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Author Topic: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)  (Read 31854 times)

NW_Kohaku

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #105 on: August 04, 2017, 10:51:31 pm »

[...]

So far as worldgen goes, I'm specifically questioning whether ice houses are period-appropriate, or whether they're anachronistic. Yes, there may be (much) more labor going into an aquaduct than one convoy of ice, but your aquaduct doesn't melt in a week, and they could build it over the course of years.  Roman aquaducts still exist in places, and if they were putting those up on a daily basis, Europe would be floating away. 

Ice boxes and ice houses, to the best of my knowledge, didn't really become anything beyond a novelty for kings until after the invention of trains, because it takes tremendous amounts of labor to get 7 tonnes of ice carved, then loaded onto a 7.5 tonne "wagon" and sent hundreds of kilometers away.  And that's labor that needs to be supplied fairly continuously (at least, throughout the winter), which wouldn't have been terribly feasible to do on a large scale with serfs that generally didn't leave their hamlets in their whole lives, since they need to actually have a large farming community already in the area where you're harvesting ice. (I.E. a big lake.)  Ice houses didn't really take off until after the industrial revolution freed up more labor and created better forms of transportation.  (It also takes specific tools to cut tons of ice in a hurry.   They made ice-cutting saws -steam-powered ones- for that job. That takes past-the-cutoff-date commonly produced Bessemer steel to make common steel tools that won't break carving 1-ton slabs of ice economically feasible.)

As far as it goes for players, I think it comes down to the value of eggs or vegetables versus milk or honey in the current implementation of the game.  Eggs are easy, and can easily feed a whole fortress with minimal effort, and farmed crops are self-sustaining once set up, while milk requires constantly punching the button to milk the cows again and again every few game months, and beehives take forever to get up to the point where they provide even a tiny trickle of food.  If nethercap is going to be easier to set up, I don't see many people spending more effort to set up an ice house that will require continuous maintenance. 

Also on the same front is the fact that for anyone to even WANT to stuff their beef in the freezer, then jerky, pickles, and jam need to be made into somehow inferior foods.  After all, if I can preserve my fruit near-indefinitely as candied fruits or jam, my vegetables as pickles, my grain as just flat-out grain, and my meat as jerky, and all foods are totally equal, why should I bother with an ice house in the first place? (Especially if those other options are built on existing workshops I'll already have, while the ice house requires snow/ice collection labors and storage facilities.)

That said, if it is possible using the same general sets of rules as we're already going to get, that's fine, but again, I think it's more of the sort of thing that should be an emergent gameplay consequence of better rules regarding thermodynamics than an actual explicit gameplay feature that the game will demand you do (to the point of having AI routines just to understand what an icehouse is and how to maintain it), in much the same way that pump stacks, dwarven perpetual motion devices, and minecart shotguns are just emergent gameplay consequences of the rules of the game, rather than the explicit way the game expects you to play.
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CLF3FTW

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #106 on: August 05, 2017, 11:38:10 am »

If foods will become perishable, could we have temperature affect their shelf life? Seems like a great use for nether wart and glaciers and could be a window to an ice trade in the future (historically ice could be transported a fair distance in insulated containers), and you would want to store different things in different areas (you would put fruits, vegetables, and unpreserved meats underground where it's cold, while you'd put grains and salted meats outside in dry climates or on warm stone to keep them dry).
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 11:42:03 am by CLF3FTW »
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Tristan Alkai

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #107 on: August 08, 2017, 10:26:19 pm »

[...]

So far as worldgen goes, I'm specifically questioning whether ice houses are period-appropriate, or whether they're anachronistic. Yes, there may be (much) more labor going into an aquaduct than one convoy of ice, but your aquaduct doesn't melt in a week, and they could build it over the course of years.  Roman aquaducts still exist in places, and if they were putting those up on a daily basis, Europe would be floating away. 

Ice boxes and ice houses, to the best of my knowledge, didn't really become anything beyond a novelty for kings until after the invention of trains, because it takes tremendous amounts of labor to get 7 tonnes of ice carved, then loaded onto a 7.5 tonne "wagon" and sent hundreds of kilometers away.  And that's labor that needs to be supplied fairly continuously (at least, throughout the winter), which wouldn't have been terribly feasible to do on a large scale with serfs that generally didn't leave their hamlets in their whole lives, since they need to actually have a large farming community already in the area where you're harvesting ice. (I.E. a big lake.)  Ice houses didn't really take off until after the industrial revolution freed up more labor and created better forms of transportation.  (It also takes specific tools to cut tons of ice in a hurry.   They made ice-cutting saws -steam-powered ones- for that job. That takes past-the-cutoff-date commonly produced Bessemer steel to make common steel tools that won't break carving 1-ton slabs of ice economically feasible.)

