In much the same way they have done for the local fauna, Iromakuanhe geneticists spent centuries laboring to engineer crops that would be suitable for the needs of the Iroma, and fit with the ecology of the planets that were available to them. Many of these species derive from old crops the ancient Saal nomads carried with them on their expeditionary fleet, while others were created from the original plant life native to the Iruotl system. Many more, are of transgenic stock, using the ideal combination of traits.
As well as these, there are several species of plant from pure and semi-pure Terran stock that remained largely unmodified. Most of these are fruits, vegetables, as well as herbs and spices. Staples of Terran stock are rare, as it was seen that these species would have the greatest impact on the environment over the course of centuries of farming.
A hardy plant grown in dryer, weaker soils, Barghum is most commonly used in brewing, for malting purposes and baking heavy flatbreads. The crop is unique in its ability to grow without proper soil, capable of using rough sand, gravel or even torn fibers and cloth as a substitute.
Caraiz is tall, corn-like plant that is grown in the hot, flat prairies of Maekardan and Hlarai. Though nearly identical to the terran plant it was cultivated and engineered from, it has the distinction of being a bright red or orange at harvest time.
Something of a cross between the potato and its yam predecessor in taste and texture, the payam is a delicious tuber vegetable common in Iromakunahe cuisine. Rich in starches, sugars and vitamin D, it is as versatile in cooking as the classic tuber it was based on.
A pseudocereal cultivated in temperate and tropical climates, Quiref is a small edible seed that is typically boiled to make a soft, spongy porridge, or ground into a light cake flour. However, because it does not have as high of a yield, it is not as commonly used for this purpose as Reiz. Regardless, it is well-liked for the very light, nutty texture and taste Quiref-based foods have.
An semi-aquatic facsimile of the wheat plant, Reiz is a high yield plant and one of the primary staples of the Iromakuanhe. It is capable of growing in any damp environment, including swamps, seashores, floodplains, riverbanks and irrigated terraces, and is highly resistant to attacks by most insectoid species. The grain, once harvested, is ground into a fine flour, which has nearly as many uses as there are stars in the sky.
The Guoramelon is a softball-sized melon-type fruit with soft, watery, rich flesh that tastes like a vague combination of avocado and papaya. The fruit is known to keep very well, often for up to half a year at room temperature, and can be dried out to be used as a gourd. It is eaten in the morning as a breakfast food, or as a snack during the day. They are adaptable plants, fully capable of growing any hot, sunny place.
Mazrit is an oval pomaceous fruit that is eaten as is, or pressed to make a potent brandy of the same name. It is notable its unusually high concentration of a caffeine like stimulant, and generally delicious and sweet taste, which is said to taste something like slightly nuttier pear. Mazrit fruit comes from a tree, which is tended to in large numbers in more temperate regions.
The Porun is a dark purple large peach-like fruit, roughly the size of an Iromakuanhe's two fists pressed together, covered in a thin layer of fuzz. The taste is very sweet and tangy, with the milder aspects of the plum mixed into the overall bouquet. It is grown in large numbers on trees in hot and sunny climates.
Lhaurza are fist-sized brown fruits that grow in bunches in low-lying bushes in dry and temperate climates. They are extremely sweet fruits with a chewy consistency, often dried to concentrate and increase these properties. The dried fruit lasts for many months at a time and is a favorite ingredients in trailmixes made by Sund Wakir survivalists.
Kwirin Berries not not a single type of fruit but in fact an umbrella term for a great number of small fruits which mature into aggregate druplets that are much beloved for their taste and unique texture. The red kwirin tend to be sweeter and slightly tangy and are used in desserts, while the black kwirin tend towards a slightly bittersweet flavor and find usage in salads, sauces and various alcohols. The rarer yellow kwirin is found only on Hlarai, and tends to an extremely sweet but otherwise ballanced flavor profile.
Domoro is a parasitic fungus that is known to latch exclusively onto the giant fungal trees of the mushroom forests native only to Domoro Valley on Maekardan, which grows in bunches of nodules covered in a papery skin. When extracted from the mushroom trees and peeled of their skins, they resemble small orbs of translucent gelatinous flesh in an array of bright colors. Each orb has a core consisting of a small cluster of growth nodules that will spring into more bundles of Domoro, if planted between two to three inches into the flesh of the fungal trees. Their flesh is sweet and has a slightly floral smell that is tinged with aromatic contaminants from the individual mushroom tree varieties.
Domoro were believed to be a naturally occurring species that had fallen into dormancy when their main host species had become extinct. During the reclamation of the valley for agricultural purposes, the new barrier fungi designed to retain moisture apparently provided the same biochemical conditions that the Domoro's previous host species provided. Outside of the valley, the Domoro is also grown in hydroponic labs and agricultural facilities that grow the mushroom forests for new terraforming projects.
Cecci is a popular family of legumes engineered for the climate of Hlarai that is nutritious and easy to grow. Often used in local soups and salads, Cecci is more broadly recognized as the main ingredient of various vegeterian sauces and spreads such as Iromakuanhe-style hummus. The most popular variety, the bright red Lap Inkka, is eight times the size of a pea and has a taste described as both sweet and savory.
