- Lt. Cmdr. Dr. Amadeus O'Reilly
Ohniaka III | Culinary Resources, Local Cuisine Customs
Regarding xBs' Unique Approach To Food and Drink (and concerning bodily compatibility)
As is with the endless variety of xBs, their abilities to consume biomatter (any sort of food or drink) vary highly according to their initial assimilation and/or creation by the Collective. While the technicalities regarding xBs' biological/cybernetic makeup will be discussed further in other sections, a large percentage of the xB population are able to eventually eat and drink the longer they're separated from the Borg.
Ohniaka III's endemic plants and seafood create unique dishes when interpreted by xB diaspora species’ methods of cooking, though some have imported limited amounts of farm animals from other planets for specialty livestock rearing (that can also be used for textiles and other byproducts). As former Borg, their adaptation abilities eliminate most allergen testing requirements when needing to determine an individual's compatibility with the planet's macromolecules– offering newly-reprised xBs a myriad of dietary options for their awakening palates. xB portions, typically very small by way of Borg-influenced appetites, end up resembling a "tapas" style tasting, with xB banquets resembling large sampling galleries with foods served as canapés. Although primary cellular nourishment and rejuvenation might come from regeneration alcoves or other biochip energy conversion methods, xBs' organic systems can be rekindled so they may savor the experience of individual taste (even if in extremely limited portions and flavor potencies due to bodily sensitivity and efficiency).
On an agricultural level, Ohniaka III's plant life is extremely durable and resembles most early Devonian period plant life, with a few hardy seed-bearing fruits, root vegetables, and herbs. Even with their adaptive capabilities, Cubesfall Progenitors had to scout for edible plant life that was possible to selectively farm and hybridize as their bodily functions began to re-emerge. Certain succulents (such as the utilitarian-named Rustleaf) are able to be sliced as whole logs, roasted or seared with a rather juicy interior that recalls the taste of earthen bacon (with some variants of Rustleaf able to be fermented into alcohol, creating a rather potent sherry wine/mezcal-like drink).
Community gardens and personal herb planters are extremely common among the Capitol City's eco-brutalist structures, with most city-dwelling xBs taking turns tending to these small farms to support communal agriculture. More solitude-preferring xBs, however, are able to learn farming techniques perfected by Progenitors to tend Ohniaka III's larger crops like imported grains and rices (with a few xBs growing produce from their species' home planets once approved by soil and atmospheric compatibility tests). Living on the Capitol City's outskirts, these ascetic xBs manage farm plots in the far-off shadow of Cube 5219's wreckage, and might even rear aforementioned imported livestock.
Fishing | Maritime Proteins
The planet is host to handfuls of edible insects and amphibians that can be used as base proteins. But the primary source of protein for Ohniakan xBs comes from their nanoprobe-stewed seas, and their coastal culture has fostered many recipes from this symbiotic relationship. Shellfish, mollusks, bivalves, and other types of animals resembling "fish" are plentiful in these formerly-untouched oceans, xBs taking only what they require due to their restricted dietary needs. Individual fishing, boating, and shellfish hunting is extremely common for those able to do so, with some xBs forming small clubs and communities to supply currency-free fishing market stalls to those unable to venture out. On the beaches of Ohniaka III's Capitol City, it's no surprise to see a lone xB scanning the early-morning beaches looking for clams, or a boat full of Andorian xBs returning from a northern sailing adventure with newly-discovered species of fish.
Fused vs. Blank Proteins
Because of the oceans’ technological inoculation, Ohniakan seafood protein comes in the ratio of analyzed “fused” and “blank–” similar to how cuts of meat are judged in the “lean” and “fat” ratio. While it can vary in regard to differing species’ hardiness, xBs and non-xBs interact with the nanoprobe-fused Ohniakan proteins much differently; whereas xBs’ nanoprobes inherently mix with the protein’s residual nanoprobes to create a ‘rich, salty and sweet’ taste, non-xBs report that higher-percentage fused cuts can taste like iron from a rare piece of cooked meat. While not lethal, non-xBs consuming too many fused foods can cause nausea, intoxication, and other digestive woes due to nanoprobe buildup in designated filtration organs, whereas xBs consider higher percentages of fused foods similar to “alcoholic desserts and delicacies."
