Thursday, January 30, 2014

Creating a Royal Wedding Feast (+ Giveaway)

Cress Marissa Meyer blog tour
(Check here for the full blog tour schedule!)

As I said in my post last year for the Scarlet blog tour, I love the Lunar Chronicles. It's an incredible series, one that's imaginative, exciting and extremely well-written. I enjoyed the unique twist on Cinderella in Cinder, and fell hard for the whimsical twist on Little Red Riding Hood in Scarlet. But it is Marissa Meyer's take on Rapunzel in Cress that has simply blown. me. away. completely. It is so, so wonderful, and that's why I'm so excited to be a part of this blog tour!

Without further ado, allow me to welcome Marissa back onto the blog for another guest post. (And this one's guaranteed to make you hungry!)
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The Royal Wedding Feast
By Marissa Meyer

Some of the most enjoyable research I conducted while writing Cress was in reference to wedding traditions from around the world, because I am a sucker for all things weddings and symbolism. I am also a sucker for all things food, which made the planning of a wedding feast menu particularly enticing!

Unfortunately, when I spent two entire pages describing the wedding feast in salivating detail, one of my beta readers pointed out that it was a tad bit gratuitous, so I shortened the descriptions to a mere paragraph. But hey, that’s what blog posts are for! 

Here is the complete menu of the royal wedding feast in Cress, for those of you who, like me, enjoy reading about food almost as much as you enjoy eating it.

An Eight Course Menu for a Royal Wedding in the Third Era

Because the wedding between Kai and Levana takes place in the Eastern Commonwealth, which is itself an amalgamation of multiple Asian countries, I wanted the feast to represent many different cultures and traditions. I decided to go with an eight-course menu in which each course holds special significance for the marriage, which at least one source said is traditional in Chinese wedding banquets (although I’ve since heard contradictory accounts).

First Course: A Quartet of Sashimi (Japan)

A light course of thinly sliced raw yellowtail, red snapper, blue fin tataki, and salmon start out the festivities, each platter garnished with a chrysanthemum flower to represent the Commonwealth’s emperor and the history of the enduring monarchy.


Second Course: Imitation Shark’s Fin Soup (China)

Shark’s fin soup is a classic delicacy in China and is often served at weddings, but its desirability has led to unsustainable, and often inhumane, fishing practices. New regulations on shark harvesting have been passed in recent years, and I figure that in my futuristic society they would have stopped the practice altogether. Not wanting to fully give up tradition, though, imitation shark’s fin soup has become the replacement.

Third Course: Braised Pork Belly with Green Mango Relish (The Philippines)

I chose a pork dish to represent the Philippines as many big celebrations serve lechon, or whole roasted pig. At a wedding, this impressive dish symbolizes prosperity and abundance for the couple. 

Fourth Course: Potol Posto on a Bed of Banana Leaves (India)

Indian wedding cuisine can vary greatly depending on what region of India you’re in, but delicious vegetarian dishes are almost always present, which is why I chose potol posto, or pointed gourd with poppy seeds, for the vegetarian course. Beautiful banana leaves are often used to cook and serve Indian food (among other Asian cuisines). The banana tree itself is an emblem of prosperity and fertility.


Fifth Course: Shellfish Curry with Coconut Milk and Kaffir Lime (Thailand)

This dish was inspired by one of my favorite Thai dishes—but then, anything with “curry” and “coconut” in the description makes me hungry. It would be served with white rice, which symbolizes love.

Sixth Course: Whole Peking Duck (China)

Peking duck is a traditional course served for Chinese wedding banquets, in part because of its red color (red symbolizes happiness), and also because ducks mate for life. Often the entire bird is served whole, including the head and feet, signifying completeness.


Seventh Course: Short Ribs and Kimchee on Endless Sweet and Spicy Noodles (Korea)

Marinated short ribs, or kalbi, are a common dish served at Korean weddings, but the symbolism from this course mostly comes from the noodles, or kook soo, the length of which represents a long life for the couple.

Eighth Course: Lapis Surabaya (Indonesia)

My western sensibilities feel that it’s not a wedding without cake, so I was so happy to learn that Indonesians feel the same way! The many layers baked into this traditional wedding cake are meant to symbolize the ladder that the bride and groom will have to climb to have a successful life and marriage.