Vassca is a root vegetable that grows in the lush tropics, having a preference for soft clay or silty soils. It is nutrient rich but hard to cultivate, meaning that the market for it is mostly homegrown garden fare outside of major industrialized farms and orbital agriculture complexes. The vegetable is often simply boiled and put into stews, giving it stringy and a slightly flowery texture, but is especially popular in desserts. When dried and mashed, it forms into a binding and thickening agent that adds very little flavor, and the powder can be fermented and distilled into clear liquors.
Stuyaen are watery leafy greens with a texture that is described as ranging between the 'crispy' of Hlaraian-style Stuyaen, to the hard and slightly water-dense crunch of the Capital's spherical Domoro Stuyaen. They are broadly comparable to the various leafy greens available to chefs in Yamatai and Nepleslia, although their colors tend to be darker and more reddish in tinge on average, and the flavor profile tends to be slightly alkaline or savory.
Imyrin is a rich and smooth root vegetable that tends to grow well in poor and sandy soil, that is often used in salads or eaten as a snack food. The vegetable occasionally known as the shatterfruit for the strange growth patterns it displays in particularly rich soil, where the tubers will often become spherical and engorged with water before bursting. The shattered bulb will then regrow off its splintered parts and expand well.
Because of these properties the plant is popular in industrial hydroponics, where it grows at a voracious pace.
A reddish-purple bundle of leaf sheaths which form an elongated bulb composed of many layers that get progressively more white towards the inside. The Runyaen is a vegetable with high amounts of phenol, antioxidants, and flavonoids. Thus, it's used in a wide variety of foods all throughout the Commonwealth. Either as a main-dish, or just a flavoring, there are thousands of ways to serve and prepare this sharp, pungent vegetable. In it's raw state it's crunchy and firm, but boiled it tends to soften and lose a bit of flavor. Fried, it stays crunchy and firm. Often it is chopped or sliced and used as a spicy garnish to add flavoring to a dish.
Originally discovered by a Curdatl planetologist well over two centuries ago, Rohk'so has become a widely used additive in Iromakuanhe cuisine. The man who discovered it, Dr. Amin Rohk'so had been categorizing the various flora that could survive in the sacred Nuocr Expanse. It was during one of the Expanse's famous sandstorms that he had become lost and ended up taking shelter near one of the particle geysers attributed to be the source of the Expanse Spore that permeates the desert. When the storm had finally passed he took notice of fungal growth around the base of the mound-like geyser and discolorations in the sand and rock. Investigating, the doctor discovered that the discoloration was in fact a spore produced by the fungal growth that clung to the top-layer of sand and on the rock. Much to his dismay he'd breathed some of them in which caused a stimulating effect a sudden burst of energy and awareness along with the intensely aromatic fragrance of the spore that caused alertness.
When rescue had finally arrived, the doctor took samples with him for further study. It was soon found after months of work that the spore did not cause bodily harm in the traditional sense. It did however have stimulant-like property that increased cognitive function in the base form but in a sudden burst many could not cope with, when refined this effect was curbed and was induced more gradually. It was originally passed for drug trials as a cheap homeopathic drug alternative to artificially derived stimulants due to the natural effect and that people seemed to just enjoy it.
When the Sogol Group caught wind of this they began to test small batches amongst random Iromakuanhe. Initial results were overwhelming. 8/10 of each group seemed to enjoy the natural spice-sweet taste of the substance when used as a cooking ingredient. Gradually it was released to the public under the name 'Rohk'so' after the individual who had discovered it, and with success of the new spice was enjoying quite the large sum in royalties. This was due to the popularity and scarcity as refinement and collection proved difficult due to low sustainable sums and the dangerous location in which it was found. Sometime later however few cases began to crop up of people having a altogether different reaction.
These people claimed to have seen portents of the future, or claimed increased awareness of surroundings due to a seemingly latent psychoactive effect of Rohk'so if imbibed in large quantities. The Sogol Group denied claims of harmful effects of the substance, but did soon after add a label to each package warning against over use in food on a daily basis.
(Ice Tongue, minty.)
Firhil is a leafy green herb typically used to help spice different foods, most often meats. Used fresh, the aroma could be considered slightly pungent, while the taste is often bitter and sharp. Dried, the overall taste is more herbal almost floral, with the aroma losing some of the pungent smell accorded to it. Firhil has the look of a five pointed smaller dark green leaf, easily fitting into the palm of your hand.
A dark blueish-purple bulb-like plant, Ash Garlic comes within its own husk, a semi-tough beige skin that grows around it as the inner bulb matures. Primarily used for cooking, Ash Garlic has a fairly strong, pungent aroma that can sometimes irritate the eyes or nose. However, it is favored for its deceptively mild, savory flavor that when cooked tends to bring on a tell-tale faint sweetness that accentuates and compliments the foods it typically is used in. Ash Garlic comes in several different variates, each with varying degrees of strength with the flavor, with the main stay being a more mild one, with the second most favored containing a strong, savory bite.