As far as it goes for players, I think it comes down to the value of eggs or vegetables versus milk or honey in the current implementation of the game.  Eggs are easy, and can easily feed a whole fortress with minimal effort, and farmed crops are self-sustaining once set up, while milk requires constantly punching the button to milk the cows again and again every few game months, and beehives take forever to get up to the point where they provide even a tiny trickle of food.  If nethercap is going to be easier to set up, I don't see many people spending more effort to set up an ice house that will require continuous maintenance. 

Also on the same front is the fact that for anyone to even WANT to stuff their beef in the freezer, then jerky, pickles, and jam need to be made into somehow inferior foods.  After all, if I can preserve my fruit near-indefinitely as candied fruits or jam, my vegetables as pickles, my grain as just flat-out grain, and my meat as jerky, and all foods are totally equal, why should I bother with an ice house in the first place? (Especially if those other options are built on existing workshops I'll already have, while the ice house requires snow/ice collection labors and storage facilities.)

That said, if it is possible using the same general sets of rules as we're already going to get, that's fine, but again, I think it's more of the sort of thing that should be an emergent gameplay consequence of better rules regarding thermodynamics than an actual explicit gameplay feature that the game will demand you do (to the point of having AI routines just to understand what an icehouse is and how to maintain it), in much the same way that pump stacks, dwarven perpetual motion devices, and minecart shotguns are just emergent gameplay consequences of the rules of the game, rather than the explicit way the game expects you to play.

Period appropriate: Three Wikipedia links: Ice house#History, Qanat#Ice_storage, and Yakhchal.  I haven’t managed to follow the citations (I tried, but the links didn’t help), but if this is accurate then ice houses were built and used by Babylonia, Persia, China, and Rome.  All of these are well before the cutoff date.  All of these were also large empires with large labor pools, as I mentioned in passing earlier. 

The yakhchal article also mentioned drawing water from the qanat in winter to freeze in prepared ponds or basins, located in the immediate vicinity of the “ice pit” (complete with a wall to block sunlight from reaching the ice pond, so ice freezes faster and deeper), then hauling it inside before the weather warms up.  Hauling ice from “hundreds of kilometers away” is not necessary, if the region has a winter season that is cold enough for ice to be produced locally.  The hauling can be done with wheelbarrows and buckets.  I admit that the cutting may be a bigger issue, but dwarven mining with a pick is ridiculously fast, so this idea should hold at least until that problem gets a more realistic balance; we can re-evaluate at that point. 

Toy for the wealthy: Storing ice when the ambient temperature is above its melting point is subject to the square cube law, which produces a powerful economy of scale, and the minimum viable scale is very large.  Leaving aside whether the above human civilizations actually did distribute the ice widely, dwarves seem to be much more egalitarian then humans (leaving aside your “Class Warfare” thread to make them less so).  If dwarves pull it off at all, it will be a community building, not just reserved for nobles. 

Meanwhile, a lot of DF players build silly projects just because they can (the wiki has three articles on the subject: Stupid dwarf trick, megaproject, and playstyle challenge).  A proper ice house probably counts as a stupid dwarf trick, but it does not really need to be anything more.  People in real life got along fine with mostly drying and pickling, and DF can follow suit. 

The hungry hungry hominids thread did mention in passing an expectation that at least some types of preserved food would have lower happiness/flavor boosts than fresh, and the cooling series would count as fresh for this purpose.  The benefit is probably minor, but adding it is doable. 
As for the resulting values:

  • Dried food should lose value unless it's seasoned while drying. This is subsistence level food preservation for fortresses that either lack access to other additives for proper curing and pickling or for when times are tough.
  • Other food preservation methods should have a chance to appreciate the ingredient's value somewhat. Smoked and cured meats along with candied fruits and vegetables could potentially be more valuable than the ingredients that produced them, for example.
  • Cooking will always yield a much more valuable food item regardless.

Emergent gameplay: I already said that, at least for NPCs in adventure mode, the coding to keep an ice house supplied with ice should not be much different from the coding to keep a shop supplied with goods.  The version where ice is harvested from lakes or mountains can borrow from code for temporary logging camps, and the version with special freezing ponds can borrow code from farming crops (there is a designated area analogous to a field, plus distinct phases analogous to planting and harvesting, and the process can only be done at certain times of the year).  This shouldn’t be very hard. 

Most players will get along quite happily without one.  Some will build them to brag about the fact that they can, and the game’s diplomacy code might be able to use similar bragging (to other civs in the world).  An ice house would be far from the only brag-worthy construction project in either case. 

One convoy of ice: DF does not model erosion in fortress mode (just in world gen), but aqueducts in real life do need to be inspected and repaired periodically.  Rivers are subject to erosion, and for many purposes an aqueduct is an artificial river.  Some aqueducts have the opposite problem: deposits of silt or minerals from hard water. 

