlo: Yes, it is the Cybertruck of for sure. And basically all it did was just like squeeze out.

Raquel: It was a $600 Capri Sun

Karlo: Yes. Yes. Well, and you had to buy the the big Capri Sun pouches. I mean the ostensibly if if we’re supposed to take them at face value, right? The pouches are then filled with basically a fruit puree. But then, okay, so what’s the like? What is your experience with fruit? If if if that’s the only experience you have, then, I mean, I don’t know.

I mean, yes, you’re ingesting fruit products, I suppose,

Raquel: Without, without the fiber. Without the fiber. You’re getting rid of the fiber when you juice it,

Karlo: yes.

Raquel: really important.

Karlo: yeah, like exactly like, like you are not experiencing, like you could drink apple juice, but it’s not the same as eating an apple, right? It’s a, a totally different experience.

Raquel: And I’m not trashing juice, I like [00:16:00] juice.

Karlo: Oh, I like


Raquel: enjoy juice.

Karlo: Grant granted.

Raquel: at the expensive juice bar. I know I’m paying like 8 dollars for a glass of juice, but I do it sometimes.

Karlo: I, I, I also, I am a sucker for that as well,

Raquel: I love that shit.

Karlo: I also know that it’s like mostly sugar,

Raquel: I know it’s total bullshit, but I’ll do it.

Karlo: but, but you know, it, it, there’s a reason that you like it. Right. And again, it’s mostly it’s because it’s mostly sugar, but yeah,

Raquel: Ah, there’s celery in this glass of juice. I’m being healthy. I’m very healthy today. I’m being good.

Karlo: Yes, it’s like drinking a V8 and going like, I mean, I, I suppose a V8 is somewhat a bit more, closer to what we’re talking about, but even then it’s like trying to drink a V8 and going like, oh yeah, I can tell you, I can definitely taste the kale in this. You’re like, no, no you can’t. You’re just drinking like tomato juice.

Come on, dude.

Raquel: Yeah. Which I think is fine, sometimes it’s just like, look, oh shit, I haven’t gotten enough fruit and vegetables yet today. Okay, fuck. Put it in my body, I need so my [00:17:00] organs keep, keep running. Okay.

Karlo: I need, I need some vitamin C so I don’t get fucking scurvy.

Raquel: Yeah But in general we kind of treat food as a burden and not a joy. Not just the chore of cooking which to be fair like Cooking a lot fuckin is frustrating, it can be really annoying, and sometimes you don’t wanna fuckin do it, you’re busy.

But also we kinda almost treat eating like a chore, deciding what to eat is a chore. We give people really short lunch breaks, a lot of the time there’s not really a place to eat in the office, like my office. There’s one very small cafeteria on one floor of a sixteen floor office building. There’s like, not enough seats for everyone, so people just kinda eat lunch at their desks, which like, that, that sucks, dude.

Karlo: I, I think that there is something to making space, like almost a ritual for food, right? Uh, be it, be it eating, be it cooking. I mean, it can be all together, right? But. But setting aside that time, and if you’re just [00:18:00] eating at your desk, you, you are not reinforcing that ritualistic, uh, practice, if you will, right?

Raquel: Nah. Yeah.

Karlo: Because you, you’re just sort of like, mushing together, oh, this is my workspace, that’s it, I’m eating lunch, it’s fine.

Raquel: Yeah, and it sucks. I’m currently attempting to practice mindful eating, and it, it is a real extraordinary difference in how you start relating to food when you’re really, like, paying attention to it, and actually, listening to your body, am I, am I genuinely hungry, am I, do I actually want more food, or do I feel ready to just stop eating this, and it’s like, it does change your relationship with your body and with food in a big way, but it’s very hard to do that in a culture where you’re supposed to eat at your desk and you get, like, maybe a half hour lunch break.

It’s tough. So I’m not, like, trying to trash people who have a warped relationship with food. North America is set up in such a way that, of course you’re gonna have a fucked up attitude toward food. Of course you’re gonna have a bad relationship with it. We’re not [00:19:00] given the space to have a good relationship with food.


Karlo: I would say that, to, to perhaps, jump off your point is the fact that God help you if you don’t, if you have more than one job too.

Raquel: hmm.

Karlo: So like if you’re, you have a part time and then an evening part time, what, what time do you actually have to, between commuting and

Raquel: Yeah. You grab fast food in your car on the way to the second job. And that’s, that’s terrible.

Karlo: Yeah. I mean, it, it, it’s fine, but if you’re doing it like every day of every week, it’s probably not going to be great for you.

Raquel: Yeah, and it’s just not, you know, that’s distracted driving and distracted eating, and it’s just not really getting time to really appreciate what you’re eating. It’s, I don’t, I don’t like it. I

Karlo: Yeah.

Raquel: it’s, it’s not great.

Karlo: I also want to emphasize that this is, I’m just trying to sort of figure out, as a [00:20:00] culture, I feel like this is one of those systemic things that, If you can’t make enough in one job, that sort of has a rolling effect on everything else in your life, including how you have a relationship with food.

And sometimes you just can’t, literally cannot afford to have a proper, a relationship with food that we are idealizing here.

Raquel: Yeah, in money or

Karlo: yes,

Raquel: Because time is also, time is such a big resource when it comes to food, and a lot of us don’t have that during the day.

Karlo: Yep. Yeah. So, so yeah, I just want to make sure that, I’m also sort of making, making sure that people out there that are listening don’t think that, you know, like, “ah, you should just, you know, do this,”

Raquel: make healthier choices, Americans! No…

Karlo: This one easy trick, you know? No, no, it’s not.


Raquel: not lecturing people, we’re not looking down on it, and neither of us is perfect for sure.

Karlo: hell no. Hell no. [00:21:00] You, you, you, if, if there’s a bag of gummies in, in my house, that bag is going to be empty soon.

Raquel: Oh, wow.

Karlo: so, I, I, I am, yeah, I am not perfect at all. But so, um, one thing, if, if I can step back just briefly, because another thing that I’m thinking about, at least in writing, right, is that one of the reasons that I, I wonder about, apart from all of the stuff we’ve already discussed is, this sort of like slavish adherence to the action thriller, plot driven sort of work where, it sort of invites, like, well, why did they, why did they have to have, like, unless you’re, you’re, you’re a hero or your protagonist is a Slavoj Zizek, you know, just like two fisting, two chili dogs, just inhaling them on the go.

Yeah, there’s no time for food if you’re, running to the next objective.

Raquel: “How does this contribute to the plot?” I don’t know. It’s a fucking [00:22:00] breather, dude. Just

Karlo: Yeah.

Raquel: Well, we’ll talk about that in a little bit, actually. Why don’t we get into what’s the point of writing about food? What’s the point of including food? Because, yeah, maybe showing your hero eat a sandwich will not advance the all important plot.

But it can reveal something about the world and the people living in it. So, let’s dig into that. I mean, to start off, a character’s individual personality can be revealed by their personal food preferences or choices. For example, with gender. Personal anxieties about masculinity or social class or the image you’re trying to project to others come out in the food you eat.

Like there’s a lot of anxiety about men, manly food or feminine food. Women are scared of getting fat. Men are scared of looking like women, so certain foods are very manly. Certain foods are more feminine, but also like kind of forbidden, like sweet foods are more feminine, but also you’ll get fat if you eat [00:23:00] it .

But, you know, men also like cake, and, and, and, men might be afraid to, like, eat something pink, you know? Even if you like strawberry ice cream, like, you can’t order it, because it’s not manly enough.

Karlo: Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean just think of the the old stereotypical, like Women be eating salads, you know, uh, but but imagine if you had like your your super masculine Action guy action hero and he stops to have a salad

Raquel: Yeah.

Karlo: Uh, versus, you have a, a, a woman character eating like a huge cheeseburger, extra fries, you know,

Raquel: Well, I could see them doing that with a woman character, only if she’s skinny. Then it’s like, “look how hot it is. She’s a skinny woman eating pig. Skinny woman eat” Like, Paris Hilton was in those, pornographic burger ads some years ago, where she’s

Karlo: That is, that is fair,

Raquel: where she’s just giving a fucking blowjob to a cheeseburger, basically, on a car.

