There’s nothing I love more than seeing how people interact with their canon of choice. Art, writing, cosplay: every piece of output from fandom I find incredible as well as inspiring—if anyone is touched by something so much that it drives them to create, well, there’s something beautiful about that. And while I have an appreciation for most of these things, I will admit that I have my biases. By some stroke of luck, I managed to find my main bias combined with one of my fandoms in this week’s web crush.
As evident by my post from a couple weeks ago and (less evidently) by the fact my brother and I have been marathoning the re-release of Tales of Symphonia, the Tales games and fandom are both things that I hold close to my heart. Beyond the excruciating satisfaction of one hundred percenting the games, one of my favorite aspects of these games is the cooking system. I got cheated out of it in Tales of Xillia—buying pre-made foods isn’t as fun no matter what bonuses you give them!—but there’s something really fun in the simplicity of buying ingredients and watching your party members get better at cooking as you go through the game.
Even finding recipes in their hidden locations scattered across the game’s world can be a journey in and of itself, adding more to an already expansive universe. Given such a mechanic, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to document their attempts at making these recipes in real life. I’ve already featured one site like this, but given my return to the fandom, I found it only appropriate to feature Tales of Cooking.
As the title indicates, Tales of Cooking looks at the plethora of recipes that graces the Tales series and takes a stab at recreating them with our mundane ingredients and cooking implements. Not that most games in the series have items that don’t have a real life counterpart, but there can be some issues in translation: for example, in Tales of Symphonia the spices
they call black and white satay could easily be interpreted as salt and pepper, but what the hell are you going to do with purple satay?
What I love about this particular Tumblr is that Wonder Chef, the aptly named fan in charge, takes into account the changes to the base recipe at the hands of a specific character. That is to say, while all recipes in the game ‘verse have a very basic main part to the recipe—like sandwich only needing bread to complete—the party members embellish the base part with ingredients that suit their tastes. Again, in Symphonia, if we were looking at a recipe created by the character Genis, the end result would use a lot of ingredients and be rather fancy. On the other hand, if we were using a recipe from Tales of the Abyss’s Luke fon Fabre’s book, it would be kind of disgusting because he doesn’t really grasp the concept of cooking. So far, the site hasn’t tackled any of the outright questionable recipes, but what they have posted so far looks incredible. The one that caught my eye was Tales of Vesperia’s Yuri’s sandwich: it looks so filling and delicious—or maybe I just have a real weakness for egg salad.
Although Wonder Chef has taken a hiatus for con season, I’m really looking forward to their next update! As much I want them to do everything in all the games (expecting too much? Me? Nah), I hope they try to tackle some of the more unorthodox foods.
Make sure you visit their Tumblr here, and, if you make any of the recipes yourself, let me know how they turn out in the comments!