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Hobbits would only drink ales since lagers are not found on Middle-earth
December 15, 2013 1:44 PM   Subscribe

So, you want to eat like a hobbit do you? The big old dragon of Middle-Earth recipes is the charmingly retro 'Middle-Earth Recipes' (now with a more modern and photo-friendly blog version ) from which NPR's Beth Accomando has complied an all-day feasting menu suitable for marathon watching (or reading) assorted Lord Of The Rings media while Recipewise sticks to foods served by Bilbo in The Hobbit itself and explains the Victorian convention of high vs. low tea. (Author Diane Duane's own Hobbit-inspired recipe, Took Family Seed Cake can be made with poppy rather than caraway seed if that's your thing) Need something to do while digesting? Why not read about the history and meaning of the rural comfort food in Tolkien at Strange Horizons " Well Stocked Larders: Food And Diet Of Hobbits" by Stephanie Green.
posted by The Whelk (45 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hobbits would only drink ales since lagers are not found on Middle-earth

I bet Hobbits are the ultimate Real Ale bores, their own stools at the Hobbit pub and everything.
posted by Artw at 1:52 PM on December 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought Denny's answered this question with its Hobbit-inspired menu. You mean to tell me that Tolkien did write anything about the "Build Your Own Hobbit Slam"?
posted by vorpal bunny at 1:52 PM on December 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait, what? Denny's has a Hobbit tie-in menu?
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:57 PM on December 15, 2013


#America
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 1:59 PM on December 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


You can barely taste the hairy feet in the "Hobbit Sausage".
posted by idiopath at 1:59 PM on December 15, 2013 [2 favorites]




However, maize was grown only in the Americas until very recent times, so chronologically it could not be growing in Middle-earth when Frodo walks past.

Hobbits having corn seems to strain credulity.

But perhaps it was imported on Elven ships, or in the droppings of flying, fire-breathing dragons.
posted by justkevin at 2:02 PM on December 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


You know that scene in the movie where the Uruk-hai are born from muddy sacs and pulled out of the earth? That's kind of how I imagine the food at Denny's is created.
posted by The Whelk at 2:03 PM on December 15, 2013 [18 favorites]


Turned up in this thread to say LET US GO THENCE TO THE BUTTERIES

which is really what Bergil says to Pippin at one point when Tolkien is not fully switched out of Heroic Mode to Prosaic Mode. I don't know why I have neurons carrying that around.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:14 PM on December 15, 2013


erratum: I meant Beregond
you know, not the annoying kid, but his dad

posted by Countess Elena at 2:16 PM on December 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, you want to eat like a hobbit do you?

Quit trollin'.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 2:27 PM on December 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


If you should happen to want to knit like a hobbit, you might check out this blog post. [Warning: I wrote the blog post and this is an act of shameless self-promotion.]
posted by orange swan at 2:35 PM on December 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Too carby. Hobbits evidently aren't into keto.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:36 PM on December 15, 2013


Gollum however has the all fish diet and that dude is tight.
posted by The Whelk at 2:39 PM on December 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


(Is there a source for the "Hobbits would only drink ales since lagers are not found on Middle-Earth" title? Is it in one of the links? I searched but didn't find it.)
posted by incessant at 2:41 PM on December 15, 2013


The NPR link I believe.
posted by The Whelk at 2:41 PM on December 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow I just completely blew by that one. TY.
posted by incessant at 2:42 PM on December 15, 2013


And the last page of the recipewise link mentions ale.
posted by The Whelk at 2:44 PM on December 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is a dead cert that the very English Tolkien meant grains like wheat or barley when he wrote "corn", not maize, especially given his tendency to favour archaic usages.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:59 PM on December 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


Hobbits having corn seems to strain credulity.

The word "corn" doesn't mean "maize" in UK English, or at least it didn't in Tolkien's time. It just means "grain", or "cereal grain".
posted by mr_roboto at 3:05 PM on December 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


In conclusion, the Shire is a land of contrasts.
posted by history_denier at 3:06 PM on December 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Back when I had run of a ceramics studio with an attached 120 cubic foot salt kiln, I made a habit of doing a New Years Day firing, inviting anyone and everyone to put work in and help me do the 10 hour firing. I usually provided food and drink and since I had keys to the cinema in the art building I'd show a movie or two. One New Year's I showed the complete run of the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Halfway through The Two Towers people began dissipating, and I was left to finish firing the kiln by myself.

Later I asked my group why everyone had left and the universal response was, "Three hours of hobbits was plenty. I went to go watch football and drink beer instead."

I mention this only in case another foolhardy soul decides to watch the trilogy in one marathon sitting (or on the odd chance Peter Jackson is reading this...): It is not a good plan. You should have plenty of beer and a football game in reserve. Especially if you want to still be able to socialize at the end of the party.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 3:26 PM on December 15, 2013


I have done MORE THAN ONE extended viewing party of all three films and yes, it can be done, but by the end everyone is just kind of exhausted and/or crying and strung out, only able to mumble " that was ... A lot of movie."

The only people who came out unscathed was the Russian Cinema student ("Oh nine hours, so a short feature then?") and the opera dork who had previously sat through the three day long version of the OTHER well-known Ring Cycle. ( and mostly made catty asides about the music in everything but FotR.)

So yes, it can be done, if you pick your audience and entertainments right.

Copious ale and pipe-weed helps, with breaks for coffee and fresh air.
posted by The Whelk at 3:34 PM on December 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


in UK English

Okay that made me guffaw (Canadian English for LOL).
posted by srboisvert at 3:48 PM on December 15, 2013


Gollum however has the all fish diet and that dude is tight.