Just, just fucking going crazy. I I waited tables some years and years ago, and when I waited [00:24:00] tables, I noticed women were way more uptight about food than men, like salad dressing on the side, this needs to be cooked exactly this way, this, can you substitute that for that, and men were just like, “Yeah, okay, I’ll have a sandwich.”

How do you like your sandwich? “I don’t know, it just tastes good.” But I’m kind of wondering if that’s changed, because now there’s this weird right wing, red pill class of guys who are really worried about, like, seed oils and shit, with their little cards, asking the waiter at Waffle House if he could cook the food in ghee, or something like that.

Like, I’m kinda wondering if, if, if men are getting weird about food at restaurants now.

Karlo: Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I’m sure that there are some, uh, yeah, I, that is, that is an interesting thing, isn’t

Raquel: oils guys.

Karlo: Well, also, uh, like all those weird, this just disgusting influencers was like, “I’m going to eat, uh, like a stick of butter between sliced bull testicles.”

Raquel: those fucking guys.[00:25:00]

Karlo: And, and you watch them and they, you can tell that they’re, they’re very delicately, delicately, eating, like, the corner of it and getting mostly butter.

Raquel: Yeah.

Karlo: And you’re like, you’re not eating that

Raquel: You’re not eating this shit.

Karlo: You’re trying to get other people to eat

Raquel: Yeah, yeah, so, so that’s like just an example, one example of what can be revealed about a person’s like their personality or their anxieties is what do they order? What do they order at the restaurant versus what do they kind of wish they could have but will eat in private?

Sometimes people will like eat healthier stuff in public and then binge on something junky in private. Or sometimes a person with a restrictive eating disorder will put forward a presentation of looking like they eat normally, or looking like they eat kinda junk food, and then privately, like, just not eat.

Karlo: hmm. Mm hmm. Yeah, yeah, when you were talking about, like, stuff on the side, you, you brought to mind that whole scene in, When Harry Met Sally, where Meg Ryan’s character’s like, she wants everything on the side. The, the ketchup on the side, the fries on the [00:26:00] side, the, you know, if she could, she would have, like, had a deconstructed hamburger.

Raquel: She was ahead of her time.

Karlo: Yeah,

Raquel: She was brilliant. Yeah.

Karlo: I do want to point out that, um, something that if we can step back real quick and say the, it also reveals something about, what the world is. Right. Um, in the sense that, if you go to a market, even a farmer’s market. Or, or a supermarket, you already, there’s a lot of assumptions already, they’re folded in.

It’s just simply, you don’t really think about it because if there is a market, that means that there’s specialized people that grow the crops. That means that, uh, somebody also, there’s a distribution network of some sort to bring these things. If you get stuff from overseas or stuff out of season, let’s not even overseas.

Let’s say you are getting strawberries in the middle of December.

Raquel: Right.

Karlo: Either they’re being shipped in from somewhere else, which is probably [00:27:00] more probably is probably the more likely of the two things, or they’re getting it from greenhouses, which might point to a more organic, but also somewhat limited supply of that.

Raquel: Right.

Karlo: One of the more, uh, sort of shocking things for me, having lived in Puerto Rico, born and raised all my life, 40 plus years in Puerto Rico. I had never thought about the fact that rice was not a staple until the 20th century,

Raquel: Oh, yeah.

Karlo: I think even through the Spanish empire’s occupation of the island, there was still, especially in the country, there’s still very, very wedded to a lot of West African, uh, food, more, more recently, but also lots of cassava, which was like the, the Tainos used cassava for all sorts of different things. Make bread out of it, all that good stuff and lots and lots of fish.

Raquel: Oh, yeah. That makes sense. It’s an island. What else you got? You [00:28:00] got fish. There’s ocean everywhere. Yeah, uh, Naben Ruthnum in a previous episode liked to point out that curry is often used as a symbol of authentic Indian culture, but curry is only possible because of colonialism.

Karlo: Mm hmm.

Raquel: Those peppers that are in curry, those are New World foods.

Those are from North, those are from the Americas. So until the 1400s. You, you would not have those in Southeast Asia.

Karlo: Anything that has potatoes, tomatoes, beans, uh, most, most beans. I would, I would probably say fava beans and probably a couple of other like soybeans and a couple of other things probably were all over the place in, in the Middle East, Europe, parts of Europe and, and Asia. But yeah, like, um, beans, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, and cayenne, and like you said, cayenne peppers and, and that

Raquel: of peppers. Lots of types of peppers. Just, no, nothing. [00:29:00] None of that. It’s all new world foods.

Karlo: Yeah, and rice, likewise, probably was shipped from Spain, like Spain’s colonies in Asia, to the New World, and, you know, so on and so forth. Uh, it is,

Raquel: about tea, like, when did England actually get access to tea?

Karlo: I mean, wasn’t that sort of like, essentially the East India Company’s

Raquel: Yeah, like, it was not that long ago. It’s kind of seen as this inherently British thing, but you’re not going to have that in like the year 1000, probably. You just, you just didn’t have it yet. It’s not from England. It is not originally from England.

Karlo: Coffee. Let’s not forget coffee.

Raquel: and chocolate.

Karlo: Chocolate. Yes.

Raquel: seen of as

inherently Belgian, even though it is not from Belgium.

And I do find it kind of interesting that when we talk about cultural appropriation of foods, we never think about coffee or chocolate. We do not think about any of the, you know, like, chai is cultural appropriation, but hot cocoa isn’t.[00:30:00]

Karlo: You took it right out of my mouth because I was thinking about that tweet. It just drove me insane for a day. I was like, so, oh, so your turmeric chai is cultural appropriation, but shock hot chocolate is not

Raquel: Right.

Karlo: how exactly please do tell. I wasn’t sure if it was a, a, a, a

Raquel: parody or not, yeah,

Karlo: or, or if she was being very sincere, but yeah,

Raquel: Or, or, or, or a mixture of each, you know, one of those things. Yeah, so, so that is another thing to keep in mind if you’re, say, writing a fantasy novel. The foods available, the ingredients available to your characters are very… Based on the politics of the world, the resources in the world, trade routes, colonialism, wars change what food is available.

Like if you, if you conquer another land, hey, guess what? We, we have, we can try these new ingredients or [00:31:00] styles of cuisine. Or war can mean… shipping routes are cut off. War can mean there’s rationing and you can’t get, or you can’t access certain goods. Or maybe you’re, your country’s mad at another country so you won’t eat their food anymore or you’re gonna start calling it something else like you’re gonna call it victory cabbage instead of sauerkraut or something

Karlo: Freedom

Raquel: Freedom fries, hot dogs instead of frankfurters and things like that. The spices, the seasonings that are of Available to you are hugely dependent on just trade routes, on travel, and also the popularity of spices, the popularity of food is a lot of it dependent on class. When spices finally became accessible to normal people, like, normal people were just dumping crazy amounts of spice on everything, so it became kind of gauche

to put a lot of spices on your food and suddenly high class Europeans stopped using them as much because now it’s like, oh, now it’s trashy for everyone

Karlo: it’s a, I think it simply crossed the line from novelty [00:32:00] into a signaling of some sort of ethnicity.

Raquel: Yeah. Yeah.

Karlo: And especially like, I think that that’s something that We got the shit end of the stick on that one in North America, didn’t we? Because that’s the thing that the English passed on to the US to a certain degree, right?

This, this horrible,

Raquel: food culture is just fucking awful.

Karlo: Uh, and, and,

Raquel: and a lot of German food culture too, like, German baking is good, but German savory foods are, are, are unfortunate. I’m, I’m sorry.

Karlo: Um, I would probably say that, from what I’ve seen of lower class English food, like from the lower classes, that English breakfast that looks legitimately, like it, it, it also looks like it’s, it looks great. I would eat the, I would house the

Raquel: Yeah, I would house it and then go right back to sleep. Yeah,

Karlo: Yes, exactly. Go back into hibernation because yes, you need to

Raquel: 7, 000 calories of breakfast. It looks great.

Karlo: I mean, it, it, it’s, [00:33:00] it’s also like a, a, um,

Raquel: Yes.

Karlo: Sort of like a relic of a almost a bygone era right because this is supposed to be like This is what you eat when you go down into the fucking mines and you know swing a hammer for four hours straight or something

Raquel: Yeah.