I admit that the aqueduct has a much larger front to load, but I was trying to draw a parallel between maintenance on an aqueduct (the qanat type is especially noted for silt deposits that need to be cleared) and convoying ice. 

If foods will become perishable, could we have temperature affect their shelf life? Seems like a great use for nether wart and glaciers and could be a window to an ice trade in the future (historically ice could be transported a fair distance in insulated containers), and you would want to store different things in different areas (you would put fruits, vegetables, and unpreserved meats underground where it's cold, while you'd put grains and salted meats outside in dry climates or on warm stone to keep them dry).

It’s been getting requested for a while, and I assume it’s planned.  Note the date on this quote from the “Hungry Hungry Hominids” thread:
Drying should be able to be made faster by heat. We may need a more finely-grained concept of fuel (I don't mean [just] the charcoal/coke type of fuel) for this to make sense.

Temperature should play a part in food rotting, which would also imply that freezing food (i.e. storing it in a freezing environment, i.e. a stockpile in a chamber dug out of a glacier) would make it not rot (but you could have a risk of freezer burn if it's not stored in barrels)

To avoid bogging down the thread any more than I already have, on with the “food reactions” series:

Prepared Meals
Prepared meals would need a much more detailed interface to work properly.  However, the majority of prepared meals can be collapsed into three main categories: Stews & related, Sandwiches, and Salads. 
> Note that not all recipes are for meals.  There are also intermediate products that are complex enough to require their own recipes.  The main ones are Breads and Sauces.  Adding secondary spices when pickling or making jerky (smoking or salt/sugar curing) would also pull in the recipe interface.  Some types of cheese also qualify, and I’m not sure where trail mix should go. 
> In all cases, the primary distinguishing feature of a recipe is that it makes most sense to design it with an in-game interface, rather than establish it beforehand in the raws or the game’s code. 
> Detailed commentary on exactly how the recipe interface should run fits better in this other thread on re-working the reaction system

Stews and related
“Stew” is a set of ingredients boiled in a pot.  All stews (and related dishes like porridge and pudding) are eaten in a bowl with a spoon.  Most (but not all) are served hot.  A stew requires a broth, and usually includes a thickener and several different solid ingredients (which come in several different sub-types).  “Stews and related” can be savory or sweet. 
> This article on prepared meals covers stews first because most of the ingredient categories also apply to other recipe types, or at least have some analogue.  Analogues in other types of recipe will be mentioned as they come up. 
> With the exception of broth, all of the other ingredient types are optional in a stew recipe, although at least one should be present. 

1. Broth: The base of a stew is the liquid in which other ingredients are boiled. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

2. Base: Most recipes have a primary solid “base” ingredient; the details are determined by the context of the exact recipe in question.  I am assuming here that stews usually don’t have an equivalent, so they replace this slot with “Crust,” which is optional. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

3. Thickener: Added to slow the broth to a more viscous gravy. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

4. Meat: As a stew ingredient, this includes fish and most organs. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

5. Bulk Vegetables: A large portion of the calorie content of many stews is provided by vegetables of various sorts. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

6. Flavor Vegetables: Some vegetable ingredients are primarily added for flavor.  They are intermediate between bulk vegetables and spices. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

7. Beans and related: When beans are added to stews, they are usually in the form of whole (not milled) seeds. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

8. Noodles and related: Noodles and related items are covered in detail in the “Bread” section. 
> Other recipe types usually don’t have an equivalent. 

9. Spices and Herbs: These are added in very small quantities, not enough to increase the stack size of a prepared meal.  They do, however, add flavor and sometimes color, which increases the value per unit. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

10. Cheese: I am not personally familiar with any stew recipes that call for cheese, although that might just be my own small reference pool.  However, cheese is used in other types of prepared meal (salads and sandwiches), and qualifies as its own category of solid ingredient. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

11. Eggs: Eggs are liquid in the raw state (not counting the shell, which is usually discarded), but most bird eggs “set up” during cooking, and are relatively solid afterward.  This gives them distinct culinary properties. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

12. Oil: Stews don’t usually call for oil, but a lot of other recipe types do, and it offers unique features and benefits.  As I am using the term here, “oil” includes vegetable oils, tallow, and butter.  Some recipes may accept only a subset of this. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

A. Perpetual stew: While this method of cooking is not familiar to modern players, it definitely deserves a mention, since it fits the time period that DF is intended to emulate; a discussion of foods in a medieval fantasy setting would not be complete without covering it. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #108 on: August 11, 2017, 11:54:37 pm »

Period appropriate:
[...]
Toy for the wealthy:
The point I'm trying to make is that the exclusivity of most of this to the wealthy for that same reason of economy of scale is why it shouldn't be an assumed part of every worldgen human civilization.

