Before the Catastrophe
When Elder Tale was simply a game to players such as Shiroe, food was merely a mundane aspect of a quest. Since the players never actually ate any of the food of Elder Tale, there was no need for any data for taste and food was instantly prepared by the NPCs, who would later become the People of the Earth.
Food in the Elder Tale world never had flavor; however, the Alvs were able to use their magic to give their food the illusion of taste.
After the Catastrophe
When Shiroe and the other players found themselves trapped in the game itself, they had firsthand experience at how lacking in flavor the food was. Aside from the ingredients themselves, any food created by using the Command Menu would be instantly prepared, but the flavor was likened to tasteless mush or wet crackers. Any attempt to roast, boil or otherwise cook the food would meet with failure. As for the People of the Earth, they did not know that food was supposed to taste differently and therefore, continued to prepare their meals using the Command Menu.
The only way to add any flavor to the local cuisine was to use either salt or sugar, but that by itself was not enough for the Adventurers, who were too used to eating food with a variety of flavors. Eating became a mundane and often reviled exercise. With the average meal costing only 5 Gold, it did not matter what kinds of food one ate, since it all tasted the same.
The lack of flavor also caused a drastic reduction in prices, as everything was tasteless and therefore, made no difference whether a person ate at an expensive restaurant or a cheap food stand. As a result, it was economical for players to simply buy the cheapest meals, causing most food establishments to lower their prices in order to keep competitive. As a result, many restaurants and shops went out of business. This only added to the despair and boredom.
The Secret to Flavor
The players were almost resigned to eating the tasteless foods all the time, (which only increased the feelings of despair and boredom), were it not for the discovery made by Nyanta. Since his subclass was Chef, he had begun experimenting with cooking ingredients without using the Command Menu. Due to his high level as a Chef, he was able to produce quality food with actual taste, which he shared with Shiroe and his friends. The secret to creating food with flavor is as follows:
- The person must prepare the ingredients in the same manner as one would do in the real world and not use the Command Menu. The trick is not to think in terms of the game, but in the same way as one would do in real life. Furthermore, ingredients such as Empiral Boar must be captured whole, rather than killed in battle, otherwise they will revert into ingredient items. A huge boar will turn into 2 kg of meat if killed outright.
- The person who prepares the food must have the Chef subclass. Any attempt for someone who does not have this subclass will inevitably fail.
- The skill of the chef must reflect the level needed to prepare the meal. If the meal requires a high amount of skill to prepare it, then a lower-level chef will fail until he/she levels up to meet that requirement. Normally, a chef of Level 20 is sufficient enough to prepare regular meals such as soups, salads and other basic dishes.
After discovering these facts, Shiroe and his comrades decide to keep it a secret for a while, as it would certainly cause a great upheaval in the world of Elder Tale.
The Secret Revealed
After witnessing how despair and boredom had caused the city of Akiba to begin to sink towards anarchy, Shiroe had decided to enact a plan to revitalize the city and give its inhabitants new hope. Using the secret his friends had learned from Nyanta, Shiroe had the Crescent Moon Alliance open up a food stand, advertising its signature product, the Crescent Burger. When news of a food item that actually tasted like a real hamburger spread among the populace, there was a flood of customers who were more than willing to pay the high price of 15 Gold per burger, in order to get a taste of real food again. This also caught the interest of the three largest Production Guilds: Marine Organization, the Roderick Firm, and Shopping District 8.
Though sales were high, this was only the first step in Shiroe's master plan, which eventually culminated in the creation of the Round Table Alliance. Afterwards, the secret to making food with flavor was released to the public, thereby sparking a revolution in food preparation among the Adventurers with the Chef subclass, and even with the People of the Earth.
With the discovery of being able to create food with actual taste, also came the realization that other things could be created by using one's own skills, rather than the Command Menu. Inventions that had not previously existed in Elder Tale began to surface, such as the Steam Engine. The method of cooking food with taste itself had spread quickly among the populace of the People of the Earth, with many domains now producing more ingredients and transporting goods further. This has also stimulated the economy as people begin to earn and spend more in order to buy those products.
However, this increase in food production and economic growth is not without its consequences. At present, many nobles such as Lord Barte, are now trying to negotiate with the Adventurers to share their steam-engine technology and other innovations. As such, both sides are still wary of each other. The People of the Earth still fear the Adventurers, due to their overwhelming power, while the Adventurers are still getting used to the idea that the People of the Earth have human rights and are not just NPCs.