So, on that note: Who’s hungry?
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I am! I have to say, the feast that Marissa has planned for Kai & Levana's wedding sounds pretty darn delicious. Of course, I don't want them to get married, but I would love to eat all of these dishes (especially the lechon, which I love). 

Ahem. Before I get distracted by looking for a snack, it's time to talk about the giveaway! 


PRIZE: Thanks to the generosity of Macmillan, I'm giving away a Cinder paperback, a Scarlet paperback and a Cress hardcover to ONE lucky winner!

(Please note that this giveaway is US/CA ONLY.)

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Here are a few more fun links for you to check out:

82 comments:

  1. Let's be real... this post made me way more hungry than I'd like to admit! :) However, nothing so fancy or interesting has been served at any wedding I've attended before, unfortunately for me. But I'm basically game for any event commonly associated with the word "cake," so no problems there.

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  2. Awesome giveaway and post about amazing foods!! <3 I would have something Italian at my wedding because it's tradition in my family. Our pastas are to die for. ;)
    -Cali W.

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  3. I love Asian and Middle Eastern foods, so I would probably have a lot of fish and hummus-based dishes. Melon breads and daifuku and sushi, of course!

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  4. I would pick something really simple that most people would like such as steak with vegetables or pasta. Of course, I would find some recipe that would make them stand out :D

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  5. OK, I think I'd be happy with anything that has cheese in it...I love cheese.

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  6. I would have Indian food (because I'm Indian :D) and cake... LOTS of cake....

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  7. This sounds like an absolutely delicious meal, just saying. Especially the cake.

    I would definitely have to have cake- probably something involving chocolate, raspberry, and coconut but maybe something else since I still have a long way to go before I'm actually getting married. For main dishes . . . I've no idea, but whatever it was would probably involve cheese and be something simple and yummy, not something ridiculously fancy. And it would probably be either Mexican or Italian.

    Thanks for the delicious post and the giveaway!

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  8. I would want a delicious tiered cake with multiple flavors because, as Marissa stated, "it's not a wedding without a cake"

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  9. Oh wow. All sooo goooooodddddd. I was part of a traditional Cambodian wedding and it was crazy with the food and the ceremony. I had no idea what they were saying during the whole event (they all spoke in Kmer) but it was amazingly interesting to be a part of

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  10. Hmm, I've never given this much thought. What do ppl have at weddings? I'll be okay with pizza and cheeseburgers, but I don't think it's okay?? I feel like Mexican and Italian food are a must. I don't care about people's opinions, it'll be my wedding. Authentic Mexican tacos, lasagna, ravioli, enchiladas. Yum!
    Chocolate cake. There must be chocolate cake.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  11. When I got married in 1995, we had lovely catering and a replica of my parents' wedding cake. Hubby and I cut the cake and of course shared a piece, and that was about all we had. We spent the rest of the time dancing and socializing, and didn't really touch the catering. So someone packaged up a really nice basket for us, to take back to our honeymoon suite. After changing into our "going away" clothes, we were so excited, we left the reception without the basket! So if I had it to do over again, I'd make sure the basket was waiting for us in the limo. I'm sad we missed out on all that good food.

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  12. I have never been married but when and If I do someday I want DESSERTS! A Ice cream sundae bar, and a chocolate covered everything. hehe ;)

    - Beckie

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  13. I want a waffle bar, because why not have tasty food at a wedding (having suffered through several meh wedding dinners, this is a must)?

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  14. I would LOVE a bakes potato bar (where you "decorate" your own baked potatoes), a chocolate fountain, a dessert spread (with LOTS of cupcakes), and a Beaver Tail Station! YUM!!!!!

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  15. My husband and I are vegetarian so we had a lot of Mediterranean inspired veggie dishes at our wedding and we had a really delicious cake.

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  16. I would love a buffet of some sort where people can choose what they want to eat. It would be more fun that way. Thanks for the awesome guest post and giveaway. :)

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  17. I had cinnamon rolls at my reception and would do it again in a heartbeat. Who needs cake?

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  18. Mashed potatoes, not sure what else :) maybe potluck? Everyone bring their favorite food or just have a restaurant I love to cater it.

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  19. I'm definitely hungry now! Some of this sounds completely delicious. And wow, eight courses? Sounds like quite the feast! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

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  20. Me being me I'd probably want a sample of something from just about every culture in the world. And then I'd spend the next day sitting around because I'd be too fat to move. :)

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  21. I think I'd have a Mexican buffet.