Karlo: and that’ll that’ll definitely burn off all those calories,

Raquel: Oh yeah, yeah. That is food for someone who is going to work extremely fucking hard all day, so.

Karlo: But yes

Raquel: me at my desk.

Karlo: But yeah, I one of the things that’s really interesting to me and and I don’t see it explored very often is this idea of You know in general who you know who writes the cookbooks? generally aren’t the people who own land or rather the other way around the the the people who own land end up writing cookbooks and sort of weirdly erase or View as quaint or, quote, low country, cuisine stuff that they have not themselves written down as [00:34:00] a recipe, you know?


Raquel: Right, or It’s gotten better, but also with gender, too. I mean, who actually cooked versus who actually wrote the cookbooks. It was, for a very long time, it was the cookbooks were written by male chefs. But like, who’s actually doing the majority of the cooking? Well, we know who. It’s not a man. So a lot of this is like taking recipes from women and just, Ah, I put a male name on it, you know?

Karlo: yeah, yeah, I mean, although I have seen a fair share, and this might be, um, his own research, I don’t know if you follow, Max Miller’s, uh, Tasting History.

Raquel: Mm mm.

Karlo: He has a little YouTube channel, and he’s also put out a cookbook and all that good stuff. I, I am not being paid by Max Biller, just FYI.

But, but he has, on several of the episodes, he will, denote that this is a recipe originally from a woman who, Was, you know, had written a cookbook. It’s just simply like been lost or is no longer in use or something like that. I don’t know whether he [00:35:00] is balancing things out, uh, or, or whatnot, but, but yeah, like I, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of those are also erased simply because, somebody else bought the patent or, or, you know, whatever it may be exactly.

Raquel: Yeah. Yeah. But so, so we’re revealing a lot about society, a lot, a lot about, uh, history, trade routes, social class, gender, history. Um, I said history like three times in that past sentence. Commercial pressure, also can change diet. Like, the Dairy Council kind of strong armed the government into making a bunch of ads telling people to drink more milk to convince people that they need more milk than they really do.

And a lot of it was just coming out of like, we need to sell more milk. Tell people it’s really important to drink milk. Like, not really.

Karlo: I don’t think it’s quite as, um, essential as we’re led to believe, although, milk is a good thing to have, uh, if you are going through a famine, for instance. But I [00:36:00] will say that, um, like, do you remember like in the, I want to say it’s like in the nineties, I want to say even like the mid nineties where Domino’s had that big thing was like “now with more cheese on your pizza.”

And it was basically, there were like huge stores of cheese, stored in like these salt abandoned or decommissioned salt mines, uh, that they had to just get, start using because otherwise it was just, there’s just too much of it. They needed to use it. Um,

Raquel: and then there’s America and corn. We have corn subsidies, so everything is corn. Everything is made of corn. All food is corn. All food has corn in it. Your car is made of corn. There’s corn in your car. You’re corn. I’m

Karlo: Your, your gas tank has corn in it. If, if anyone, if anyone stops at a gas station that has 10 percent ethanol, well…

Raquel: And ethanol is not a good biofuel at

Karlo: No, no, it is not. It is terrible.

Raquel: just we got corn.

Karlo: Yeah, well, yeah, I think it’s, it’s one of these things where it,[00:37:00] the footprint of corn itself and the, the systems that have grown up around it necessitate using any surplus in any way, shape or form that you can, right?

This is just simply an economic sort of like what, what will happen, right? Given enough, surplus, given enough control or pressure on the economy and given enough lobbying power as well. Let’s not forget that

Raquel: yeah, corporations can do so much to just convince us that we need to eat this certain way, and then you find out like, oh we don’t? We just eat this way because like some company in the 1950s just decided to tell us to?

Karlo: Yeah, I

Raquel: was all bullshit?

Karlo: Most of specifically the ethanol, if I remember correctly, there’s a lot of it that’s, that’s sort of been, uh, lobbied for on behalf of the Koch brothers, for instance. Um, on the other end of things where you can also price something out of reach of its original community,

Raquel: right, isn’t that what happened with quinoa?

Karlo: Exactly right. [00:38:00] Yes. All the crunchy granola hippie types have quinoa. I’m, I’m being a little, a little flippant here because quinoa I think is, is probably a good thing if you are, if you have like a gluten intolerance or something like that. But, but honestly, it’s become more profitable to ship it overseas and therefore it’s become more expensive for, like, the indigenous peoples who, throughout South America who used to depend on it.

Raquel: Yeah. So that’s another thing is colonization. If you are a colonized society, you might suffer famines. Your traditional diet might end up changing to that of the colonizer. Or you might end up stuck with a lot of crappy processed food. One very good example is the United States turning Puerto Rico into a giant sugar plantation.

Has fucked up the food supply of the island to this day. And to this day, Puerto Ricans are still living on lots of overpriced… processed food, and have staggeringly high rates of diabetes and heart disease as a result. It’s, it’s really fucking bad.

Karlo: Yep. Yep. Yeah. There’s a lot of [00:39:00] processed foods. There, there’s really not a choice to not take it because it, you, you sort of have to, um, because, I mean, you can’t stop it at the port and go like, no, no more. We’re, we’re, we’re, we’re full up of spam.

Raquel: Yeah, we got enough cornflakes, man.

Karlo: The shipping laws and all that are in favor of the U. S., right?

Raquel: Right, right.

Karlo: Before that it was rice, before that it was sugar. Even the Spaniards tried to get in on the sugar thing. But yeah, it is, it is very strange to see, if you ever go to the island, you can drive down a highway and see the weird detritus of the old sugar plantations.

You’ll just be driving down and see this decrepit, sugar central, basically, with a big smokestack. Falling, slowly falling apart, but you know, no one can really do anything because it’s historic and also no one wants to fix it either because there’s no money.

Raquel: Right, right. So, so that’s one example. Another example from history, I, it’s interesting, I was watching Killers of the Flower Moon and they [00:40:00] talk, they, they touch upon the fact that the switch to a white European style diet is having disastrous effects on the health of these Osage characters. The main character’s wife has diabetes, and it’s a major part of the story, it’s a huge, huge part of the story that she has diabetes, and this is in an era when like, I think it’s like half a dozen people can afford this newfangled technology called insulin.

It’s a very new technology and, and very few people can even afford it because it’s so fucking new. This is like peak science right now. So the main character’s wife has diabetes and this is in the old days when it’s super hard to manage that. And there’s a point where her doctor tells her, “You have to stop eating like a white. You can’t eat like a white.” And I found that so interesting.

Karlo: Yeah. Well, I mean, is it, is that also like, uh, something that affects a lot of people in Hawaii, like a Hawaiians as well, if I’m

Raquel: Yeah, just in general, a lot [00:41:00] of the colonization and the genocide meant… You know, switching from a traditional diet, which was overall a hell of a lot leaner and healthier, to not just white European style diet, but poor white European style diet, a lot of, again, processed foods, and I, I, and it was a fucking disaster.

Again, rates of diabetes and heart disease are staggering on reservations. It’s really, really bad.

Karlo: Yeah, yeah, I, yeah, I believe it. I believe it. Um…

Raquel: it’s impossible to eat the traditional diet without the traditional lifestyle, really.

Karlo: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. One of the other things that you just remind me of is, because of the effects of profitability on, what foods are then prioritized, you end up with monocultures because like, think of the, think of bananas. There used to be, was it like hundreds of types of bananas[00:42:00] and Chiquita banana said, no, fuck it.

We’re going to have


Raquel: the one type.

Karlo: This is the one type. I mean, there are still other ones, but, uh, they, they are of varying degrees of edibility. Let’s put it

Raquel: Yeah, and the one type we have, there’s a there’s a is possibly under threat of going extinct, which already happened. That happened to another type of banana that just doesn’t exist anymore. Or something, which is

Karlo: no, that’s, that’s the banana that you, uh, that’s the banana that tastes like the, the banana flavoring that

Raquel: banana flavored candy tastes like the weird, the type of banana that went extinct

Karlo: Is it like more, more custardy, uh, taste to it? Yeah. It’s, it’s a weird, it’s a weird

Raquel: might happen again. There’s signs it’s gonna happen again.

Karlo: Well, you know,

Raquel: Which is like, so fucking weird. Mm

Karlo: um, another thing that I want to mention, speaking of like, uh, how it, like how it reveals, uh, things of the culture, something [00:43:00] that my grandfather told me.

