Food Shopping


Most goods can be purchased from city shopkeepers. Prepared food can be bought daily from cookshops selling hot pretzels, roasted meats, mincemeat pies, stewed chicken, pudding, tarts. Most businesses are closed on Solis, except for taverns, inns, brothels, and some cookshops.

Shops are marked with colorful signs indicating what is being sold. For example, a tavern sign might show an ale mug. Most people are not literate so written signs are rare. Foodsellers of a type often have their shops on the same street, resulting in street names such as Bread Street, or Milk Street.

Martis is market day throughout the Empire, but larger cities have smaller markets that operate every day except Solis. On Martis, shopkeepers close their stores and take some of their goods to a stall at the big market. However, half or more of the market stalls are used to sell fresh farm goods brought in by the local Gentry and peasants. Farmfolk with extra food may also sell it from the back of carts or even from baskets.

Sellers of a type are intentionally placed together in a market to increase competition. So, for example, one section of the market is set aside for dairy goods, another for meat, etc.

Bread and alcohol have fixed prices by law, but all other goods can be haggled over.

Market shoppers carried their own wicker baskets for their purchases. They also must bring their own sacks and containers (clay, wood, ceramic, glass, leather). These sacks and containers are used to hold items sold by the pound or ounce. Anything sold in quantities of a gallon or more are likely to come in their own clay jug or wooden barrel. Grain sold in large quantities, whether whole, cracked, or milled, comes in its own bag (usually rough linen or hemp).

Markets are often the best place to find deals on exotic foods. Eronyan figs and melons can be found in the summer markets. And year-round, Eronyan carob flour, and spices such as sumac, cumin, and saffron are available. From Bharata comes curry, cumin, and chickpeas. The Celestial Empire produces five spice, as well as sauces from soy, beans, and peanuts. The Celestials are also famous for their black, green, white, and yellow teas. And from the Sunborn Empire comes vanilla, cocoa, ginger, cloves, black pepper, chili peppers, and nutmeg. Peated whiskey from Caledon is always available. Most markets also offer coffee from Melanesia, pickled herring or smoked salmon from Norveg, candied meats from Moravia, Latican and Gallian wines, Gallian cheeses, Iberian tobacco, and Teutonian beer and sausages.


All city governments have white-robed government inspectors of consumables called Esculentes. These inspectors are disliked by merchants and are often overweight from “work-related” eating. Some call them mainsails behind their backs. Esculentes inspect market foods, spices, and beverages such as ale, beer, and wine. They also randomly inspect taverns, inns, vintners, cookshops, and food stalls to ensure quality, safety, and fair pricing.

Esculentes also monitor the scales merchants use for weighing goods, the volumes of their containers and barrels, and their rulers used for selling fabric by the yard. Merchants using false weights and measures may be punished at the pillory or banned from selling if their offense is repeated. If a customer suspects they have been cheated in some way, they can report the incident directly to an Esculente, who will then send in an undercover buyer to test the wares. Because of this inspection system, and the possible punishments, cheating is rare.

Food Shopping, Markets, Cookshops, Foodsellers, Shoppers, Exotic Foods, Figs, Melons, Carob Flour, Sumac, Cumin, Saffron, Curry, Chickpeas, Five Spice, Sauces, Tea, Vanilla, Cocoa, Ginger, Cloves, Black Pepper, Chili Peppers, Nutmeg, Pickled Herring, Smoked Salmon, Candied Meats, Tobacco, Sausage, Inspections, Esculentes, Mainsails
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