There were water clocks in atiquity, too, but they're only in the game as emergent gameplay because they're exceptional things that only a few people have ever done, and hence, they're unique selling points of individual player fortresses, rather than seeing giant pump-and-pressure-plate-based mechanical systems in every random fort or human town. 

Keeping ice houses strictly in the realm of emergent gameplay from player actions is where I think ice houses should go.  (Same with qanats, actually...)

To avoid bogging down the thread any more than I already have,

I wouldn't worry about bogging the thread down.  This thread is from years ago, and hasn't moved much since then, so it's not like it was going anywhere else for you to interrupt it, and you're bringing some vitality back to it.

Prepared Meals
Prepared meals would need a much more detailed interface to work properly.  However, the majority of prepared meals can be collapsed into three main categories: Stews & related, Sandwiches, and Salads.

Well, the rest of this thread covers this in pretty heavy detail, and I participated in it back then, too, so...

I think that's a rather gross oversimplification, as unless you count a roasted game animal as a "stew & related", it's not covered, and I know there were plenty of times people just had a shank of mutton.  Similarly, various forms of baked goods outside of (the somewhat anachronistic) sandwiches were very common foods.  That's not even starting on any culture that ate rice as their starch... Is pickled vegetables, a slice of grilled fish, some miso soup, and some rice, all separated into different dishes (the classic Japanese breakfast) a sandwich? A stew? A salad? Even if you say the soup is a separate stew, and the pickles are a separate salad, the rice is what, a sandwich? And some simply grilled fish is a stew?

Likewise, I'm not sure you would really want to go into the details on this, as it may require a vast amount of micromanagement on the player's account if it did.  I already don't ranch cows because they take up too much micromanagement needing to remember to milk them, and needing grazing pasture micromanagement, while just designating some land for farming and having the seeds to start growing is all I need to have an indefinite stream of food getting cooked.  The system should be designed with an eye towards how it will impact the player.

I'd rather see something more like the "mead hall" setup I mentioned earlier in this thread, where players set up several workshops in the back room of their tavern that have some broad guideline for what sort of food they are meant to produce, and then set it out as options for the dwarves (or other tavern guests) to choose from.  I'd also want to tie this in with ideas like flavor profiles (or alternately, nutrition systems), so that they work in conjunction to give players an idea of what to aim for.  I.E. you have players set up a workshop serving a spicy dish, one serving a sweet dish, one serving a salty dish, etc.  That way, you basically just set up however many workshops as it takes to satisfy the flavor categories, and just keep them stocked with ingredients to throw in their meals. 

> Most of the liquids listed in the Pickling section would probably work as the broth for a stew (lye is questionable, and oil requires different procedures). 

Remind me not to try your lye corn chowder if I ever come over to eat at your place.  :P

10. Cheese: I am not personally familiar with any stew recipes that call for cheese, although that might just be my own small reference pool.

Especially if you're throwing basically any sort of curry or roast with a sauce into the "stew" bin, there are tons of uses for cheese, mostly as a sauce.  You might want to look up, for example, alfredo sauce (and a ton of French or Northern Italian cooking), or pretty much anything paneer is used for.

Also, yogurt is used in a lot of similar ways, including as a marinade, at least in India.

Many types of sandwich use sliced cheese. 

Again, this is really anachronistic.  Sliced deli meats and cheeses are a modern invention.  The entire concept of a sandwich was invented in the 19th century.

Historically, people ate pies.  Chicken pot pie is a decent example of a "main meal" pie, it has some meat and some vegetables.  Fruit pies existed back then too, of course. 

Pies also make a lot more sense as a means of storage and serving to large numbers of people in a dining hall, as you can just set out a pie on a table, people take a slice, and the pie is replaced as it is consumed.

11. Eggs: Eggs are liquid in the raw state (not counting the shell, which is usually discarded), but most bird eggs “set up” during cooking, and are relatively solid afterward.  This gives them distinct culinary properties. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Two words: Egg noodles. 

Egg drop soup, for example, is made with chicken broth brought to a boil, and then drizzling egg into the boiling soup so that they set into a solid as a train of thin noodles. 

Plenty of Chinese soups involve eggs.

12. Oil: Stews don’t usually call for oil, but a lot of other recipe types do, and it offers unique features and benefits.  As I am using the term here, “oil” includes vegetable oils, tallow, and butter.  Some recipes may accept only a subset of this. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

You can't have French cooking without tons of butter.  Likewise, stir-fries and fried chicken are apparently "stew" now, so you're definitely using plenty of fat or oil for that.