Raquel: hmm. Yeah.

Karlo: Was that when he was a kid, he grew up like dirt poor, in the mountains of Ibonito in Puerto Rico, right? And, uh, he was like one of seven kids. And when dinner time came around, you better fucking eat your meat and your dessert. Quick. Because if, if anyone, anyone came by for a visit, a guest, because of the hospitality culture, uh, they would take the shit right off your plate and

Raquel: Oh my god.

Karlo: give it to the guest because the guests get treated as well as you can.

Raquel: Oh, fuck. Oh, no. I’d go crazy. I’d go yeah, I’d go nuts. I I would stab someone with a fork if you tried to do that to me. I

Karlo: I mean, it’s like I

Raquel: would eat your fucking hand.

Karlo: Yeah, I, I, I don’t think of myself as super hyper individualistic, but that was something that when he told me that, me as [00:44:00] like a six or seven year old was just like flabbergasted. I was like, wait, what?

Raquel: Yeah, how dare you? No. No.

Karlo: They could just take your food? Mm

Raquel: Right. Oh, God. So, so that brings us to not just the food that’s available, the ingredients that are available, but also the culture. Obviously there are different cultural practices around food. Like, what’s in vogue, how do you eat together, who sits with what, do the women sit with the men, do the women have to wait until the men have finished, do you eat family style, where everybody shares dishes from the center, or do you have your individual plate?

So when you’re setting this up in say your second world fantasy novel, these are questions to consider that reveal a lot about the society, the gender dynamics, the interpersonal dynamics. You might think of… You might think in terms of, like, how do people eat, what are the customs involved in food, do you say grace, you know, How, how do you share food?

[00:45:00] Cause sharing food often is very ritualistic in cultures and it’s, can be kind of sacred.

Karlo: hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Or, it could be a taboo. Like, do you share food with somebody else that you do not really know very well? That, that would feel very weird, wouldn’t it? Because it feels like sort of intimate, uh, in a way. And, and does that mean something?

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen something like that, but it is something to think about when you’re sitting down to write.

Raquel: And there are rules based on who sits where.

Karlo: Mm hmm. Yeah, that

Raquel: the head of the table or something, and in China it’s a round table, but there are rules in terms of who is facing the door or who has their back to the door, I think is like the, the, the place where the important person sits or something like that.

I forget exactly. Like there are just tons and tons and tons of these specific rules in different cultures. So you’re revealing the rules of the culture and you’re also revealing the relationships between characters, [00:46:00] like, who’s cooking for whom? Who’s feeding whom? Is somebody reminding someone else to eat?

Do you eat together? Do you eat in front of the TV? There’s so much, you know, food as love, or food as control, I mean, so many girls have food issues because of their moms, being critical about the way they eat, but also offering people food, or, or trying to encourage, push somebody to eat is such a sign of love, too.

It’s, it’s one of the most humanizing moments in Oppenheimer, where his friend is reminding him to eat. It’s, it’s really cute. He’s got this friend who’s like, this chunky dude who, who is a friend of his and is not, refuses to take part in the Los Alamos project, but is still kind of his friend and there are just these moments where like, Oppenheimer is just looking kind of fucked up and sad and his friend just peels an orange and hands it to him like, you need to eat before you disappear.

And it’s this really kind of sweet humanizing moment. Of like, oh yeah, this weirdo scientist [00:47:00] guy is also a human with a stomach and he needs to be reminded to eat.

Karlo: He’s not merely, he’s not merely a big brain thinking about exploding

Raquel: a big pr– and it’s showing like, even though these guys have these very different attitudes about something, it’s still like, You’re still my friend, I still care about you, have some vitamin C.

Karlo: I think that that’s a good, that’s a good, uh, example, right of someone like, I mean, it’s, it’s one of the most basic things that we need to do. Right. Uh, apart from like, breathe.

Raquel: And, and that’s such a thing with, I mean, the stereotypical thing that your, your mom asks you if you’re, away from home. Is it, are you eating well? Are you, are you eating enough? Are they feeding you okay? Are you eating

Karlo: Yeah.

Raquel: That’s so the stereotypical mom. Like, are they feeding you enough?

You know. Are Yeah.

Karlo: you come home, you come home to visit and they press a plate on you, even though, no mom, I, I, I’m good. I’m good.

Raquel: Or they do the thing where they nag you for your weight gain while pressing a plate on you, [00:48:00] like, aw, goddammit. It’s so funny that that’s such a thi that’s so normal in other cultures, but we one of our members of the Discord is like, Irish or something, and they’re horrified. He’s horrified.

He’s going like, “Who would do that?” We’re like, every culture except you, apparently. Because that’s normal. That’s normal.

Karlo: yeah,

Raquel: You’ve gotten fat, you need to lose weight, I made you some pork.

Karlo: yeah, it’s, it’s, uh, yeah, it’s, it’s also like a very, a very, uh, Puerto Rican of a certain age will just greet you with like, Oh, you look fat or you look skinny. Oh, you gotta, gotta eat. Come on. It’s such a weird thing and I think that part of the horrified reaction is the fact that it is, it feels very sort of invasive of your own,

Raquel: Yeah.

Karlo: your own self.

You’re like,

Raquel: Your strict individualism, which in other cultures individualism is not that important. It does not fucking matter.

Karlo: I mean, it, it has its bad sides.

Raquel: You are not an [00:49:00] individual at all.

Karlo: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You’re one of us. What are you talking about?

Raquel: talking about? Fucking… “Hey fatty, have a sandwich.” Like, what?

Karlo: Look at Mr. Roly Poly. Now he thinks he’s a big deal because he went to the city. Come on, have a sandwich.

Raquel: I feel like it’s only WASP moms who will tell you you’re fat but then won’t try to feed you.

Karlo: Mm,

Raquel: Be like, “we’re concerned about your health. I have prepared for you a feast of exactly seven almonds. Eat them very slowly.” Thanks!

Karlo: exactly one unsalted soft boiled egg for breakfast, half a triangle of toast, no butter.

Raquel: None. Take very small bites. Chew each one 50 times.

Karlo: and exactly one dollop of cream, of cottage cheese.

Raquel: Yeah, WASPs are the only moms who like, hate their kids enough to not feed them while calling them fat. They’re the only ones who’ll be consistent. Everybody else will call you a big [00:50:00] fatty while handing you a piece of cake.

Karlo: You’re reminding me of one of the funniest, but most consistently humanizing things that Paulie Walnuts would do in The Sopranos. He, he’d always, “hey. Good gravy today.” Talking about, like, the, the, the sauce.

Raquel: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Italians, they get food. They get food. They’re, yes. It is a fallacy that white people do not understand food. When people say that, they’re really thinking about German Protestants and, like, the United Kingdom. Fuckin Italians. They know food. They’re good at food.

Karlo: Did you, did you get to see the Irishman?

Raquel: Ah, yes. I did.

Karlo: Remember that there’s this entire bonding scene. Picking at a little loaf of bread.

Raquel: Oh, yeah.

Karlo: I mean, it, it,

Raquel: there’s so much food. There’s that sort of really sad, almost an act of communion in the prison when they’re both old as fuck.

Karlo: hmm.

Raquel: And in Goodfellas, there’s so much about food, too. I love the [00:51:00] scene where they stop at Joe Pesci’s mom’s house. It’s like three in the morning, they have a body in the trunk of their car, and this tiny old Italian grandma, played of course by Martin Scorsese’s mother, gets out of her fucking bed at three in the morning and just prepares them a three course meal. Because that is what Italian mothers do!

Karlo: And then pulls up like a painting for some

Raquel: Her dog painting, it’s so good. It’s an amazing scene. It’s so, like, loving and humanizing. And meanwhile, these three fucking degenerates have a man in the trunk of their car.

Karlo: Yeah, he’s been stabbed like five times, you know.

Raquel: They’re taking him out to bury him upstate.

Karlo: Yeah.

Raquel: Everyone’s like, uh, “it’s okay, I’m gonna feed you.” Like multiple courses. There’s bread, there’s antipasta, there’s pasta. There’s a dessert, she fucking made a tiramisu probably.

Karlo: You gotta watch out with the antipasto and the pasta. You mix

Raquel: you can’t put them together, it explodes.

