As mer bodies have evolved to eat plants, worms and even some small animals and species of fish underwater, it is unknown to what extent they are able to eat human food or humans, mer food. Each mer realms has different styles of cooking. Food can be cooked through lava stoves and ovens, or waterfire.
Ingredients throughout the RealmsEdit
Animal and Dairy ProductsEdit
Jellyfish is mentioned as mer food as Orfeo- under the guise of Rafe Mfeme- needed jellyfish to feed his prisoners in Deep Blue. Becca drinks Moon Jelly soup in Dark Tide. Conger eel is hunted by The Black Fin Resistance and the Meerteufel tribe, squid is eaten too. Shellfish such as oysters, mussels (which were processed and sold as chips at the TideSide in the Cerulean Ostrokon), and barnacles are eaten as well, along with whelks, limpets and worms, including keel worms. Larger crustaceans, such as crawdads or crayfish are eaten. Sea mammals including walruses and dugongs provide milk, which can be made into cheese and other dairy products. In Deep Blue, Serafina and Neela eat walrus milk cheese. In Rogue Wave Kora offers Neela a jug of spiced dugong milk.
Eggs come from frogs (freshwaters, mainly) squid, crabs and more. Ingredients such as frog eggs, water spiders and leeches are abundant in the Freshwaters.
Fruits and vegetablesEdit
There are a large variety of underwater fruits and vegetables, many of them are similar to the ones on land. Water apples are a plump, crunchy blue fruit that grows on the water apple tree. Other fruits include eel berries, beach plums, silt cherries and sand melon. Reef olives were consumed throughout the series, as well as Saltmarsh melons.
Regional mer cuisine in the Six Realms are usually made up of ingredients that are abundant wherever they live. It may be that the mer's cooking styles, is influenced by the human lands they live closest to, and are culturally and historically affiliated with. The Swamp Queen Manon Laveau fed Ava a stew that was 'spicy and filling'- like human Creole food.
Not much is seen in Miromaran cuisine, but it can be assumed that their cuisine parallels terragoggs that live in areas like the Mediterranean, or wherever they are closest to depending on the region. Serafina mentions that she could smell the scent of water apples in Miromara, and they are known to grow there in abundance. her breakfast on the day of her Dokimí consisted of water apples, eel berries and pickled sponge, supposedly her favourites. Later, while in the palazzo in the lagoon, she and Neela consume sliced sand melon, walrus milk cheese, pickled limpets, and a salad of chopped sea cucumber and water apples.
At the Promising dinner of Serafina and Mahdi in Rogue Wave, they ate sea lettuces with spicy pink shoal peppers, saltmarsh melons stuffed with beach plums, and oysters glazed with snail slime. Dessert was silt-cherry sea foam.
Posidonia is a sweet wine made from fermented seaweed, Portia Volnero drank it while celebrating and gloating about her success in Rogue Wave. Sargassa tea is a thick and sweet drink, like all mer drinks, and it is served hot, drunk by Baroness Agneta who was also eating a sea urchin. Like other mer realms, Bubble tea is also drunk there along in other mer realms.
In Sea Spell, after taking back Miromara, the merls, minus Astrid who was reporting on Orfeo, ate refreshments of candied barnacles, pickled snails and salted sea cucumbers while drinking Sargassa tea. Brack was a frothy ale brewed from sour sea apples.
What little is seen of their cuisine is as rich and diverse as Indian cooking. Neela is known to have a sweet tooth. In Deep Blue, she brought boxes and bags of sweets to Serafina. Neela enjoys bingas and zee-zees which she appears exceedingly fond of, along with janteeshaptas (shaptas). Thalassa tried one made of curried kelp. Neela told that one of them was beach plum with comb jellies and salted crab eggs. Another was purple sponge with pickled sea urchins. She hated fermented sea urchin, though and spat it out.
In Rogue Wave, Empress Sananda, Neela's mother, offers chillawondas to Neela who declines. Later, Emperor Aran, her father, offers a plate of Kootagulla; many-layered pastries- and pompasoomas.
Later, Kora offers Neela spiced dugong milk, bowls of sea-snake eggs in a blue anemone sauce, plates of moon jellies stewed with shoal peppers and a spongecake studded with candied honeycomb worms.
Other Mer realmsEdit
Qin, Atlantica and Ondalina's cuisines have not been explored in detail. However, as Qin is an Asian realm, it can be assumed that Qin cuisine is derived from Asian cuisine. But in Dark Tide, in a market in Atlantica, it is interesting to note the food sold: marsh melons, water apples, squid and crab eggs, clams, and silt cherries- which are not mentioned anywhere else. A farmer claimed that crab eggs were delicious tossed with keel worms.
But Ondalina is known to have Månenkager- a cake made from pressed krill and iced with ground mother-of-pearl so that it shines like the moon. The baker drops a silver drupe into the batter just before it goes into the lava ovens, so that whoever found it, would have good luck. It is eaten during Månenhonnør.
As the Freshwaters are stretched over all the continents of the world, there is much diversity but little similarities. In Deep Blue, the freshwater market on the way to the Iele's cave sold braids of marsh grass, frog eggs, pickled crayfish and water spiders were seen in the market, while scallops, mussels, whelks and walrus cheese had to be imported.
At the Iele's cave, the supper consisted of salted frog eggs, pickled water spiders, plump leeches in algae sauce and a salad of marsh grass topped with crunchy water beetles.
In Sea Spell, Manon Laveau fed Ava a spicy filling stew of crawdads, salamanders and spicy river peppers. Coffee is not known to salt-water mer, but Esmé mentions pickled crayfish, spiced shrimp and cattail coffee.
Bubble tea appears to be a popular drink in all the mer realms. During Rogue Wave, Neela pretends to ask for Bubble Tea flavoured in water apple and fat-free. Mahdi loves beach plum-flavoured bubble tea with frog egg bobas. Ling's favourite flavour is coralberry.