Salcra Weed, commonly called Salcra for short is a flowering plant with psychoactive properties commonly grown throughout the Commonwealth. Restrictions upon the drug are minimal, and mostly one's own commonsense governs the use of the plant (The Military however has tighter restrictions) as it is also a recreational drug in addition to one of medicinal qualities and religious purposes. Hobbyists in Horticulture grow, and develop new strains of the plant for specific purposes, or to enhance aspects and effects of the psychoactive effects of Salcra as well. One, Amari Al-Sumed has added over twenty five different varieties thus far and continues to strive for the in her words, “Perfect Strain”. This has led to the rise of literally hundreds of different strains over the course of the Astral Commonwealth's existence.
Overall, Salcra looks like an ordinary plant bush. Height of growth may vary, but is usually one to eight feet in height consisting of bright green leaves, and thick stalks, and dark red flowers that give off a decidedly strong, yet savory and pungent smell. Typically, when cultivated for use, the leaves and stalks are used after processing, but it has also been found the flowers of certain strains themselves contain a substantial sum of the psychoactive substances to warrant their use as well. You can find Salcra all over the Commonwealth, and even out in public Hookah Bars for use marking the product as an ever day part of life.
(A natural topical painkiller + antacid when consumed.)
Barra has been a recreational herbal staple of the Iromakuanhe people for many years. It is typically grown around areas with a Mediterranean climate, and the growers screen the plants for quality over quantity in most regions where it is grown. Barra Leaf once processed and cured takes on a dark brown coloration (Think Caramel), and is typically smoked via the use of a Hookah. The taste has been characterized as smooth and mild, with a very light after taste that is not too harsh on one's palate. However, Barra Leaf can also come in a variety of flavors depending on one's own unique tastes.
A plant long known for its drug properties and originally discovered on the world of Hlarai by its Curdatl settlers, it was originally thought to have no use what so ever except to be a waste of space, and not even a mildly aesthetically pleasing one. It was over a fifty year period when they began to study the flora of Hlarai more in depth that the innate properties were just then being discovered. The silvery blue bulbs of the plant's pre-blooming bulbs contained a somewhat viscous opaque fluid that when dried into a powder becomes a potent drug. Upon further tests it was found it contained a stimulant-like effect upon the nervous system, and brain of the Iromakuanhe. In truth, this was merely the tip of the iceberg as it soon given the name “Slajatki-on” which, when translated means, “Sweet Language” due to the sweet taste, and effects induced. The name came from the fact that in addition it increases energy, motor-function and induces a sense of euphoria and sexuality in the user.
Long term ingestion of the plant when properly refined does very little to the body in way of harmful physical effects most commonly found within such drugs of the classification. But, despite very little taxing effects upon the physical body, the mind begins to crave, and yearn for the drug and the effects it produces.
To use, one simply places a tiny amount of the substance upon their tongue and lets it dissolve. Effects generally begin to show within five to ten minutes as it begins to seep into the blood stream via the tongue leaving a sugary sweet taste in the mouth of the ingester. Effects last around eighteen hours with the peek only lasting three.
When the effects begin to subside, and the substance is metabolized and begins to pass from the body. The user begins to break out into a cold sweat, inducing a sense of slight paranoia, hallucinations and itching may be felt.
Warning: Those taking Slajakti-on for the first time must be wary. For they will be chasing this high for the corresponding day. Further ingestion can lead to the one taking it to lose control so caution is advised as is moderation. Military personnel are also prohibited from taking Slajakti-on while on duty. If caught, repercussions may soon follow.
Seitta wood is the bark of the Seitta tree that has been stripped from the tree, often during winter, and ground to produce a coarse, evenly textured powder. This is then brewed using hot water. The method of brewing is to put the powder in the water, and then start boiling the water.
When boiled to the desired strength, the water is poured through a sieve and into a cup, whereupon it is drunk. It's generaly held that this drug will improve courage for a short period of time after consumption.
When collecting Seitta bark, a live white grub is often also collected from the tree. The grub is removed prior to grinding, and replaced in the bed of bark after. This is because it's often considered a sign of quality Seitta to have a living white grub in the ground bark: If the grub has died, or become a beetle it means that the bark has become stale.
(Flax + Hemp)
A flowering plant native to the semi-arid zones of Maekardan. Hetch is a tall shrub that produces a red-orange dye molecule. This molecule has an affinity for bonding with protein, and thus has been used by Sund Wakir to dye skin, hair, fingernails, exoskeletal plates, horns, leather and fabrics. The hetch leaves are crushed into a dry powder and after being applied as a thick, inky paste, they release a sweet scent when exposed to warm temperatures. This olfactory effect lasts for around a day or so before it fades, but on skin the dark markings will remain for three to five days, and it lasts around a week and a half for fingernails, joint plates or horns. They remain even longer if the affected body parts are not washed regularly. When the paste is used as make-up on the body as a traditional decoration it's often referred to as “hetch hetchi” art. Because the Hetch paste stains so easily, it also is sometimes used in pranks and graffiti.