The Tastes of Arda - Westmarch Inn’s Dining Hall

The Finest Dining Hall in the 4th Age of Middle Earth

Elanor Gamgee and Fastred of Greenholm, Proprietors

The Westmarch Inn is located in the Undertowers next to the Tower Hills of the Elves. It is conveniently located on the Great East Road. In the 4th Age, the Shire is a protected enclave in King Elessar's Reunited Kingdom and outside travel has been forbidden in the Shire. But historically Elvish and Dwarvish travellers have been known to travel the Great East Road. Since the Undertowers, the family manor of the Fairbairns, is located on the western edge of the Shire's sparsely settled Westmarch region, and since the Elvish lands of the Tower Hills loom directly above the Undertowers, Elves, Men, and Dwarves have been known to sneak in to partake of the excellent cooking and hospitality of the Tower of Mushrooms. Hobbit visitors from distant Bree, and their friends amongst the Big Folk, have also been known to come. The Elves of the Tower Hills, the Grey Havens, South Lindon, and North Lindon, and the Men of Annúminas and Lake Nenuial, are not that far away. And occasionally, one of the Rohirrim, who have heard of the exploits of Master Holdwine (Meriadoc the Magnificent), or one of the people of Gondor, who have heard of Peregrin Took, Guard of the Citadel and later knight of King Elessar, come to see where these mighty hobbits came from. So you never know who you will sit next to when you come to the Tower of Mushrooms!

Our Dining Hall offers a variety of hobbit favorites, such as rabbit stew, roast chicken and taters, and apple tarts. But we also offer some less familiar fare. The Elvish recipes come from the time Elanor Gamgee spent at Annúminas, the ancient capital of Arnor, which sits on the banks of Lake Evendim (which the Elves call Lake Nenuial). The recipes from our distant kin, the Rohirrim, come from Meriadoc the Magnificent while the recipes of Gondor come from Peregrin Took and from the time Elanor Gamgee spent in Annúminas. The cooking of Gondor has obviously been influenced by the cuisine of distant Harad.

Note:

Tolkien mentions the following foods in his books: unspecified Elven fruits, miruvor, mushrooms, carrots, buttered scones, raspberry jam, clotted cream, apple tarts, mince-pies, pork-pies, cheese, salad, eggs, roasted chicken, taters, cold chicken and pickles, bacon, sausages, tomatoes, rabbit stew, tea, coffee, ale, beer, Beorning mead, porter, and red wine. Elvish dictionaries include words for "apple", "goose", "fish", "bread", and "soup" so the Elves must have eaten these items. Other menu items are not canon.

The rest of the food is inspired by British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History, by Colin Spencer. I intend Bree cooking to be a slightly more complicated version of Hobbit cuisine. Rohirrim cuisine is based on Anglo-Saxon food. I have added the other honey drinks to Rohirrim cuisine because they are like mead. German May Wine is the inspiration for Rohirrim Midyear Wine. The Anglo-Saxons are known to have kept bees for their honey. Sometimes Rohirrim food is a more complicated version of Hobbit cuisine. Hobbits never had a courtly cuisine so they don't have more complicated dishes such as ale and beef pie and apple butter and cherry butter. Gondorian cuisine is based on Norman and Medieval cuisine. Haradrim cuisine is based on Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. Some Gondorian and Haradrim recipes come from the post-Medieval world.

*I have also made up the mushroom and cheese varieties. The mushroom types come from the Sindarin beleg, which means "big" or "mighty", tug, which means "fat", and menel, which means "heavenly". My idea is that these names came from the Numenorean leaders of Arnor, who knew some Elvish. The names would have supplanted the local pre-Numenorean names spoken by the ancestral Dunlendings or whichever people group lived in Eriador before the return of the Numenoreans.

Breakfast Foods for First and Second Breakfast

Choose from as many of the following dishes as you would like:

Bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, and fried potatoes,

We also have wheat, rye, or sourdough bread and biscuits. Muffins include apple. blackberry, chestnut, hazelnut, or elderberry.