Karlo: Uh,

Raquel: It’s so good.

Karlo: It’s great. It’s great. [00:52:00] I think, I think it’s one of those things that, that, uh, I think Scorsese really nails. Later

Raquel: so real,

Karlo: where they’re talking about like them in, in prison where it’s like a, it’s like they’re, they basically have logistics on how to get like their, their Sunday meal every week,

Raquel: yeah. And they spend all day just cooking it and then eating it.

Karlo: and, and don’t forget

Raquel: fucking good. And it’s interesting because it’s a male bonding exercise of like, cooking.

Karlo: Yes. And, and Pauly, Pauly had that great technique where he would slice garlic with, with like a razor blade, so it would just melt.

Raquel: It would just melt in the pan.

Karlo: It’s just

Raquel: God, it’s wonderful,

Karlo: like you, you,

you watch it and you’re like, you’re, you’re like drooling as you’re watching it. You know,

Raquel: I should get a razor blade, that’s how I should cook garlic,

Karlo: yeah.

Raquel: it looks fucking good,

Karlo: Anyway, you were going to say,

Raquel: no, and I know we’re referring a lot of this to, [00:53:00] fiction based on fiction, or history, or stuff based on real life, based on the real world, but we’re using these examples just to show, this is, This is what this is showing about the world we live in, so when you are designing your speculative story, maybe, maybe it’s a futuristic city, maybe it’s, maybe it’s set in a second world fantasy or something, maybe it’s about an alien race, this is stuff to consider.

Karlo: mm

Raquel: when you are doing world building, a hell of a lot is conveyed just by what people eat and how.

Karlo: hmm,

Raquel: this is a very great thing you can use when you are showing stuff about, about your characters, about the world they live in. So, that’s what we’re getting out here. And also we just like talking about food a lot.

Karlo: I, I, I, I, I like food.

Raquel: I love food! I fucking love that shit!

Karlo: I even love fictional food, especially like, you, you know, when I was watching, we

were [00:54:00]

Raquel: talk about fictional food. Okay, let’s let’s talk about fictional food in speculative fiction novels. Some some movies and stuff too. We can talk about some movies, but we got to talk about novels and

Karlo: most, most, most of Miyazaki’s work has food somewhere.

Raquel: Yeah, it’s so funny. People will complain like oh, “what does what does it add to the plot?

Does does the Ponyo eating ham scene really add to the plot?” Not really, I mean kind of, but like, but it’s wonderful. It’s just this wonderful moment where the kid’s mom makes a bowl of ramen that just looks incredible. You just want to eat the screen watching that.

Karlo: Howl’s Moving Castle and that’s a sort of a weird, uh, turning point because it isn’t until, I think it’s Sophie, gets there, that they suddenly, “oh, you know, we could actually cook here. Give me six eggs. Give me those rashers of bacon,” and the, the, the meal looks delicious.

Like I, I cannot. Yeah.

Raquel: movies just looks edible. It looks so fucking good.[00:55:00]

Karlo: I cannot blame the kiddo for just like trying to tear everything open with his mouth, just gnawing on it with it like a dog, you know? It’s just like, it looks delicious. I would have, I would also eat it with my mouth and hands.

Raquel: And, and they’re, I mean, they look good, but they’re also usually things that show this bonds being formed between the characters. Ponyo starts really loving Sasuke and falling in love with the surface world when the mom makes them ramen with ham.

Karlo: hmm. Mm

Raquel: That’s, that’s like when she starts realizing, like, “no, I want to, I want to stay up here.

They got ham up here. This rocks. I fucking love this place.”

Karlo: Spirited Away has, uh, the opposite, right, because it’s because of food that everything happens, right? It’s the fairy

Raquel: Right, her parents gluttony.

Karlo: Yep, they, they decide to eat fairy food and they get trapped in the fairy realm,

Raquel: Yeah, they get turned into pigs.

Karlo: Yep.

Raquel: Because they pig out too much.

Karlo: Hey o. Hey, you know, pigs with credit cards. Yeah.[00:56:00]

Raquel: So, uh, so…

Karlo: All right, let’s Let’s talk, let’s talk, let’s talk Tolkien, because obviously John, Jonathan, old, old, uh, Ronnie Tolkien loved himself snacks, and it shows in The Hobbit.

Raquel: He loved food, and it’s such an endearing feature of the characters. I’m finding Bilbo Baggins pretty fucking relatable. He’s this fat middle aged guy who doesn’t want to be bothered. He just wants to, he just wants to eat cheese and hang out. And he’s sucked into this bullshit and he’s like, God fucking damn it.

I don’t want to do this.

Karlo: You, you, you picked exactly because I, I, I was looking for the quote specifically when he, at the beginning of the book, because there’s this just hilarious scene where like dwarf after dwarf starts showing up at his door and he’s running back and forth, right? And when they’ve finally sort of like most of them showed up, right?

Uh, there’s this, uh, little sequence. He’s like, uh, “I hope there’s something left for latecomers to eat and drink. What’s [00:57:00] that? Tea? No, thank you. A little red wine, I think, for me. And for me, said Thorin, And raspberry jam and apple tart, said Biffer. And mince pies and cheese, said Bofer. And pork pie and salad, said Bomber.

And more cakes and ale and coffee, if you don’t mind, called the other dwarves through the door. Put on a few eggs, there’s a good fellow, Gandalf called after him as the hobbit stumped off to the pantries. And just bring out the cold chicken and pickles. Seems to know as much about the inside of my larders as I do myself, thought Mr.

Baggins, who’s feeling… Positively flummoxed and was beginning to wonder whether a most wretched adventure had not come right into his house by the time He’d got all the bottles and dishes and knives and forks and glasses and plates and spoons and things piled up on big trays He was getting very hot and red in the face and annoyed.”

Raquel: Yeah, so it says a lot about this character. One is that he has so much fucking food in his house already, he’s got so much goddamn food. And secondly, about the rules of, of, uh, hospitality in this culture, that if your guest asks for cakes and ale, you [00:58:00] gotta fucking get, get him cakes and ale. That no respectable hobbit would say, no, I’m not giving you that.

You have to do it.

Karlo: Yeah, if you if you have it you must give it Yeah

Raquel: I mean, when they’re, when they’re on. I know people will complain about, eating scenes in fantasy novels and adventure fantasy, but, like, if you’re trekking through the forest for hours and hours and hours, when you sit down to eat, like, you are so goddamn hungry.

It is the best tasting food. If you’ve ever been on a backpacking trip, when you make fucking ramen, Ramen feels like a feast. It tastes so good just to eat some, some shitty top ramen noodles. So like, yeah, you’re gonna get excited about that stew. Cause like, holy shit, you’ve been, you’ve been walking for like seven fucking hours.

You’re hungry. Or when they stop at, to feast at like, Rivendell or whatever. Like, holy, yes, we’re stopping, we have to [00:59:00] stop for food at Rivendell. Holy shit, this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten. I’ve been fucking eating bugs for a month. Now we’re eating like elven fucking gourmet food. Oh my god.

I’m dying

Karlo: Yeah, it is rather funny, uh, because yeah, it’s absolutely that. You, you had, uh, I think you had mentioned something about lembas bread. Um, and, and

Raquel: Wonder I wonder if like does it taste like Power Bars? Is it kind of gross?

Karlo: I, you know, you know what I thought it tastes, it, it, it had to taste like the Host.

Raquel: No,

Karlo: It’s like basically because that that’s sort of like what what they look like except like big right like a little little

Raquel: I was just thinking in practicality like it’s survival food like pemmican or something where it’s like it’s not very good. But it’s it’s food. It’s food that you can eat here. You’re on a camping trip. You’re hungry We got we got a Power Bar like oh Okay,

Karlo: Yeah, I mean

Raquel: bar

Karlo: I Honestly, I think I [01:00:00] my my takeaway from Basically all the elvish and like even the entish stuff like the ents have like their little weird water . I think it tastes sort of sweet ish, but also it tastes I think the the descriptions I don’t have I don’t have it pulled up But if I remember correctly it was like it tasted like sunlight and growing things. So probably a little earthy probably a little sweet probably some other third secret thing, you know

Raquel: Tolkien was in the First World War. The effort these guys had to do to go through to, like, get tea or food.

