Foreign Cuisine

The two silver haired Kaldorei walked slowly, chatting away as was their wont. They had let their sabers run free for a while, deciding instead to enjoy the view of the beautiful valley. The sun was shining down on them, the air was warm, it seemed perfection. A slight breeze moved around them, carrying an intoxicating aroma. They stopped, looking at each other. Without a word, they both turned to follow the scent, smiling.

Just up the hill, they discovered a village. It was bustling with Pandaren and visitors alike. The had stumbled upon a market of sorts. “I would say let’s find what smells so good, but I think it’s a combination of things.” Tindomiel laughed brightly. “Shall we see what they have to offer?”

“I could use a little something to eat. And maybe sit for a while, enjoy this day,” Forosuul returned. He motioned for her to continue down into the marketplace.

“Welcome to Halfhill,” an older Pandaren called out. “Come! Explore, shop, eat! There are many things to try. Please, explore!” Tindomiel giggled a little. She was always pleasantly surprised at how genuinely welcoming the people here were.

The two wandered through, glancing at trinkets and stalls filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. All grown here in the Valley, they were told. That’s when they saw it. A wide circular area, surrounded with outdoor kitchens. They made their way over to see what was available.

“So many options! Where do we start? I want to try those dumplings there and maybe that soup…or but what about the steamed buns? I’ve never had steamed buns!” She pointed for one place to the next, excited about all of it.

“How about we see if we can get small portions of each and try it all?” He laughed and she nodded, her long hair bouncing around her face. “You go that way, and I’ll go…over there. And we can meet at that table in the middle?” He gestured in either direction.

They separated and moved through the crowd, arriving at the table with arms loaded with treats. As they tried each one, Tindomiel would dance with delight before it even hit her lips. Some of them, her eyes would almost roll back in her head, she enjoyed them so much. In one case, something she had purchased, neither of them were even certain what it was.

“You go first,” she said to him, pushing the little bowl over. He picked it up and smelled it, crinkling his nose. He put it in his mouth, chewed for a moment and shook his head. She watched him carefully and put her fork down.

“Oh no. I tried it, you have to as well,” he said laughing. “I’m not even going to describe it. You try it first.” He slid the bowl back over to her and sat there with a little grin on his face.

She picked a piece up, eyeing it warily. She sniffed it and was surprised to find it smelled sweet and a little tangy. Closing her eyes, she placed it in her mouth. It was delightful. Just the right mixture of sweet and spicy with an underlying layer of sour. Right about that moment, she heard him laughing.

“You tricked me! Why would you do that to me?” She looked at him with mocked hurt.

“Just having a little fun. I’m sorry.” His shoulders coming up, sheepish.

“It’s all right. I forgive you. But only because it was so good. Honestly, all of it was. But I don’t think I could eat another bite. I’m going to burst.” She pushed her plates away. “Oh Elune, I wish I could cook like that!”

“You could learn, if you wish, Miss.” Tindomiel turned to see a young Pandaren standing beside her.

“The masters teach people all the time. Food and ales are a passion here. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind at all!” The young girl skipped off before Tindomiel could respond.

“Why not?” Forosuul said.
“Why not,” she smiled. “I think I know what I will do while you go off and train. She sat back, her face to the sunshine and smiled. “Why not indeed.”