A. Perpetual stew: While this method of cooking is not familiar to modern players, it definitely deserves a mention, since it fits the time period that DF is intended to emulate; a discussion of foods in a medieval fantasy setting would not be complete without covering it. 

This would definitely be period-appropriate, but it would be nightmarish to code.  We're dealing with dwarves reacting to foods of different quantities dissolving into one another, plus we're dealing with various things that rot, and the rates at which they rot.  Plus, if I have, say, a gallon of chicken soup, eat half that soup, fill it up with half a gallon of pea soup, eat half that chicken-pea soup, then fill in half a gallon of onion soup, then eat half that 1/4 chicken-1/4 pea-1/2 onion soup, then fill it with beef soup... at what point of dilution does the chicken soup stop counting as relevant, both for tracking purposes, and also for whether it triggers preferences for chicken because there was a drop of chicken soup in that everything soup?  What if it's a chunky stew, how do you differentiate between eating the last chunk of beef from a chunky beef soup versus a pea versus the broth, itself?  Do we need grain sizes for these things? 

It would make far more sense mechanically to have a system where a kitchen is tied to two or more tureens or cauldrons of soup, and when one is emptied, they cook another batch to fill it up, while cycling the next batch of stew to the front. (Which would be more like what a modern buffet does.)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 03:55:20 pm by NW_Kohaku »
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Tristan Alkai

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Re: More reasonable food system (aka Down with prepared meals!)
« Reply #109 on: August 15, 2017, 01:28:26 pm »

Period appropriate:
[...]
Toy for the wealthy:
The point I'm trying to make is that the exclusivity of most of this to the wealthy for that same reason of economy of scale is why it shouldn't be an assumed part of every worldgen human civilization.

There were water clocks in atiquity, too, but they're only in the game as emergent gameplay because they're exceptional things that only a few people have ever done, and hence, they're unique selling points of individual player fortresses, rather than seeing giant pump-and-pressure-plate-based mechanical systems in every random fort or human town. 

Keeping ice houses strictly in the realm of emergent gameplay from player actions is where I think ice houses should go.  (Same with qanats, actually...)

I don’t think this debate will go any farther.  I draw analogies with versatile systems that are required for other aspects that are much more critical, and figure that extending them to something like this should be fairly easy.  You argue that they should be too expensive for NPCs to build.  I don’t think either of us will be convinced at this point. 

Qanats, on the other hand, are actually beyond the gameplay I can figure out.  The distances involved usually require sending diggers off the map, and last I heard that feature was only partially implemented.  Sending military squads to fetch artifacts is a good start, but not sufficient.  For that matter, a regular aqueduct would also involve sending workers and supplies off the map (building materials for the aqueduct itself, and food for workers and guards) and given the way construction and mining currently work (this to say, very unrealistically) a qanat is actually easier to build. 

There were circumstances in the real world that led to the development and use of both ice houses and qanats.  Dwarf Fortress is detailed and realistic enough that these circumstances can arise in its worlds, and the proper responses should be available. 

To avoid bogging down the thread any more than I already have,

I wouldn't worry about bogging the thread down.  This thread is from years ago, and hasn't moved much since then, so it's not like it was going anywhere else for you to interrupt it, and you're bringing some vitality back to it.

Thanks.  Good to know. 

> Most of the liquids listed in the Pickling section would probably work as the broth for a stew (lye is questionable, and oil requires different procedures). 

Remind me not to try your lye corn chowder if I ever come over to eat at your place.  :P

I did say “most.”  For that matter, even vinegar is usually more of a spice in the broth, rather than acting as broth itself.  I’m not sure about alcoholic drinks either.  I think I would mostly use whey once it is implemented and milking is properly automated. 

Egg noodles
11. Eggs: Eggs are liquid in the raw state (not counting the shell, which is usually discarded), but most bird eggs “set up” during cooking, and are relatively solid afterward.  This gives them distinct culinary properties. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Two words: Egg noodles. 

Egg drop soup, for example, is made with chicken broth brought to a boil, and then drizzling egg into the boiling soup so that they set into a solid as a train of thin noodles. 

Plenty of Chinese soups involve eggs.

I was under the impression that egg noodles were mostly flour (relatively conventional dough).  I seem to remember seeing “wide egg noodles” in dried form, which would have implied that. 
> Now that I have the reminder, I have eaten egg drop soup once or twice.  What I remember was a lot more homogeneous than the description I looked up said it should be. 

Prepared Meals
Prepared meals would need a much more detailed interface to work properly.  However, the majority of prepared meals can be collapsed into three main categories: Stews & related, Sandwiches, and Salads.

Well, the rest of this thread covers this in pretty heavy detail, and I participated in it back then, too, so...

