The cuisine of the Sak states is affected by the steppe/taiga climate of the local landscape and the semi-nomadic lifestyle of the people, so the Sak cuisine primarily consists of dairy products, meat, and animal fats. Use of vegetables and spices are limited, although there are a few prominent vegetables.
Meat, milk and other animal products Edit
To simply put, meat is the staple of Sak cuisine. The nomads of the Sak states sustain their lives directly from the products of domesticated animals such as cattle, horses, camels, yaks, sheep, and goats, as well as game. Meat is either cooked, used as an ingredient for soups and dumplings or dried for winter.
In the Sak lands, no part of the animal is allowed to go to waste - all of the raw milk is processed into cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese and drinkable milk; all of the mead is used up one way or another - even feet are eaten, cooked into a gelatinous soup.
Vegetables, cerals and fruits Edit
The Sak may be considered barbaric nomads by their neighbours, but it is only a half-truth - they are actually semi-nomadic. Part of the population is settled down, and cultivates lentil and millet. Lentil is the second most important part of Sak cuisine: lentil pottage is an everyday staple food that is usually eaten together with cooked meat. Millet is usually grinded down to make flour - which is then used to make dumplings or flatbread - sometimes, millet is roasted to make millet coffee, or used to make millet beer. Sometimes, lentil is also grinded to make flour, used for the same purpose as millet flour: bread and dumplings. In times of shortage of either of the two, they usually grind down both lentil and millet into flour and mix the two together, in order to have the maximum amount of flour.
Due to the harsh climate of the Sak lands, vegetables play a rather limited role in Sak cuisine - foragers often collect wild onions and garlic and put them into their soups and pottages, and that's pretty much it for vegetables. Richer tribal leaders sometimes import spices from the Shár lands.
Cranberries, salmonberries, crowberries, cloudberries and blueberries are usually foraged and then consumed either as they are, or mashed up and mixed with hot milk. The flowers of these berries are cultivated to attract bees, in order to produce honey, the only available way to sweeten anything.
Two types of alcoholic beverages are widely consumed among the Sak: millet beer and fermented horse milk. The latter is rather famous and has become the de facto trademark of Sak cuisine, or even possibly the mascot of the Sak people.
Two distinctive non-alcoholic beverages that play pivotal role in Sak cuisine are millet coffee and milk. The Sak people can get rather creative with their milk, as they sometimes ferment it to produce a certain alcoholic beverage. Tea has to be imported from the Shár lands, as it does not grow in the Sak lands, which ensures that it remains a delicacy of the high class, rather than a staple drink.
The true non-alcoholic staple beverage of the Sak people is millet latte: brew of millet coffee where hot milk is used instead of hot water. Hot milk may be also mixed with mashed-up cranberries, salmonberries, crowberries, cloudberries or blueberries and eaten as a fruity pottage or drank as a fruity-milk tea-like beverage. The elites may mix these mashed-up berries with millet latte and honey, to reduce the inherent bitterness of both coffee and hot milk - both of which are already bitter to begin if separate, with but get even worse then combined, hence the need for sweetening agents such as honey and mashed-up berries.