Typical meals vary widely from world to world.
Upper world meals are almost always vegetarian or piscitarian. Fermented soybeans, quinoa, and spirulina algae are staples. Fresh fruits and vegetables (other than greens grown in vats alongside fish) are very expensive because they have to be flown in from offworld.
Most meals are cooked using sous vide methods. Wet cooking is seen as refined while dry cooking such as roasting is seen as barbaric, and sous vide is seen as one end of that spectrum. Servants often eat fish stews and creamed greens.
Pickles and relishes are popular but seen as generally unrefined.
Middle world meals follow a standardized format: meat (usually poultry or gazal) and possibly vegetables (usually root vegetables like parsnips, carrots and turnips) cooked in a wet method - usually in some sort of stew - served over a starch, with some sort of dairy to the side. That starch is usually something along the lines of couscous, small orzo-like pastas, lentils, quinoa, triticale, rice, or wheat. These accompaniments make up a large part of the stock of Beechdale Dry Goods.
Meat is typically from poultry or gazal. Oddly, the older the gazal, the more expensive the meat, as male gazal are culled while young unless immediately outstanding as stud material. Old, male gazal are said to bring a richer, deeper flavor to a dish. Old female gazal are said to have a nearly overwhelming flavor, and usually they are only eaten in sausages, which are quite popular in the winter. Meat is abundant and nearly everyone can afford to put it on the table. Even the most poor on middle worlds can afford to keep a small coop of chickens, quail or guinea fowl. Poultry meat is popular and eggs are seen as a lighter alternative to meat, often stirred into a vegetable stew like eggdrop soup before it is served over a starch.
Pickles and relishes are wildly popular and part of every meal. These vegetables are varied, usually minced, and usually pickled in an acidic sauce. These can vary from spicy to sweet to savory. Spicy cauliflower and sweet pearl onions are two popular flavors. A meal is not seen as complete without an accompanying pickle.
Bread usually comes in individual portions such as rolls or biscuits instead of loaves. It is said that the first sign of a family 'making it' into the middle class is the ability to have a steady supply of secondary starches at the table such as biscuits.
Dairy is usually cheese, especially cheeses equivalent to paneer or mozarella, but can also be extended to butter or even simply milk to drink instead of water, iced tea, or fruit juice. Since the working stock of gazal are overwhelmingly female, many businesses with a large stock of gazal also do some basic dairy farming. As such the combo of a carriage or courier service is often paired with cheesemaking or dairy.
Dessert is definitely seen as a luxury. In the summer, fresh fruit is common, but similar sweet treats are seen more as snacks than an ending of a meal. There are many dessert-wines and it is more common to have a glass of sweet, fruity wine at the end of a meal. Dessert is usually reserved for the upper-middle-class, though some middle class can afford a glass of wine after nearly every meal. When desserts are baked, they usually use fresh fruit or fruit jam to make tarts. Caramel and condensed milk (much like dulce de leche) are popular ingredients. Chocolate is extremely rare and expensive, and even the cheapest chocolate is for the upper classes only.
Candies are popular snacks, and most all of them are hard candies or taffies. Saltwater taffy is very popular, especially spicier flavors that bring out the saltiness, or salty licorice. These and extremely hot cinnamon candies are seen as the 'manliest'. However, sour and sweet flavors are far more popular. Fruit flavors in hard candies are most commonly sold, along with herb flavors - sweet basil, sweet rosemary, mint, anise, clove and cardamom. Caramels are also wildly popular, often mixed with herbal flavors (such as cardamom caramel). Toffees and nut brittles are seen as traditional fall foods, especially pumpkin-seed nut brittle.
Lower Worlds and the WildsEdit
As clean water is often in relatively short supply while wood is not, most cooking methods in lower worlds are dry cooking methods, especially baking and roasting. The usual system of meat, starch and pickle remains the same, though pickle tends to be made from cheap vegetables such as zucchini and squash, or local fruits and vegetables gathered while clearing land.
Roasting meat is common but is seen as 'barbaric'. Nevertheless, the daily routine for feeding a company group tends to be along the lines of several whole wisent, split open and roasted all day, along with bread baked in the coals in special honeycomb-like jars. These rolls can be pulled apart when workers go through the line, carving off whatever bits of meat they possibly can - usually choice offal such as tongue goes first and the dryest cuts of the roast go last. Pickle and relish are kept in large earthware jars, similar to kimchi, and are the last thing to be picked up in the dinner line.