Food and Produce

In a world without drive-throughs

Agrarian Economy

     The Alathaya have an economy that thrives primarily on pastorally produced goods.  The vast majority of settled Alathay land is farmland of some variety.  Nearly all cities are surrounded by the fields of their citizens.

Notable Products

Bia - one of the most significant products in all of Alatha, the bia is a small perfectly round bluish-gray fruit with a flavor something like a mild olive with grain-like hints.  It grows on wide gnarled low hanging trees with long willow-like leaves.  the leaves themselves are frequently used, possessing an acidic bite which turns darker and sweeter as they age.  The leaf buds are quite bitter, something like hops, and used as a flavoring agent.  Most important is the fruit itself, used in countless dishes and is a nutritional staple.  When dried, the grainier flavors come through.  The oil is probably the most important thing to come from the bia fruit and is used for cooking, lamps, lubrication, leather work, and more.  A bia tree was the symbol of the ancient Kio empire, which ruled all of Astelan and much of Mela and Dameree before the Age of Chaos.

Lopo - second only to the bia in significance, the lopo is a deep red fruit grown on vines, with a flesh like juicy stonefruit and a taste that is somewhere between cherries, red grapes, and acai berries when ripe and apricot and white grapes when "white" or unripe.  The vines grow quite rapidly and must be pruned often to yield a juicy crop.  The fiber from the prunings is used to make rope or rough cloth.  The juice is used in its ripe or white form and both are fermented to make wines.  The skins and remaining juices left after a "first press", are rather bitter, are "double pressed" to make a bittersweet flavoring agent or triple distilled to make liquor.

Tifi - a quite juicy red fruit that grows on small shrubby plants with thin waxy leaves, the tifi berry is very sweet with a flavor like very ripe raspberries and strawberries.  The juice is a common drink nearly everywhere and is a favorite of children due to its sweetness.  The skin of the berry is actually a clearish orange color once the red juice is removed and the skins are used as a dyeing agent, yielding a deep orange favored by followers of Zihth.  Prostitutes are sometimes referred to as  "tifiya" in slang.

grains - various grains are grown throughout Alatha and are probably the most produced agrarian product

animal products - from meats and food products to leather and wool, animal products are needed in any market.  Milotho is know for its wool production and sprawling pastures.

reeds - farms often set themselves alongside rivers to harvest various reeds which are used for making everything from linen to paper to thatch

honey - miniscule long tailed hummingbirds called Pikiya are responsible for pollinating many of the larger crops cultivated by the Alathaya.  They are not actually tamed, but rather kept in colonies which are built in fields.  They produce a honey within these colonies which is harvested and used as a sweetener.

seaweed and fish - farms are by no means limited to land.  Alathaya see the sea as the "field of Wee (the Aygeema of water)" and harvest many products from it.  Most notable are salt, fish (probably the most commonly eaten meat alongside pegiya), shellfish, and seaweed.  Seaweed of various types are used in many dishes and some types are used in making rope, bandages, and is frequently used as fertilizer