"I think my darkness enshrouded riddle-setter is toothless"
posted by Artw at 3:49 PM on December 15, 2013


well done sir!

A+++ WOULD EAT AGAIN
posted by mwhybark at 4:26 PM on December 15, 2013


So, you want to eat like a hobbit do you?

Nah. I want feet more like a hobbit.
posted by telstar at 4:54 PM on December 15, 2013


As someone with no arches and size 12 feet, no, no you do not.
posted by The Whelk at 4:55 PM on December 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Dessert Immediately Following Supper

But if you eat dessert right after dinner, what about bedtime? Sorry hobbits, I need that last goût or I won't ever fall asleep.
posted by rue72 at 5:42 PM on December 15, 2013


Gollum is not a good advertisement for the paleo diet.

Also I have to say I am VERY disappointed that the recipe page did not use "Elevenses" as one of the categories.
posted by salishsea at 8:14 PM on December 15, 2013


My LOTR marathon menu from last year:

First breakfast in the Shire: eggs, toast, a short cut to mushrooms.

Second breakfast in Rivendell: Bread, butter, honey, strawberries.

Lunch on the road: shooter's sandwiches, salad, lembas (honey shortbread).

Afternoon tea: scones, cream, jam.

Dinner: "What's taters, precious? What's taters?" (roasted), tomato soup, cheese, apple walnut pie.

Supper in Gondor: Pear and Stilton salad, spiced chicken pie with golden raisins, green olives and almonds.


It was a happy day.
posted by ostro at 11:37 PM on December 15, 2013 [11 favorites]


> Pick any FOUR items and experience Middle-Earth your way.

I have no words.
posted by mikelieman at 2:00 AM on December 16, 2013


But you should find lagers in Middle-Earth -- there are plenty of cold/cool climes which would lend themselves to that style. After all, lagering is the process of low-and-slow fermentation by bottom-fermenting yeasts, which can stand a bit of a cold snap and keep going. Lager yeasts are a product of evolution, not magic. The slow fermentation, combined with the long duration, can lead to a very clean, crisp set of flavours. I could well imagine a hobbit raising a nice glass of weisse after tending the summer fields too. Just 'cos Tolkien didn't mention them doesn't mean they couldn't have existed.

Ferment a lager at a slightly too high temperature, though, and they tend to go ballistic and activate the metabolic pathways which lead to diacetyl (aka butterscotch flavour).

So, in conclusion, Middle-Earth is a land of contrasts (hat tip to history_denier).

</beer_geek>
posted by nonspecialist at 3:28 AM on December 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


The word "corn" doesn't mean "maize"

See also the Old English Rune Poem:
"Haegl byþ hwitust corna": Hail is the whitest of grains.

Old English corna (the root of Modern English corn) is grain in general. As most are probably aware, Tolkein was a noted scholar of Old English.
posted by fogovonslack at 7:50 AM on December 16, 2013


And here we have corn, or as the Hobbits call it Sweet Canary nibbily munchbits.
posted by The Whelk at 8:00 AM on December 16, 2013


> Wait, what? Denny's has a Hobbit tie-in menu?

No Orca-Cola? Surely Bored of the Rings is canon by now.
posted by jfuller at 8:42 AM on December 16, 2013


So the elves also brought the Hobbits statin drugs and insulin?
posted by jfwlucy at 10:42 AM on December 16, 2013


Old English corna (the root of Modern English corn) is grain in general. As most are probably aware, Tolkein was a noted scholar of Old English.

You don't really need to be a noted scholar to know that, just British.
posted by Artw at 1:06 PM on December 16, 2013


w/r/t corn and new world crops, perhaps the reason Gollum does not know what a tater is may be that he first came into posession of the ring before New World crops had begun to appear in the Shirelike area he hailed from.
posted by mwhybark at 1:09 PM on December 16, 2013


Also no discussion of fictional food in fictional universes can be allowed to go on without a link to No Reservations: Narnia.

It just gets better and after
posted by The Whelk at 1:40 PM on December 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


From the fourth link: Tolkien altered the text from the first edition, to the second edition of the Hobbit. In the first edition Gandalf calls for chicken with tomatoes, in the second and subsequent editions Gandalf calls for chicken with pickles. To Tolkien’s ‘ear’ tomatoes did not sound right and play no more part in The Shire menu..

The usual contention is that Tolkien removed tomatoes for being out of place for Middle-earth, as they are native to the New World. The issue here, of course, is that the equally New World potatoes were left in the text of LOTR. It's been alternately suggested that it was simply too early in the year for fresh tomatoes - the Unexpected Party was in late April - so Tolkien substituted an item that could be stored.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:05 PM on December 16, 2013


The Whelk: "Gollum however has the all fish diet and that dude is tight."

Well, he did manage to live for a very long time on this diet. I bet it wasn't the ring but all those Omega-3 fatty acids.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:56 PM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bilbo Baggins Is a Girl
posted by homunculus at 3:50 PM on December 18, 2013


Distantly related:
No Reservations: Narnia
Anthony Bourdain's travel and food show, as imagined in... Narnia.
posted by Elysum at 7:12 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Since this post came up I've tried the meat pie, seed cake and porter cake recipes. All were quite good. To be honest, I didn't expect the seed cake to be very good, containing 30 g of caraway seeds, but it was surprisingly tasty.
posted by Harald74 at 9:01 AM on December 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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