I think that's a rather gross oversimplification, as unless you count a roasted game animal as a "stew & related", it's not covered, and I know there were plenty of times people just had a shank of mutton.  Similarly, various forms of baked goods outside of (the somewhat anachronistic) sandwiches were very common foods.  That's not even starting on any culture that ate rice as their starch... Is pickled vegetables, a slice of grilled fish, some miso soup, and some rice, all separated into different dishes (the classic Japanese breakfast) a sandwich? A stew? A salad? Even if you say the soup is a separate stew, and the pickles are a separate salad, the rice is what, a sandwich? And some simply grilled fish is a stew?

Likewise, I'm not sure you would really want to go into the details on this, as it may require a vast amount of micromanagement on the player's account if it did.  I already don't ranch cows because they take up too much micromanagement needing to remember to milk them, and needing grazing pasture micromanagement, while just designating some land for farming and having the seeds to start growing is all I need to have an indefinite stream of food getting cooked.  The system should be designed with an eye towards how it will impact the player.

I'd rather see something more like the "mead hall" setup I mentioned earlier in this thread, where players set up several workshops in the back room of their tavern that have some broad guideline for what sort of food they are meant to produce, and then set it out as options for the dwarves (or other tavern guests) to choose from.  I'd also want to tie this in with ideas like flavor profiles (or alternately, nutrition systems), so that they work in conjunction to give players an idea of what to aim for.  I.E. you have players set up a workshop serving a spicy dish, one serving a sweet dish, one serving a salty dish, etc.  That way, you basically just set up however many workshops as it takes to satisfy the flavor categories, and just keep them stocked with ingredients to throw in their meals. 

10. Cheese: I am not personally familiar with any stew recipes that call for cheese, although that might just be my own small reference pool.

Especially if you're throwing basically any sort of curry or roast with a sauce into the "stew" bin, there are tons of uses for cheese, mostly as a sauce.  You might want to look up, for example, alfredo sauce (and a ton of French or Northern Italian cooking), or pretty much anything paneer is used for.

Also, yogurt is used in a lot of similar ways, including as a marinade, at least in India.

Many types of sandwich use sliced cheese. 

Again, this is really anachronistic.  Sliced deli meats and cheeses are a modern invention.  The entire concept of a sandwich was invented in the 19th century.

Historically, people ate pies.  Chicken pot pie is a decent example of a "main meal" pie, it has some meat and some vegetables.  Fruit pies existed back then too, of course. 

Pies also make a lot more sense as a means of storage and serving to large numbers of people in a dining hall, as you can just set out a pie on a table, people take a slice, and the pie is replaced as it is consumed.

12. Oil: Stews don’t usually call for oil, but a lot of other recipe types do, and it offers unique features and benefits.  As I am using the term here, “oil” includes vegetable oils, tallow, and butter.  Some recipes may accept only a subset of this. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

You can't have French cooking without tons of butter.  Likewise, stir-fries and fried chicken are apparently "stew" now, so you're definitely using plenty of fat or oil for that.

Lots of related comments here. 

Micromanagement nightmare: A more detailed code for prepared meals means inns and such in adventure mode need to also have access to those reactions.  For the NPCs, world generation should produce at least a short list of recipes, potentially a lengthy one.  Presenting players with the same list would give a useful starting point, and the names should be self-explanatory enough that players that don’t care about cooking enough to dive into that section of the interface don’t have to. 

Multiple course meals: Grilled fish, pickled vegetables, rice, and a soup, all as separate dishes, would be a multiple course meal.  That is entirely outside the setup I gave above.  I ignored multiple course meals because I don’t see how to pull one off without tracking food in quantities less than one dwarf eats at a sitting.  Fortunately, that idea has come up in the thread before. 
I'm not actually suggesting dwarves should eat more food units in a single meal. I was suggesting to limit the supply of food in fortress mode by dividing all food sources by 10.
I envisioned it more in terms of cooks putting out prepared components for dwarves to assemble their own meals from (something along the lines of a modern salad bar or sandwich bar), but completely separate courses that dwarves take and consume simultaneously works too.  Jiri Petrew’s idea of more complicated individual cooking would also require the same feature

As a bonus, tracking smaller quantities of food would give benefit to butchering smaller livestock, such as rabbits, that give less than one dwarf meal’s worth of meat. 

It also shifts the dynamics when designing prepared meal recipes: smaller quantities become significant, especially for strongly flavored vegetables.  I personally would probably use meat this way as well. 