WARNING: a non-xB consuming an uncooked/raw piece of high-percentage fused protein can result in an accidental food poisonings, possible infections of non-xB/Borg cybernetic augmentations, and near Null Assimilations if ingested, and should not be consumed unless antibodies have been administered within 24 hours by a Reclamation Project Medical staffer (or unless a stabilizer hypospray is within immediate access).
Provided Example Recipe
The following "cioppino-like" stew recipe was donated to the archive by Executive Director Hugh, who has a habit of spontaneously cooking for Reclamation Project staffers (or his living block) after particularly rigorous days of work. Terran substitutions (and measurement conversions) are provided after every Ohniakan ingredient for ease of replication emulation (.ie.: a "budonmo" is a red, savory, and bulbous fruit endemic to Ohniaka III, most similar to a Terran tomato). Andorian Spiralshell Clams can also be substituted for Terran Manila Clams, if you are unable to acquire them from your local replicator. The Spiralshells do not change much in regards to taste, but their cerulean hue provides a unique presentation element to the stew against the crimson broth.
NOTE: non-xBs are discouraged from seeking out higher fused cuts when preparing this dish, due to the aforementioned health risks.
Ohniakan xB Cioppino
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1.25 hrs Serves: ~20 xBs (6 Humans, 8 Vulcans, 4 Klingons, 5 Andorians)
1/2 lb (.25 kg) Andorian Spiralshell Clams OR Ohniakan Striped Clams, Scrubbed (Manila clams)
1/2 lb (.25 kg) Ohniakan Vesselclutch Bivalves, Debearded & Scrubbed (conventional mussels)
1/2 lb (.25kg) Stillwater Gaper <75% fused, cut into small cubes (cod filet, deskinned)
1/2 lb (.25kg) Coastal Silt Shrimp (white shrimp, peeled and deveined)
2 medium-sized Ohniakan Root Bulbs (2 medium yellow/sweet onions, thinly sliced)
6 Ohniakan Nolen Cloves (garlic cloves, pressed/minced)
3 tbsp. Budonmo Paste (tomato paste)
28 oz. Budonmo Sauce (tomato sauce and/or crushed tomatoes)
1 Brown Sweetfruit, de-pitted (mejool date OR 2 prunes)
1/2 Yellow Sourmouth (lemon, able to be squeezed)
1/4 cup Green Bitterleaf (curly parsley, chopped fine)
MISC. / SPICES
5 cups Coastal Sailfish Bone Broth (chicken broth, vegetable broth also acceptable)
1 cup Rustleaf Liquor (sherry wine)
2 cups water
2 tbsp. Ohniakan Red Olea Oil (salted butter OR extra-virgin olive oil)
2 Veined Stewleaves (Turkish bay leaves)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Roasted Redspice (smoked paprika)
1 tsp. Tan Cyminum (cumin, ground)
1/4 tsp. Spicy seedflakes (crushed red pepper flakes)
Drizzle and heat oil (or butter) in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add chopped root bulbs (onions) and cook them until tender/translucent.
Add minced nolen cloves (garlic), salt, pepper, roasted redspice (smoked paprika), tan cyminium (ground cumin), spicy seedflakes (crushed red pepper flakes), and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add budonmo paste (tomato paste); stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add Rustleaf Liquor (sherry wine); cook until scans indicate >15% alcohol remains (for non-xBs: until smell of alcohol disburses, est. 10 minutes).
Add budonmo (tomato) sauce, green bitterleaf (curly parsley) water, and coastal sailfish bone broth (chicken OR vegetable broth). Stir well, and bring to boil.
Squeeze yellow sourmouth (lemon) out over stew (do not add in lemon rind once squeezed), add brown sweetfruit (dates OR prunes) and add veined stewleaves (bay leaves). Cover, then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. Stir every ~5 minutes.
Remove lid, raise to low boil, then add clams and vesselclutch bivalves (mussels) and cook until both begin to open (est. 5-10 minutes, depending on what chosen proteins are).
Add coastal silt shrimp (white shrimp) and stillwater gaper (cod) cut; cook for another 6 minutes.
Remove pot from heat or put on a warmer, and discard any shellfish that did not open as well as veined stewleaves (bay leaves) and brown sweetfruit (date). Mind the possible-collected silt and/or nanoprobes at bottom of pot.
Serve with fresh bread. Preferred is Bosus' fresh baked sourdough from Coastal Grid 243 Farm 2.
AN: The recipe artwork was provided by Zoë / Indigo Allen Wickler (@indigoiseau)! Please find more of their work at zoeallenwickler.com or any other related social media!