Medieval feast of food on table

Game Of Thrones: A Guide To Food

Dinner Is Coming

It’s no secret that Game of Thrones has become one of the most ambitious journeys, high-budgeted productions, and discussed shows of all time. Last Sunday saw the series finale, with 19.3 million people tuning in to watch the end of an era.

 

We won’t get into spoilers, but what a wild ride this has been.

 

Because the show is now over, we thought we would recollect on the single most important part of the series; The food. Okay, maybe not the most important part, but we’re all about food here at Restaurant Equipment Club, so that’s what we’re gonna focus on. I don’t know about you, but whenever I see someone eating on TV, it makes me hungry. And especially when it’s from an older time. Kind of like the forbidden fruit concept.

We’ll be going through each house and location on Game of Thrones and their best-served dishes…other than revenge.

The North

Within the Seven Kingdoms, the North is considered to be the largest region, with the most notable areas being Winterfell and Castle Black. Because of how low the temperatures can drop up there, Northerners lean toward stew and broth-based dishes. Some common foods amongst the North are kidney pie, mutton stew, and ale (which is their absolute favorite part…and ours too). Kidney pie is made with calf kidneys, pastry dough, and gravy. Pretty straightforward. And just like chicken pot pie, there is an abundance of cooking options you can choose from. As far as their stews go, any game meat will do, whether it’s beef, lamb, or oxtail.

Bread, albeit basic, can make a meal that much more filling and satisfying.  Hot Pie, an orphan boy from King’s Landing, is an accomplished baker in Westeros. Towards the beginning of the series, he bakes Arya, a member of the Stark family, a loaf of bread in the shape of a Direwolf. Because he’s sent to the kitchens as an amateur,  this first bread appears to be more scone-like:

Direwolf bread from Game of Thrones

But once he practices more, he eventually remakes it into a much better version:

Direwolf bread Hot PIe from Game of Thrones

Talk about progress.

We were kind of hoping Hot Pie would randomly appear in the final episode just to deliver one more loaf of bread to Arya. But I suppose we can’t have everything we want.

King’s Landing

King’s Landing is home to not only the King of the Seven Kingdoms but also one of the wealthiest and most powerful families around, House Lannister. The Lannisters live life in a luxurious fashion. Because they are close to Blackwater Bay, their food options are much more plentiful than other areas in Westeros. Also, the warmer climate in King’s Landing allows for a bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables. Popular dishes in King’s Landing include suckling pig, boar, pigeon pie, and Lamprey pie.

Yes, you read that correctly. They eat Lamprey. In case you forgot what they look like or have never seen one:

Close up of a sea lamprey

Cute little creature, isn’t it?

Seems like something you would never wanna eat. But this was actually considered a delicacy in Medieval times. Why? I will never know. It must taste great. Even King Henry I loved lampreys. He loved them so much that they eventually led to his death. Even when he knew they were a risk to his health, he kept eating them. That’s dedication. They are now endangered in the UK and are protected under British law. Tyrion Lannister, the wise and wine-indulgent dwarf of the Lannister family, can be seen eating a lamprey pie in Season 2.

tyrion lannister eating a lamprey pie on game of thrones

“Excellent lamprey pie. Were you slaving away in the kitchen all day?”

Due to the high-cost to mass-produce lamprey pie, pigeon pie is served in its place during public events. It’s cheaper and easier to prepare. During season 4, a wedding takes place between the wicked Joffrey, one of Robert Baratheon’s power-hungry children (even though we all know the truth about that), and Margaery Tyrell. At the ceremony, a large pigeon pie was baked and left hollow so that live pigeons could fit inside. Joffrey slices the pie open, freeing most of the pigeons while unfortunately killing a few as well.

Another delicacy from this region is lemon cake. Much like most food products in King’s Landing, they are typically reserved for the upper-class. Sansa Stark, the eldest daughter of the Stark family, loves lemon cakes. Because back home at Winterfell, fruit rarely grows, so any chance she gets to eat them she takes.

sansa stark with lemon cakes from game of thrones

Sansa sure does love her lemon cakes.

But let’s not forget the beverages! Fine wine is the go-to choice in King’s Landing, with Arbor Gold being the most sought after choice. Red Wines from Dorne come in at a close second due to their spicier nature.

We’ve been discussing what royalty here consumes, but what about the rest of the kingdom? Well, whatever is available to them. The main dish they eat is referred to as “Bowl O’ Brown”, which is a stew or soup that consists of anything they can get their hands on. This includes pigeon or fish when lucky, but typically contains cat or rat meat, combined with whatever vegetables are available at the present time. A piece of bread occasionally accompanies this meal as well.

Dorne

Dorne is a coastal region that holds a Mediterranean vibe with a warm climate. There are various animals, plants, and spices found here that aren’t found anywhere else in Westeros. Because of this, the people in Dorne have adapted to hot, spicy foods. Citrus fruits such as blood oranges and lemons are also available here, which is a rarity anywhere else in the continent. Stuffed green peppers is a popular dish in Dorne. They also eat grilled snake and stuffed grape leaves. As previously mentioned, they are known for their high-prized wines. Arbor Gold is highly sought out, with Dornish sour reds being a close second.

dornish wine being poured by tyrion lannister

You can never have too much wine.

The Iron Islands

The Iron Islands are also located on the coast. Another big house in the show, The Greyjoys, inhabit this region in Westeros. Because the Iron Islands are an archipelago, an abundance of seafood is the main staple in their diet. You may not find root vegetables growing in these rocks, but hey, there’s plenty of fish! Fish pie is a favorite amongst the coastal community.

Beyond Westeros (Essos)

Essos lies east of Westeros and is considered the largest of the four continents. Located in Essos is a vast grassland plain known as the Dothraki Sea. It is inhabited by the Dothraki, a race of warlike wanderers with their own native tongue and spiritual equestrian culture. These people worship horses, but because there aren’t a lot of resources in their area, they resort to dried horse jerky and goat meat for protein. They will also eat stallion heart. A few fruits such as watermelons, pomegranates, and Myrish oranges accompany these meals.