The bread, biscuits, and muffins come with a selection of butters, jams, and jellies. We have good butter and flavored butters, such as marigold butter and gillyflower butter. We also have a variety of jams and jellies, such as apple, blackberry cowberry, elderberry, gillyflower, medlar, raspberry, rose hip (from Harad via Gondor), or whortleberry. From Rohan we have apple and cherry butter. Or try lavendar honey from the Shire. And don't forget the clotted cream! Delicious!

Cheeses include Bree Cheese, Buckland Cheese, Marish Cheese, Tookland Cheese, and Sage Cheese. Buckland Cheese is somewhat similar to Bree Cheese while Marish Cheese has been described as similar to Tharbad Cheese, which continues to be made in Dunland even after the fall of Tharbad. We also have an Elvish cheese, Luin (Blue) Cheese.

Or choose from one of the following savory omelettes: ham, ham and cheese, mushroom (our most popular flavor), sage, vegetable (mushroom, spinach, and tomato), or wood sorrel (which has a lemony flavor). We also have sweet omelettes from the royal court at Edoras. We have omelettes with blackberries, raspberries, and/or whortleberries.

Also try an Elvish travel breakfast of Lembas. Or try the Hobbit version, Lembas with marigold butter or one of our jams and jellies. Or try it with Elven honey. The Elves claim that one lembas can fill a grown man but in my experience it is more filling if you have a lembas sandwich with sausage or beef or sprinkle fruit on top of the lembas.

Luncheon, Supper, and Dinner Foods

Salads, Fruits, and Vegetables

Make your own Salad - Choose from the following ingredients to make your own salad (depending on seasonal availability): carrots, chickweed, comfrey, cowslip, dandelion leaves, lovage, mushrooms (a Shire favorite), orach, tomatoes, watercress (especially popular in Rohan), and wild spinach. You can also add potatoes to your salad. Mushroom types include big Beleg Mushrooms, fat Tug Mushrooms, and tasty Menel Mushrooms*.

Elven Fruit and Nut Platter on Elven Bread - Elven apples (Sindarin cordof) and other fruits and nuts taste like distilled sunshine. Elven fruits are "sweet as wildberries and richer than the tended fruits of gardens". Their bread has been described as "surpassing the savour of a fair white loaf to one who is starving." Really, you should try it yourself!

Hobbit Fruit and Nut Platter - We have all your favorites: apples, blackberries, barberries, bungleberries, cherries, dewberries, medlars, strawberries, raspberries, hazelnuts, and sweet chestnuts (depending on availability).

Marinated Mushrooms - These treats come from our cousins in Bree.

Mushrooms, Carrots, Turnips, Beans, and Peas Platter - These are traditional Shire vegetables. The mushrooms and carrots can be served fresh or cooked while the others are served cook. Choose as many of these vegetables as you prefer.

The Mushroom Lovers Platter: Mushroom Salad (mushrooms and your choice of any two greens), fresh mushrooms, lightly cooked mushrooms in butter, and marinated mushrooms. Mushrooms include a mix of big Beleg mushrooms, fat Tug mushrooms, and tasty Menel mushrooms.

Seasoned Asparagus - This courtly Rohirrim dish is made from asparagus, celery, fennel root, coriander, mint, salt, and oil. It is gaining favor in the Reunited Kingdom as well.

Soups, Stews, and Pottages

Bread Bowl - Try our hearty rabbit, lamb, or venison stew in a sourdough bread bowl or try a tasty pea pottage in a bread bowl. Our pea pottage is made with turnips, leeks, wood sorrel, and horseradish. These delightful bread bowl recipes comes from our friends in Rohan.

Elven Venison Soup - This salff or Elven soup is made with venison and wild Elven herbs and grains.

Hearty Pottage - We have savory pottages, like Shire mushroom and taters and Rohirrim pea, turnip, leek, wood sorrel, and horseradish. From Gondor we have sweet pottages, like rose and almond milk, elderflower, and blackberry pottages.

Hearty Soup - Enjoy hare soup, hearty pea soup, mushroom soup, nettle soup, or pea, bean, and ham soup.

Hearty Stew - Try our best-selling rabbit stew with taters, carrots, and turnips or our hearty lamb or venison stew. We also offer Gondorian Veal Stew with almond milk.

Meats

Boiled Mutton or Rabbit in Onion Sauce - From the Gondorian court.