Roasted meat: Roasted meat was not covered in my list, since I never cook it that way, nor do I order steaks at restaurants (I’m not vegetarian, but a large chunk of just meat is not for me).  This is presumably not the only category that I did not think of when I was writing things up. 
> Writing the cooking and preservation interface, I would actually branch this function off smoking (I figure that the origin of smoking for preservation is the other way around).  It forms its own category of prepared meal.  The category also includes the grilled fish from the Japanese breakfast. 
> Smoked meat is a preserved food, while roasted meat is a prepared food.  Smoked meat is already edible as is, so going from there to roasted meat should be a relatively minor tweak, both in code and in “in universe” technique. 
> The location shifts from the Butcher shop to the Kitchen (or maybe not), and there is more freedom to add spices and sauces, but not all players will bother to go into that detail.  I personally would mostly avoid smoking in favor of sugar curing (given the way I play, sweet pod sugar is likely to be available in somewhat larger quantities than wood), but the option is there. 

That just leaves the question of how to implement the rice.  I am mostly familiar with rice as a base that something is poured over, similar to mashed potatoes.  The description you gave seems to indicate serving it cooked but plain, roughly equivalent to porridge.  Porridge is part of “stews and related,” so if this rice is presented similarly then I guess it follows suit. 

Simplistic categories: Yes, the categories are intentionally simplistic, and they don’t cover everything.  In all cases, the “and related” is there for a reason! 
> A curry with a sauce would indeed be listed here as a stew, since some admittedly hasty research failed to identify any reason not to. 
> Some curry recipes apparently boil off the water during cooking and are served relatively dry, which would be somewhat distinctive.  Still, while it falls off the Thickener scale as originally presented (soup > gruel > pudding > porridge), it can be implemented by extending that scale.  The rice from the “traditional Japanese breakfast” that you used for illustration also occupies this point of the scale. 
> Stir fry is similarly branched off stew, rather than truly part of it: the cooked components are significantly different if both flavor and texture than their counterparts in a boiled stew.  Cooking temperature and time are also different. 
> Sandwiches also have this sort of hierarchical categorization system. 

Anachronistic sandwiches:
Apparently I should have given an “and related” part to sandwiches.  The defining features are using bread to contain the other ingredients (and the mess of eating it), and that the unit is eaten by hand.  I lumped in both the burrito and (some of) the pies you mentioned.  At least precursors to the burrito seem to be within the intended time frame (although they were Native American, not European). 
> Even if the invention of flat sandwiches did not actually occur until the 1800s, I don’t see any reason it couldn’t have occurred earlier, unless the habit of eating bread as slices from loaves is also unexpectedly recent.  For that matter, pancakes sturdy enough to serve are also probably old enough.  (I am told that some precursor to pancakes is the oldest recognizable form of bread.)  Breads thick enough to provide both sides, but no more, also should be available, such as pita
> Pies are a bit of a mixed bag.  I understand that the cornish pasty is eaten by hand, which qualifies it as part of “sandwiches and related.”  On the other hand, the chicken pot pie I am familiar with requires a bowl (“sandwiches and related” don’t, by definition). 
> The worst case scenario is allowing players to “invent” sandwiches in our forts, which is no more anachronistic than the various computers that players are already building, and I would argue it is a lot less. 

More comments on perpetual stew:
A. Perpetual stew: While this method of cooking is not familiar to modern players, it definitely deserves a mention, since it fits the time period that DF is intended to emulate; a discussion of foods in a medieval fantasy setting would not be complete without covering it. 

This would definitely be period-appropriate, but it would be nightmarish to code.  We're dealing with dwarves reacting to foods of different quantities dissolving into one another, plus we're dealing with various things that rot, and the rates at which they rot.  Plus, if I have, say, a gallon of chicken soup, eat half that soup, fill it up with half a gallon of pea soup, eat half that chicken-pea soup, then fill in half a gallon of onion soup, then eat half that 1/4 chicken-1/4 pea-1/2 onion soup, then fill it with beef soup... at what point of dilution does the chicken soup stop counting as relevant, both for tracking purposes, and also for whether it triggers preferences for chicken because there was a drop of chicken soup in that everything soup?  What if it's a chunky stew, how do you differentiate between eating the last chunk of beef from a chunky beef soup versus a pea versus the broth, itself?  Do we need grain sizes for these things? 

It would make far more sense mechanically to have a system where a kitchen is tied to two or more tureens or cauldrons of soup, and when one is emptied, they cook another batch to fill it up, while cycling the next batch of stew to the front. (Which would be more like what a modern buffet does.)

Yes, programming this would be a nightmare.  I did try to give advice on how, but I definitely don’t expect to see it in the first pass of the cooking update, possibly not until version 1.0, if even then. 
> Thinking over the idea more, I remembered something that might be relevant: bug 3116.  A dwarf eating stew from the pot gets a random slice (random number from 1 to the total number of units of stew in the pot).  The upgrade to track food in quantities smaller than a dwarf eats at a time would be handy (allowing multiple independent rolls), but is not a strict requirement for this idea.  This sort of system would track ingredients for preference purposes. 