Karlo: mm

Raquel: you’re eating canned, and keep in mind, if you light a fire, a cooking fire, you are giving away your position in the trench. So in order to heat up water for tea, they had to light, like, the tiniest little fire to keep from giving away your position.

Because you could fucking die! The enemy would see the smoke and, like, fire a mortar shell at you.

Karlo: mm hmm, or

Raquel: or they’d, like, they would boil [01:01:00] water apparently they’d boil water for their tea off of, like, the heat from the gun barrels or something?

Karlo: wild. I mean, it makes sense,

Raquel: Yeah, cause that shit’s hot! And, and, and like, even if you’re in a trench and you’re English, you want some fucking tea, goddammit.

Karlo: Yep. Yep. Well, and, and you had mentioned earlier about, um, rationing, uh,

Raquel: Oh yeah.

Karlo: And that’s one of the things I, I, I always roll my eyes when people is like, what’s his name, Edward? In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. “I mean, he sold out his brothers and sisters for Turkish Delight?” And you’re like, Motherfucker, they had not had sugar for months.

Raquel: Yeah. And he’s English. Like that’s probably the most delicious thing he’s ever eaten in his entire life.

Karlo: I, I have, I cannot say that I have had Turkish Delight.

Raquel: I had it and it was a disappointment, but I could see how like, a little World War I era British boy would be like, this shit rocks. It’s candy!

Karlo: this, [01:02:00] they, they’re in World War II. But yeah, they’re still rationing, yeah. Yeah,

Raquel: Still, that was not a good time for

Karlo: yeah, yeah, like part, part of, part of what’s in the background that isn’t really discussed too much, uh, is the fact that they were shipped off to an aunt or a relative’s house because of the Blitz.

Basically, they’re out in the country. Speaking of, uh, not being able to light even a cigarette because, uh, some bomber like catch your position, be like, Oh, well, open the hatch. There’s some people out there.

Raquel: Yeah, yeah. And, and, and like the way he focuses on it, and the way the book focuses on it, it makes Turkish Delight sound like the best fucking thing in the world. And obviously it’s symbolic of something else, because, you know, it’s a bit of a Christian allegory, this book. It’s just an example of a fantasy novel that uses food in a way that’s very effective, it’s symbolic, it’s also in keeping with the character, it’s appropriate for the world building that’s going on, and it reveals [01:03:00] something about this character, the world they live in, it’s important to the story, and like, I remember as a kid thinking like, Turkish Delight must be the best shit ever,

Karlo: Heh

Raquel: that everybody remembers this, this, part of the story of Turkish Delight.

And that is a part of a lot of traditional folktales that fantasy draws from. You know, like enchanted food or the apple in Snow White’s mouth and things like that.

Karlo: Even from, from, ancient myth, right? The reason Persephone didn’t, wasn’t able to come back all the way is because she ate, what is it? Six pomegranate seeds. And, uh, if he, again, if you eat fairy food, you, you, you may end up being glamored into staying in fairyland.

Yeah, it’s it’s just one of those things that pops up over and over again And I think it’s one of these things that also it’s a device to show you just how fucking important food is

Raquel: Right.

Karlo: and And how important it was to these ancient people. It’s it’s much much more on their [01:04:00] minds in part because they probably had scarcity that we do not know of


Raquel: Right, right. Or I remember in the Faust story, one of the miracles he gets is, I believe it’s getting grapes in the middle of winter.

Karlo: Huh.

Raquel: in one version of it that I read. I don’t know if this is the definitive version, but one of the miracles he shows is that basically he can teleport. Cause like, in order to get, grapes in midwinter, or whatever time of year it is at that time, like, there’s no fucking refrigerators.

Karlo: you, You reminded me of the adaptation, the movie adaptation of From Hell, where supposedly Jack the Ripper enticed the, the sex workers, to become victims basically by offering them grapes, because it, I mean it’s, Obviously, it’s, it requires a lot of work, uh, it is, it was considered at the time probably very posh to have grapes, you know,

Raquel: Oh, yeah.

Karlo: plus they taste great.

I mean, let’s, let’s, let’s face it.

Raquel: [01:05:00] They’re really good. It was this huge part, and he was, he was trying to impress somebody, somebody’s wife, who was a real gourmand, and he just magicked up some grapes, and it’s like, man, he sold his fucking soul for this. To be able to get grapes. Because, like, at the time, that was really hot shit.

To have grapes that time of year, there was no way to get fucking fresh grapes in, in the winter months, so… another thing to consider, how excited people would get for food In a, in a, in a society where, that’s just hard to get, where it’s really, really, really hard to

Karlo: Mm hmm. Yep.

Raquel: Okay, some more speculative fiction.

We’re moving into movies now, but the blue milk in Star Wars I know it’s a movie, but I had to mention it. It’s a silly background detail. But I think it’s interesting because it’s a silly background detail in a series where people kind of don’t have much in the way of bodies.

Karlo: Mm hmm.

Raquel: people are, it’s not very, a very like sensual film.

The Star Wars movies, people get their hands chopped off with a lightsaber and they just like disappear. They [01:06:00] don’t bleed. It’s just not a very body, not a very physical series, but this tiny little incidental background thing is something people have gotten obsessed with and seized upon.

To the point where like, Rian Johnson decided that in the sequels we have to show the space cow where the blue milk comes from. We have to show Luke Skywalker milking a big weird alien cow. It’s very important for people to know where the blue milk comes from.

Karlo: I mean, I, I would probably, uh, categorize them as weird manatees or something. Like it’s a sea cow. That’s for sure. Yeah. But, but yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s something that I will say is I considered somewhat disgusting to look at, but it’s also like, okay, yeah, he, he would, he would want to eat and drink something that can keep them alive.

So if that’s what you got, that’s what you eat.

Raquel: Well also for the character, that’s what he drank as a young person [01:07:00] right so like maybe it’s kind of nostalgic for him like maybe it’s comfort food for him to drink from the space cow. Yeah,

Karlo: I mean, how, how, this is the thing though, my, my brain is immediately going like, okay, so how prevalent were these sea cows? Because uh, supposedly the planet he’s on is supposed to be like, they can’t even find it. It’s no, no longer on maps, you know,

Raquel: yeah.

Karlo: he’s so, he’s so far away that it’s hidden away.

So I don’t think that Tatooine being another backwater had easy access to it. But yeah, it’s one of these things where you’re like going, Okay, so how did that work exactly?

Raquel: It just strikes me that people, I, I feel like a lot of writers will kind of overlook food when they’re writing, but then think about the one instance in which someone eats food in Star Wars, and like, holy shit, the blue milk! You

Karlo: No, I’m

Raquel: we’re obsessed with it! One time, somebody ate food in that entire movie series, and we can’t stop thinking about the food.

Karlo: There are people still mad about that scene. It’s been several years. We, we, you could let it go, it’s[01:08:00]

Raquel: Yeah. Alright, uh, going back to books, a book we covered, Woman on the Edge of Time.

Karlo: Mm hmm.

Raquel: plays a huge part in it. Connie is miserable on mental hospital food. When she’s living at her brother’s for Thanksgiving, she goes crazy, just raiding the fridge cause it’s like, “oh my god, actual food. And the Thorazine has worn off so I can taste it now.

Holy shit.” To the point where, like, her in laws are going like, “Damn, you’re eating a lot. Jesus Christ. Chill out, Connie.” “But I’m so fuckin hungry.” There’s a lot in there about the preparation of the meal, how the wife is preparing all this trendy food, cause that’s what you’re supposed to do, but she doesn’t eat any of it, cause she’s probably on diet pills and shit.

And Connie, meanwhile, is living in the vegan future. Where she’s like, “Ugh, can’t, fuck it, I just wanna, I just, I

Karlo: Can, can


Raquel: just want a chicken burrito.”

Karlo: She’s like Cypher in the Matrix. She’s like, I’ll take a fucking fake steak.

Raquel: Yeah.

Karlo: I’ll take, I’ll take a, a made up code steak, virtual reality steak, at least. Jesus, give me something.

Raquel: And, and I thought it was [01:09:00] interesting too how food is at this sort of communal, almost a cafeteria, in, in the vegan anarchist future. It is not in these individual little homes. That, that was also something considered, that you’re gonna have communal mealtimes, because it’s a communal society.