Cold chicken - Cold chicken and pickles were said to be favorites of Gandalf.

Elven Goose with Mushrooms (Gwaun ah hwand) - Elves are smart people. They cook their geese with tasty Menel mushrooms to create this wonderfully flavored dish.

Lamb and Taters - We use the finest lamb in the Westmarch and add delicious taters.

Mawmenny - This dish is made from minced chicken and pork and is poached in wine and spices. It comes from the court of Gondor.

Meat Pies - Try pigeon, pork, rabbit, or venison pie. Or try Rohirrim ale and beef pie. Dwarves are especially fond of pork pies.

Pennyroyal Sausages, Taters, and Minty Peas - We flavor our sausages with pennyroyal and other seasonings, and serve them with taters and minty peas. The minty peas come from Bree.

Roast Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Rabbit, or Suckling Pig in Ginger Sauce - This treat comes from the royal courts of Gondor and Rohan. You can have this treat Gondorian style with an almond milk and ginger sauce as well.

Roast Beef with Mustard Sauce - This comes from the court of Gondor.

Roast Chicken, Pork, or Venison and Taters - Our most popular choice is roast chicken and taters but you can also have roasted pork or venison with your taters.

Rohirrim Spiced Beef - The Rohirrim court at Meduseld enjoy serving beef with vinegar, honey, leeks, pennyroyal, and fennel.

Roast Pork with Applesauce - A Gondorian treat.

Sausage Rolls - These are sausages wrapped in a pastry. The hobbits of Bree eat these. They may have originated with the court of Arnor or perhaps the Big Folk of Bree invented them.

Sausages, Tomatoes, and Nice Crispy Bacon - These taste really good on a cold evening.

Stewed Pigeon - A traditional favorite.

Fish

Cod with Parsley Sauce - The parsley sauce is made from parsley, mint, garlic, sage, and thyme. This fish dish comes from the royal court of Gondor.

Fish Loaf - Rohirrim bread hollowed out and stuffed with a mixture made from various river fish.

Grey Havens Fish Platter - The Elves catch ocean fish or hâl and shellfish in the Gulf of Lune and bring it straight to the Undertowers, where we fry it up, bake it, or boil it just for you. Choose from clams, codling, mussels, pollack, or whiting.

Lake Nenuial Fish Platter - Our Lake Nenuial fish is caught one day and instantly packed in ice for the short trip down to the Undertowers. You can order your fish grilled, pan fried, or baked. Either way, it is delicious! Choose from trout, greyling, eels, or pike.

Mackerel with Gooseberry Sauce - This is another fish dish from Gondor.

Afters

Cakes: We have nice round seed-cakes, raspberry cakes, and lavender cakes. We also have twice-baked honey cakes and twice-baked honey cakes with dried fruits from the Beornings. The twice-baked cakes travel well if you are thinking of traveling somewhere.

Elven Fruit and Nut Platter on Elven Bread - Elven fruits and nuts taste like distilled sunshine. Elven fruits are "sweet as wildberries and richer than the tended fruits of gardens". Their bread has been described as "surpassing the savour of a fair white loaf to one who is starving." Try them for yourself!

Gondorian Nut Tarts - These tarts have a chestnut flour shell and are filled with pistachios, honey, and wine.

Hobbit Fruit and Nut Platter - We have all your favorites, apples, blackberries, barberries, bungleberries, cherries, dewberries, medlars, strawberries, raspberries, hazelnuts, and sweet chestnuts (depending on availability).

Ices or Ice Creams - Now that there is peace between the Reunited Kingdom and Harad, the Reunited Kingdom is enjoying the rich tradition of Haradrim cuisine. The people of Harad have rich traditions of ices or ice creams. Try their rose or lavendar ice cream for a perfumy flavor or lavendar and orange ice cream. We also have pear sorbet.

Pies: We have apple, blackberry, cherry, mince, and raspberry. Dwarves are especially fond of mince pies.

Scones - These are excellent with creamy butter or one of our flower butters.

Sweet omelettes from the royal court at Edoras. Choose from blackberry, raspberry, and/or whortleberry omelettes.

Sweet Pottages - Choose from blackberry, elderberry, or rose petal. These come from Gondor.