Preservation reactions: Spicing
I recently corrected a section that accidentally got dropped from an earlier post:
4. Player interactions: (. . .)
(Edit)> There would not be a large number of existing reactions, either.  It would be along the lines of
> There would not be a large number of new reactions, either.  There would be some, but they would be along the lines of the existing broad wildcard reactions: “smoke meat,” for example, does not need to be more detailed than the current “brew plant,” “brew fruit,” and “mill plants” reactions.  Even pickling is not much worse than glazing: there is an item to be glazed (or pickled), an item that becomes the glaze (or the pickling liquid), and fuel (pickling requires a water-tight container).  More complicated pickling recipes (adding spices) are entirely optional, and only players that care about it need to bother. 
> I estimate about a dozen new reactions (give or take a factor of two, depending on what gets lumped, what gets split, and which ideas don’t get implemented), spread across several different workshops.  That number is large by the standards of current food processing, but the Carpenter and Mason shops both have long lists of items they can make, let alone the craftsdwarf’s shop and glass furnace.  Interface complications from adding basic food preservation (not worrying about supplemental spices) would be, at worst, about even with current furniture production: there are a few reactions that are self-explanatory, and which almost everyone uses very frequently, plus a much longer list of more exotic options that are called for in certain circumstances. 

The analogy of furniture has a lot of other interesting parallels.  For example, both the Mason and the Carpenter have reactions to make chairs, tables, doors, and so forth: even if some of the products change names based on material, the two materials are still interchangeable for a lot of purposes.  Similarly, both meat and fish have reactions for smoking, salting, and sugar drying (and sugar drying also applies to some plants, especially fruit).  If the food preservation reactions are split across the Butcher shop, Fishery, Farmer’s shop, and possibly farther, then these sorts of duplicated reactions might push the number of new ones above the earlier high end estimate of two dozen. 

Continuing the furniture analogy further, spices are equivalent to decorations (for furniture, this is things like encrusting with gems and shells).  The basic product is perfectly usable without them, but the additions do increase its value, and the happiness of dwarves that use it. 
> The first complication comes from the fact that furniture is made, then decorated.  Spicing food does not have that separation of steps: preparing and spicing are done simultaneously, and the interface needs to reflect that.  Fortunately, the recently added “job details” menu should be up to the task. 
> I suspect that preservation reactions might replace the “minced” aspect of the current prepared meals, at least a large portion of the time. 

The next complication comes from the recurring nature of recipes: given shelf life issues being added back in, the current “repeat task” order is not a good solution.  It would be better to save the recipe to a separate list, from which it could be called up again later. 
> This is distinct from, for example, making a bunch of statues of a given god to put in its temple: the demand for those statues spikes for the current project, and is not likely to happen again at anything like the same scale anytime soon.  Even with an expectation of some future demand, individual statues have an indefinite shelf life, so a few extras during the project would be perfectly adequate. 
> A prepared meal is a different story: the current setup makes each prepared meal big enough to feed a small fortress for a season or more (an example from the current game: with 25 quarry bush leaves, 25 dwarven syrup, and two more ingredients, a total stack size of 60 isn’t very hard, and is enough to feed a fortress of 30 for a full season, 20 for considerably more).  The meal’s shelf life may be similar or inferior, so making a second one before the first is gone (or at least almost gone) is a bad idea.  Meals are made infrequently, and demand is much flatter.  If the exact same supplies are available (and, given that the first meal got made, they obviously were then and probably still are), it might be desirable to re-use the same recipe. 

Since it’s come up, I might as well add my notes on the Sandwiches category. 

Sandwiches and related
As the term is used here, all sandwiches can be eaten by hand; if it requires a knife, spoon or similar, (or a bowl, plate, or similar), it is part of a different category.  Sandwiches feature a crust, typically bread, which is used to contain the other food items, protecting both fingers and tables from the mess. 
> As a rule, sandwiches travel better than other types of prepared meals, which is relevant to soldiers, certain fortress workers (hunters, wood-cutters, and miners are among the more obvious examples), and merchants.  This role of sandwiches may lead to them being regarded as a lower-status food.  On the other hand, sandwiches may be an exception to Jiri Petrew’s declaration that prepared meals cannot be sold to caravans, even if the merchants will mostly buy them to eat on the road, rather than as a true trade good. 

1. Flat sandwich: “The stereotypical sandwich: two slices of bread with the filling between them.” 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

2. Wrap: “One large piece of bread, wrapped around the filling.” 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

3. Pies and related: “Dough is wrapped around a filling, and then the unit is cooked.” 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

4. Cakes: “Other ingredients are mixed into the bread, rather than wrapped with it.” 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 01:41:54 pm by Tristan Alkai »
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