Karlo: Well, and it, it, it re, it sort of reinforces bonds, right?

Raquel: Yeah, yeah. No one’s dining alone in that society, and, and I think in… In the contemporary 1970s society, Connie does a lot of cooking and eating for herself, she does a lot of eating alone, or there she’s or she’s fed like, really crappy food in the institution.

Karlo: Yeah, well and and you just reminded me of the the complete opposite of a communal meal where Not only is what is her name in the movie Get Out? where she’s not


Raquel: the the Froot Loops!

Karlo: Yes, it’s she’s not only eating alone But also segregated her own food She can’t

Raquel: eating Froot Loops [01:10:00] individually with her fingers and then sipping the milk separately, and it’s really fucking weird.

Karlo: such a fuckin weirdo thing to do. It’s great. It also…

Raquel: weird, it’s wonderful.

Karlo: Up until that point there was a certain veneer of, I could see her being normal but being sort of pressured and that’s the scene where you’re like, oh no, she’s completely psycho.

Raquel: Yeah, this bitch is a freak. She’s eating her Froot Loops weird.

Karlo: Yeah.


Raquel: her.

Karlo: but again, I think that speaks to character, right? It speaks to, how she eats even a shitty food. It sort of tells you a lot about what type of character we’re suddenly getting a glimpse of, right?

Raquel: Yeah.

Karlo: I also have A Song of Ice and Fire and Red Wall, uh,

Raquel: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. George R. R. Martin fucking loves food.

Karlo: Oh, you think

Raquel: loves food. He loves food. I love him. I know some people complain about feasting scenes in fantasy novels, but I actually kind of like them because I think it’s kind of charming where, [01:11:00] the author, you get to see that the author is a great big fat kid and they’re excited. Going like, “if I could plan a fantasy feast with a bunch of elves, here’s what I would eat,” oh, it’s actually kind of sweet.

Karlo: No, I, I love it. Also. He, he is, he’s got a good eye for where in society, What’s available to who in society where they stand, right? For instance, the first one I have is, when Arya is, out on the streets, fending for herself, and it says, “In the bottom, there are pot shops along the alleys.

Huge tubs of stew had been simmering for years and you could trade half your bird for a heel of yesterday’s bread and a bowl of brown. And they’d even stick the other half in the fire and crisp it up for you as long as you plucked the feathers yourself.” So, you know, this is basically, she’s caught herself a little squab, like a little pigeon.

And she’s summing up her, trying to figure out what her options are for food. Cause she hasn’t eaten, at that point she hasn’t eaten in a couple of days.[01:12:00]

Raquel: Oh god.

Karlo: And then, uh, on the other, complete other side of the spectrum class wise, right? A royal feast.

Raquel: Right.

Karlo: “All the while, the courses came and went. A thick soup of barley and venison, salads of sweetgrass and spinach and plums, sprinkled with crushed nuts, snails and honey and garlic.

Sansa had never eaten snails before. Joffrey showed her how to get the snail out of the shell and fed her the first sweet morsel himself. Then came trout fresh from the river baked in clay. Her prince helped her crack open the hard casing and exposed the flaky white flesh within. And when the meat course was brought out, he served her himself, slicing a queen’s portion from the joint, smiling as he laid it on her plate.

She could see from the way he moved that his right arm was still troubling him. Yet he uttered not a word of complaint,”

Raquel: Right.

Karlo: just lavish, just like so much food.

Raquel: Oh, and something to keep in mind, too, is, I don’t know if we talked about this, but [01:13:00] the effort it takes to prepare something, too. We kinda, we take that for granted now because there’s so much available, pre made, or we have modern conveniences like blenders and electric stoves and shit, but like, back in the day, certain foods that are really easy to make now took insane amounts of effort because you did not have modern conveniences.

For a long time, gelatin, jello, was a really kind of fancy food, because like, who had a refrigerator? No one.

Karlo: Yeah, you, you, you, you might have an ice box, but that was exactly what it sounds like.

Raquel: Or, or before food processors, the effort it took to just grind shit up.

Karlo: Yep.

Raquel: insane. You had, if you wanted to make a paste out of nuts, you had to grind it with a mortar and pestle.

Which is probably why marzipan was such an amazing treat, because like, grinding that shit up with a mortar and pestle. It’s gonna take hours. It’s gonna be so goddamn hard to make. One of, one of George Washington’s favorite desserts was [01:14:00] called an Orange Fool. I’m, I’m going based on the, the Townsend’s YouTube channel.

Is that, and the reason it was such a treat for him, It, it’s basically just like a sweet orange sort of smoothie, like mango lassi type thing. But in order to make it, you had to continuously stir a drink over a low flame for an entire hour.

Karlo: Mm

Raquel: So… If, in order to be able to have that, basically you had to be insanely rich, and, Washington’s case, he, he was a slave owner, so that’s why he was able to drink it. If you were a peasant, you could not fucking stir a cup for an hour, you had shit to do, you were tired.

Karlo: We had, Joked around offline about stew being this thing that’s like, “Oh, so, so cliche in fantasy to have a stew.” And it’s like, I mean, sure. And again, I think this goes to certain assumptions, right? I think that one of these things, the sort of the contrary nature, the contrary nature of, people like trying to [01:15:00] outdo the old timers, talking about stew, is that they throw the baby out with the bathwater.

It’s not that stew wasn’t made, and sure, it takes effort. You would have to have a stationary, like in, in the, the scene that I described with Arya wandering the streets. You do have to have a stationary place to… put a pot over a fire and keep feeding that fire over and over again until the stew is ready, right?

But that doesn’t mean that you cannot, that, that it wasn’t a common enough thing. I want to say several years ago now I made, uh, bigosh, which is like, I, I believe it’s a Polish hunting stew.

Raquel: Ooh.

Karlo: It was delicious. You have like at least three different types of meat in there, like a type of kielbasa or sausage, some sort of beef, and I forget exactly, the other thing, but, lots of cabbage.

Uh, prunes. And it needs, it needs, it, it, it tastes delicious. Believe me, it, it, it sounds odd. I thought it [01:16:00] was odd as well, but I was like, hmm, let’s see how it tastes. I think there’s pork, uh, pork is also included. So that, that combines well with the pork. Anyway, the, the point that I’m trying to make here is that as I was cooking, I was thinking to myself, See, this is, Precisely the name, the, the, the name it has, Hunter’s Stew, makes perfect sense because this is exactly, you’d set up camp, you’d range out, and in the meantime, someone’s tending to the fire and they may have brought a little cured meat and they slice it into the stew and

it slowly

Raquel: prunes with you, it’s dried.

Karlo: Yep, yep, exactly. And by the time you’ve perhaps caught yourself a boar or whatever, you put that into the stew as well, you know, who knows?

Raquel: Yeah, it takes a while, but you can make it in one big pot, over a fire,

Karlo: And several, several people eat.

Raquel: yeah, several people eat, you throw in whatever you got, and you just let it sit while you’re hanging around your cookin fire, and eventually you will have something edible.

Karlo: Yep,

Raquel: And hearty. [01:17:00] And, and if you have, if you are camping, you’re, you’re hungry as shit.

You’re so goddamn hungry.

Karlo: It’s

Raquel: That stew’s gonna taste awesome. It’s gonna taste so good.

Karlo: yeah,

Raquel: there’s a reason people ate stew. ’cause like, that’s what you can make with one pot. They probably didn’t saute things very much. You gonna make a souffle on the trail? What else are you gonna, what else are you gonna make, man?

Karlo: Well, I mean, even something like bread, you needed to build a stove, uh, an

Raquel: I mean, you can make a type of bread, by sort of putting it near the fire, and rotating it, but it’s def Like, maybe a flatbread type thing, not, you know, a traditional loaf.

Karlo: Yeah,


Raquel: a fucking ciabatta.

Karlo: something, something like Johnny Cakes or something like

Raquel: Yeah, you could make a sort of bread, like a flatbread, a pita bread type stuff.

Well, maybe not exactly pita, but you know, pita bread shaped. Stuff, but like, you’re not making a loaf of sandwich bread

Karlo: Yes,

Raquel: there. You’re not building a goddamn oven.[01:18:00]

Karlo: Yeah, bakeries are a big deal, man.