Tarts - Choose from apple, blackberry, cherry, chestnut, hazelnut, mulberry, plum, raspberry, strawberry, or whortleberry.

Drinks

These can be watered down for our younger guests.

Bree Ales - We have a variety of the finest ales from Bree. Try one today!

Coffee - Coffee originally came from the lands east of modern-day Harad. The Numenorean mariners knew of coffee by the time Umbar grew strong in SA 2280. From them the drink spread to the courts of Arnor and Gondor and then to the Shire and the Reunited Kingdom. However, in the Shire and in many places it is not as common a drink as tea. We also have Sweetened Haradrim Coffee.

Dandelion Wine - Made with dandelion flowers and sugar.

Elderberry Wine - This is a favorite of hobbit wine drinkers.

Gillyflower Cordial - Gillyflowers have a sweet, clove flavor.

Hydromel - This is a fermented honey drink from Rohan.

Malt Beer - There are many fine beers but our beer comes from Gimli's Dwarves in the Glittering Caves.

Mead - We have mead from Rohan and from the land of the Beornings.

Meath - This fermented honey drink is seasoned with rosemary and ginger and comes from Rohan.

Methegelin - This is a fermented, spiced, honey drink from Rohan.

Midyear Wine - This wine drink from Rohan is made from sweet woodruff leaves and flowers, ginger, strawberries, and wine.

Miruvor - The Elves say miruvor was originally a cordial or nectar from the honey of undying flowers in the Gardens of Yavanna in Valimar. Our Miruvor is distilled from the honeys of Rivendell and Lothlorien. Then the miruvor is transported to Annúminas on the banks of Lake Evendim. Elanor Gamgee first tried miruvor at the hand of Queen Arwen. This is your chance to try it yourself!

Porter - Porter comes from many places but we import ours from Dale.

Red Wine from Dorwinion - Dorwinion, a distant country northwest of the Sea of Rhun, is known for their wines. Dorwinion is now part of the Reunited Kingdom. This wine was sent from Dorwinion to Annúminas and then to here.

Rohirrim Ale - From our friends and distant kin in Rohan. This recipe was brought by Meriadoc the Magnificent and has been personally sampled by Lady Eowyn and Prince Faramir.

Shire Ales - We have a variety of fine ales from the Shire.

Teas: We have chamomile. elderberry blossom, gillyflower, and violet tea. From Gondor we have elderberry and mint tea and from Harad we have mint tea.

Cuisine of Allies of the Reunited Kingdom, the Beornings and Woodmen, Dale, etc.

Mead from the Beornings (Drinks)

Porter from Dale (Drinks)

Twice-baked honey cakes and twice-baked honey cakes with dried fruits from the Beornings (Afters)

Dwarvish Cuisine

Malt Beer from the Glittering Caves (Drinks)

Mince Pies and other Sweet Pies (Afters)

Pork Pies and other Meat Pies (Meats)

Seed Cakes and other cakes (Afters)

Elvish Cuisine from Lindon, Lorien, East Lorien, and Thranduil's Realm

Elven Fruit and Nut Platter on Elven Bread (Salads, Afters)

Elven Goose with Mushrooms (Meats)

Elven Venison Soup (Soups and Stews)

Grey Havens Fish Platter (Fish)

Luin Cheese (Breakfasts)

Miruvor (Drinks)

Lembas (Breakfasts)

Gondorian Cuisine and Cuisine of the Reunited Kingdom

These foods are Gondorian unless otherwise stated.

Boiled and roasted meats in sauces like boiled mutton or rabbit in onion sauce; roast beef, chicken, lamb, rabbit, or suckling pig in almond milk and ginger sauce; roast beef with mustard sauce; and roast pork with applesauce (Meats)

Cod with Parsley Sauce (Fish)

Elderberry and Mint Tea (Drinks)

Lake Nenuial Fish Platter (Fish)

Mackerel with Gooseberry Sauce (Fish)

Mawmenny (Meats)

Mint Tea from Harad and southern Gondor (Drinks)

Nut Tarts (Afters)

Porter from Dale (Drinks)

Red Wine from Dorwinion (Drinks)

Roasted meats with almond milk and garlic sauce (Meats)

Rose Hip Jam and Jelly (Breakfast)

