Food Cart :: Wan-on-breh-HEE-cee [Wan-on-breh (to dine, to eat) hi’ce (to hurry, to encourage)].
Also known as “Huridine” or “Hurrydine” cuisine.
For the Citadel or trade ground visitor, a common sight around lunchtime is the multitudes of Food Carts known as wanonbrehi’ce, or more simply, as Huridine Carts. With a long history within the nomadic Birdfolk culture, wanonbrehi’ce are a staple to Birdfolk dining.
Wanonbrehi’ce cuisine is known for its main varieties: slow cooks, long soups, long bakes, flat bakes, fast cooks, and wordfood. Slow cooks, long soups, and long bakes are most familiar to overnight cooking processes serving morning and midday meals, while the flat bakes and fast cooks are more familiar to evening meals. Wordfood is popular among fast-paced and small
ns, for its lightweight and carb-heavy energy.
“Slow cooks” are characterized by heavy sauces, thick hearty soups, strong marinated flavors, and soft, tender morsels. Beans, game meats, trail greens (such as cacti or herbs), starches, and dried goods are common, and most game is cooked down until bones are soft and meat is tender.
Some caravans prefer “long soups,” characterized by rich hearty bone-based broths slowcooked overnight, with additions of fresher ingredients added to the boiling soups right before serving.
Long Bakes are heavier breads and “pockets,” usually with the inclusion of seeds, dried fruits, meats, or other fillings designed to supplement the diet. These rise over the evening hours, and are baked in the morning hours at the chef’s center before the camp breaks. They are easy to distribute and to carry, and as they don’t require the return of a cup, are sometimes reserved for faster-paced travel days.
Flat or Lean bakes are flat-style breads – tortillas, pitas, and naan – sometimes with diced fillings or seeds, which are baked over hot heat on a flat heated stone. They are traditionally served with evening meals, as they do not require proofing.
Dried fruits, nuts and seeds, fresh trail greens, and other foraged additives form the basis of fast cooks. They are served salad form, or as a bedding for proteins. Primary sources of protein come in the form of bugs, fishes, or game, often served in dried jerky forms, lightly cooked before serving, or (if particularly fresh) raw.
Lightweight, Wordfood is a popular addition at any mealtime, often eaten as a personal snack or as a side dish. The peculiar nutrient supplement is unique to originating in Birdfolk culture; similar to noodles and decorated with written phrases, the wide range of flavors of Wordfood add welcome variety to caravan diet, and the carb-heavy starches are a filling if temporary substitute.
Within caravan life, Wanonbrehi’ce originated (and continue today) as mobile chef kitchens used during travel periods, allowing chefs to transport “huridine”-style food through the caravan without pausing the caravan for meals.
Typically, night or camp time is reserved for prep time, as these pauses provide the stability needed for the long cooks and slow bakes that are the foundation of morning meals and huridine base flavors. Travel time meals are served in two forms, depending on the size of the caravan.
Larger caravans are slow-moving, heavily loaded, and can stretch for miles. In these settings, the “chef’s center” is literal, keeping the supplies and carried goods necessary to support the larger numbers safely within the protected center of the caravan. In these, shift sets of wanonbrehi’ce do most of the travel, and several may operate at once in order to feed everyone on time.
As camp breaks, the chef’s center is packed, moving with the pace of the main caravan. The morning wanonbrehi’ce begin the start of travel period at the back of the caravan, working their way upwards to the front, serving the morning meals. As they pass the chef’s center, the process of preparing any carts with midday meals will begin, while the morning wanonbrehi’ce will continue to the front. There, the morning cooks travel for a time at the front, creating an effective break in labor and allowing communication with the navigators and scouts to determine the stopping of the caravan and the length of the camp period, as well as speaking with scouting parties to gather any material finds or identifying future needs or opportunities to supplement the diet.
At midday, the morning wanonbrehi’ce begin to travel back to the center of the caravan, where they will help begin preparations for the evening meal, and take with them any foraged materials found by scouting parties earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, two sets of midday wanonbrehi’ce move from the center, one to the front and the other to the end, serving the midday meal along the way. Upon reaching the front, the midday wanonbrehi’ce will break for rest, traveling with the front until it is time to set camp, where they will help the chef’s center to settle in and distribute the evening meal when camp is complete. Upon reaching the back, the midday wanonbrehi’ce will also break for rest, remaining with the end of the caravan until it meets the main camp, where they will assist the chef’s center with the lengthy process of overnight prep.
Especially in larger caravans, the circuitous path makes the wanonbrehi’ce servers of information as well as food, carrying messages to the front navigators and bringing information back to the center and ends of the caravan.
Smaller caravans are known for their quick pace, low profile, and efficient operations. In the wanonbrehi’ce, the “chef’s center” is mobile and lightweight as well, moving as needed depending on the length of the caravan.
The same general pattern still exists – with the wanonbrehi’ce beginning at the back of the caravan, as this chef’s center (still one of the heavier carts) may be one of the last to move. Contrary to the shifts common in larger groups, the chef’s center does the entirety of the work, though over a much smaller distance.
Moving towards the front, the wanonbrehi’ce serve heavier morning meals, effectively lightening their load for the purposes of speed while providing valuable nutrients to the traveling parties. Reaching the front, the chef’s center also coordinates with navigators, but their primary duty is their communication with foraging and hunting parties. These individuals, in advance of the caravan’s noise and dust, have been responsible for the hunting and foraging needs of the caravan’s dinner meals, and after turning over their spoils, are now set on task for any material needs for the overnight prep period.
Around midday, the bulk of the wanonbrehi’ce move towards the back again, serving the midday meal, which is usually, but not always, a repeat of the morning meal’s fare. Their cart empty, they return to the front of the caravan to meet with the chef’s center, who have been resting and traveling with the navigators in order to take advantage of camp as soon as it is set. This also puts them at the location to take first advantage of any returning spoils from scouting and hunting parties. As the midday wanonbrehi’ce arrive, they serve the evening meals and then enter the rest period, while the chef’s center begins the overnight prep.
Contemporary Wanonbrehi’ce are most commonly found within Birdfolk cities and trade grounds. Unlike their caravan counterparts, whose variety and innovation is limited to what can be brought along and what can be foraged, urban wanonbrehi’ce serve a wide array of enticements to travelers and diners.
Though traditional huridine cuisine can be found, more elaborate meal carts are popular, as vendors have much more mobility and stability in which to prepare their wares, typically housing overnight in the market district, where they can easily acquire the morning’s fresh material. The market district is understood as the de facto location for the best morning meals, though many business-minded vendors have morning circuits that take advantage of business located farther away from this lower level location.
Throughout the meal hours of the day, vendors typically have a location or circuit that they claim – which may even be marked on official guides to the city – where they can be found by regulars, and which are inherited by future staff. These circuits may be slow, in the case of larger wanonbrehi’ces who pause periodically to serve larger meals, or they may be wide-ranging and swiftly paced, such as the popular desserts and snacks carts that individual vendors may wheel around the city’s paths.