Raquel: Yeah.

Karlo: They really, they, they always were, as soon as we, we figured out, how to make bread.

Raquel: Oh yeah, there were, there were all these customs of bread, there were scandals of people trying to put sawdust in bread. There were, bakers would have a mold, a bread mold, and that would have a special stamp at the bottom to prove that it wasn’t like, counterfeit bread.

Because people would try to like, make counterfeit bread.

Karlo: They would also, like you said, they would cut it with, different things to make the, the wheat. There was… Plenty of riots, that happened even in, I think, in New York City itself. There was, uh, was it the Bread Riot? I forget exactly the name of it, but there was, there was a couple of riots that basically proceeded because they had found out that the, the wheat prices had gone up.

And so obviously the bakers… cut their, their ground wheat with other things to make it last, to stretch it, stretch it out and [01:19:00] it just, I mean, you can’t really digest sawdust, so

Raquel: Yeah. It’s not a good time.

Karlo: Yeah, you’re gonna, you’re gonna sort of like, hey, I don’t feel, I feel full, but I feel weak, why?

Raquel: Yeah, I don’t feel good. So, so just, yeah, no, it’s a cliche of stew in the fantasy novel, but it’s a cliche for a reason, because that’s what you eat when you’re on a backpacking trip, man. That’s what you do.

Karlo: That or, like we, we mentioned dried stuff,

Raquel: Yeah.

Karlo: uh, hand pies, that type of thing.

Raquel: Yeah, what’s travel food? What kind of foods can be preserved and travel? I mean, you might have like lemnus bread or lembas bread or whatever it’s called in the fantasy novel, but there might be some kind of like fantasy novel version of, Whatever, of some kind of travel food. So that might be something to think about.

Every society had, the travel food that’s edible, but not necessarily the tastiest [01:20:00] thing. But this is what you bring with you because it does not go bad. Like we mentioned before, but pemmican. Pemmican was this sort of jerky that’s apparently terrible to eat, but it is calories. It is calories and protein and fat and it is… Survival food.

Karlo: Mm hmm. Did, did you know that jerky, the word itself is derived from, as I understand it, from Incan practices?

Raquel: I did not know that.

Karlo: The Incans used to carry around basically they would freeze dried, or air dried, chunks of potatoes and carry them in little sacks. Specific, specifically, I think it was reserved a lot of the time for runners or messengers.

Raquel: Oh. Carb loading, holy shit.

Karlo: Yep, yep. And so,

Raquel: Oh, that’s so smart.

Karlo: It was originally I think the the word in I I don’t know if it’s Quechua, but i’m gonna guess it might be Or whatever Quechua was [01:21:00] back then, uh would would have been charqui

Raquel: Huh.

Karlo: So, yeah, it’s it’s it’s fascinating to to find out like how exactly How exactly food was appropriated? Next next up noodles. No. No. No, we’re not gonna

Raquel: We are not starting noodle discourse

Karlo: dis, no noodle discourse

Raquel: We’re not doing that. Oh, uh, oh, another example. This is kind of a, more of a sci fi than a fantasy novel, but The Iron Dream, I thought was kind of interesting with the way it used food to reveal the characters. So this was a Norman Spinrad’s, like, basically, what if Hitler wrote a fanfic?

Instead of becoming a dictator, what if he just sort of self published some fanfic? So Hitler’s little Mary Sue self insert character is a strict vegetarian. Because in the world of this novel, everything’s got some sort of environmental pollution in it. Plants have less… pollution in it, because, you know, animals, they’ll eat a lot of plants, so this contagion will stay in their bodies, and they’ll have more pollution in their bodies, so it’s dirty and [01:22:00] impure.

And this is a guy who’s obsessed with physical purity. So he is a strict vegetarian to keep the pollution out of his body, and it’s this really interesting way to reveal what’s going on in the world of the story, and also the main character’s interests, and also the sort of pseudo author his own personal obsessions.

Karlo: hmm.

Raquel: really cleverly done. It’s a really fascinating book, even though it’s incredibly unpleasant to read.

Karlo: You mentioned the purity in food. And I was like, Oh, this character met up with the Kellogg guy, huh?

Raquel: Oh god, the guy. Oh my god, so for those of you who are, don’t know this, the guy who invented cornflakes was like a really weird, fad doctor in like the 1800s who invented cornflakes because he believed they would prevent people from masturbating. Which, at the time, people thought caused insanity and criminality, it was, it was a weird time.

We have a lot [01:23:00] of weird obsessions with food, that is not new. 18, 1800s I think we were even weirder, so, I guess the seed oil guys are pretty comparatively normal compared to that, those guys. But like, God, I’m fucking obsessed with that weird diet shit, he was a fascinating man. But, but like that, that’s something that can show a person’s obsessions and neuroses and a lot of times a big germophobia and a fear of impurities comes along with fascism with this cruelty.

And I found that character trait interesting because it’s almost an inversion of an instance of food obsessions in horror, which is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The character Renfield is obsessed with eating animals that are higher up the food chain because he believes the more lives you consume

means you’ll get to gain immortality, like a vampire does. So it’s, I think, a bit where an asylum doctor sees that Renfield has been, either keeping a notebook or doing, you know, the stereotypical crazy person writing on the walls thing of [01:24:00] doing basic math of, like, okay, How many flies would a spider eat?

How many spiders does a bird eat? How many birds does a cat eat? And he’s doing this math to figure out what is the highest animal on the food chain that I can eat in order to consume all of these lives at once.

Karlo: He wants to become an apex predator

Raquel: He does basically cause Dracula is an apex predator. He eats humans and he thinks maybe if I eat more lives, I can be like Dracula kind of, or at least live forever like Dracula does.

Karlo: He just didn’t have as much commitment as Dracula. Yeah. He, he, he didn’t

Raquel: didn’t have that grindset.

Karlo: Yeah, he needed, he needed like just straight up go, Okay, I gotta eat humans.

Raquel: Yeah. Yeah, you know why Dracula’s so good? It’s cause he wakes up even earlier than anyone else. Oh, you wake up at 5am in the morning? I wake up before the morning. I wake up at sundown before the morning. How about that, fucker?

Karlo: Behold my garage. You think I only keep cars in here? Look at all the books on the [01:25:00] walls. Vlad Tepes is nothing but a grindset mentality. He reads everything.

Raquel: He doesn’t drink wine ’cause it’s got too many carbs.

Karlo: That’s it. I’m on a very strict diet.

Raquel: he was the original influencer eating raw food. The guy’s eating like butter testicle sandwiches? He looks down on them like, oh, just drink blood.

Karlo: He’s like, you need to go to the baby diet. You just eat babies. Look

at my

Raquel: like the, the blood, it’s like the juicing equivalent

Karlo: Oh, God.

Raquel: of like the raw liver people. He’s like Juicero, basically,

Karlo: my god, he,

Raquel: it back!

Karlo: he brought, he brought it back.

Raquel: We’ve come full circle!

Karlo: Tepesh invented the Iron Maiden because that was actually his Juicero.

Raquel: But then there’s a big scandal because it turns out you don’t need the Iron Maiden, you can just squeeze the person. He just gets like a really, he just gets like a really weak guy, and an average person can just squeeze him.

Karlo: Hehehehe [01:26:00] Yeah, it just like vomits blood up.

Raquel: They just let Mina squeeze somebody, it’s like, “I can squeeze this as good as the Iron Maiden does, and I’m an average woman.”

Karlo: There you go. I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m not the Iron Maiden, I’m just the regular

Raquel: Just a regular maiden. Just the nerd who gets to live. She’s the Laurie Strode. Compared to the slutty Lucy who’s too sexy to live.

Karlo: Sadly, sadly, much too sexy.

Raquel: Too sexy to live.

Karlo: She was too sexy for that dirt. Um, all right, I, I, I, I,

Raquel: we’ve been going on for an hour and a half. So I think we should wind down.

Karlo: Yeah, we’re, we’re just making jokes now. We’re

Raquel: goofing now. We’re just, we’re just riffing. We’re just being silly. But, uh, any final thoughts?

Karlo: Uh, bon

Raquel: Bon appetit. Buen provecho. Eat

Karlo: to the chef.

Raquel: Yeah, and thank you all for listening. Until next time, keep eating good things and keep writing good.