Sweet Pottages: blackberry, elderflower, or rose (Stews, Afters)

Veal Stew with Almond Milk (Soups and stews)

Haradrim Cuisine (Freed Former Enemies of the Reunited Kingdom)

Ice Creams: Lavendar, lavendar-orange, rose, and pear sorbet (Afters)

Mint Tea (Drinks)

Sweetened Haradrim Coffee (Drinks)

Hobbit Cuisine from the Shire and Bree

Apples, blackberries, barberries, bungleberries, cherries, dewberries, medlars, strawberries, raspberries, hazelnuts, and sweet chestnuts (Salads and Fruits, Afters)

Bacon, sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried potatoes (Breakfast)

Bree Ale (Drinks)

Breads: rye, sourdough, and wheat (Breakfast)

Cakes: Seed-cakes, raspberry cakes, and lavender cakes (Afters)

Cheeses, such as Bree Cheese, Buckland Cheese, Marish Cheese, Tookland Cheese, and Sage Cheese (Breakfast)

Coffee (Drinks)

Cold Chicken (Meats)

Dandelion Wine (Drinks)

Elderberry Wine (Drinks)

Gillyflower Cordial (Drinks)

Lamb and Taters (Meats)

Lembas Sandwiches or Lembas with Fruit on Top (Breakfasts)

Marinated Mushrooms from Bree (Salads and Vegetables)

Meat Pies: pigeon, pork, rabbit, or venison pie (Meats)

Muffins: Apple, Blackberry, Chestnut, Hazelnut, and Elderberry (Breakfast)

Mushrooms, Carrots, Turnips, Beans, and Peas Platter (Salads and Vegetables)

Omelettes: ham, ham and cheese, mushroom, sage, vegetable (mushroom, spinach, and tomato), and wood sorrel (Breakfasts)

Pennyroyal sausages and taters from the Shire and minty peas from Bree (Meats)

Pies: apple, blackberry, cherry, mince, and raspberry (Afters)

Pottages: Shire mushroom and taters (Soups and stews)

Roast Chicken, Pork, or Venison and Taters (Meats)

Salad fixings (Salads)

Sausage Rolls from Bree (Meats)

Sausages, Tomatoes, and Nice Crispy Bacon (Meats)

Scones (Afters)

Shire Ales (Drinks)

Soups: hare soup, hearty pea soup, nettle soup, or pea, bean, and ham soup (Soups and stews)

Spreads: butters like marigold butter and gillyflower butter, jams and jellies like apple, cowberry, elderberry, gillyflower, medlar, raspberry, and whortleberry, clotted cream, and lavendar honey (Breakfast)

Stewed Pigeon (Meats)

Stews: rabbit stew with taters, carrots, and turnips or lamb or venison stew. (Soups and stews)

Tarts: apple, blackberry, cherry, chestnut, hazelnut, mulberry, plum, raspberry, strawberry, or whortleberry (Afters)

Teas: Chamomile, elderberry, gillyflower, and violet.

Rohirrim Cuisine (Allies of the Reunited Kingdom)

Ale, hydromel, mead, meath, methegelin (Drinks)

Bread Bowl and Stews and Pottages (Soups and stews)

Fish Loaf (Fish)

Midyear Wine (Drinks)

Pea Pottage (Soups and stews)

Roasted meats and sauces like Roast Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Rabbit, or Suckling Pig in Ginger Sauce (Meats)

Seasoned Asparagus (Salads and Vegetables)

Spiced Beef (Meats)

Spreads like apple butter and cherry butter (Breakfast)

Sweet Omelettes: blackberries, raspberries, and whortleberries (Breakfast, Afters)

Watercress salad fixings (Salads)

Sources:

The Atlas of Middle Earth, Karen Wynn Fonstad, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991.

British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History, Colin Spencer, New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.

The Complete Tolkien Companion, J.E.A. Tyler, New York, Thomas Dunne Books, 2004.

Edible Flowers - Desserts and Drinks, Cathy Wilkinson Barash, Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing, 1994.

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings

http://www.jrrvf.com/hisweloke/sindar/online/sindar/dict-en-sd.html - Hiswelókë's Sindarin Dictionary

Created October 22, 2016

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