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  22. The word cake has a certain appeal to it....haha! Being vegetarian, I don't eat any of this stuff, so I'm left with the potol posto and the Wedding Cake! But hey! I'm not upset, I get cake!!! :D

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  23. I wouldn't know about my own wedding. Haha! I'm good with cake, but I guess the guests have to eat something too....so how about a buffet with lots of variety so people get to choose what they want?

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  25. OMG...I've been DYING to read this series! This post just put me over the edge and it's next in line after I finish up my current book! Yup...I know...I'm a little late to the party! Would love to win this set!

    I got married in 2010 and we had my DREAM menu...Cornish Game Hen, Lamb Shanks, mini chicken pot pies, one bit pot roast, fall veggie risotto fritters and duck confit raviolis! IT WAS AMAZING!

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  26. I've been dying to read this series but there's just so many books to read! But this post here, this amazingly appetizing post may have convinced me to move this series up a few spots. Great post! :)

    I'm a plain jane that loves beef, so steak would definitely be on the menu for me.

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  27. I would like all kids of dessert there. Flan, cheesecake, macaroons, snicker doodles, tiramisu, etc. haha

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  28. Of the above dishes? Sushi! I'm not much of a fish person, but my husband got my hooked on sushi. When we got married we had macaroni and cheese because it's one of our favorites! One of the layers on our cake was also chocolate with peanut butter filling (Yummy!).

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  29. Any italian dish would be absolutely delicious at my wedding!

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  30. Anything Thai food! I've really grown to love Thai food! My mom has made some pretty good curries, all with coconut and white rice. :)

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  31. I grew up on Portugese and Spanish food so I would want those dishes on my menu especially lumpia and sweet breads.

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  32. Tons of desserts and Asian dishes especially sushi.

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  33. Crab and Asian foods and deserts. :D

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  34. Desserts, Desserts, and more Desserts!

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  35. I haven't thought much about what I would want served at my wedding… probably a lot of sweets and fruit. ^^
    One interesting idea- I have a friend who was considering serving pancakes for her evening reception. Now she's leaning more towards rice crispy treats… Gotta love her. ^^

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  36. When I got married we had Filet Mignon, Stuffed Sole, and Chicken Marsala!

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  37. Ohh!! I want an Autumn wedding so I want all of the yummy foods that make you feel just cozy and happy...also things with dried fruit on top..is that weird? like some kind of pork like thing with craisins on top LOLOL except ya know..FANCY.

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  38. Lobster tail and Alaskan king crab legs. I am alllllll about seafood. Of course I'd be sure that a variety of other yummy items would be on offer for my guests. But I plan to get drawn butter all over my fingers ... and, yes, I'd wear a lobster bib over my reception dress!

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  39. My girlfriend and I plan on having pumpkin bisque among other things at our fall wedding :)

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  40. I honestly have no idea. Hmm...maybe a whole fried pig like they usually have in all Chinese weddings? o:

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  41. Umm... A lot of dark chocolate. A LOT! :)

    **Rachelle**

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  42. ( This is Darith L. )

    I'd like layered cakes and a lot of chocolate-covered strawberries! :D

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  43. Some ridiculously rich chocolate cake. And crab.

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  44. This feast seriously looks delicious! Funny to ask about what I want to eat at my wedding because I JUST received the 2014 menu from my wedding caterer! I have no idea which to choose but I'm 100% sure about my cake - white cake with raspberry filling! Yes, I'm dessert oriented. :)

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  45. The dessert table will be the focus of my food love if I ever get married. That and macaroni and cheese.

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  46. Well...cake is my life, but some Indian food would be great

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  47. That is so, so, so cool. I love how detailed she got! Love Marissa. What a fun post! :)

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  48. Pecking duck, yum! :) I wouldn't mind having that at my wedding! And I'd love Italian food- I have this crazy obsession with lasagna and carbonara. Ooh- and there will be chocolate and desserts galore!

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  49. If I did it all over again, it would be fun to have a fancy dessert table in our colors and with all our favorite treats.

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  50. Already married, but I would have all of our favorite foods rather than a pre-chosen catering menu.

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  51. A lot desserts, like creme brulee, tiramisu and raspberry with chocolate

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  52. I would totally replicate the first class dinner they had on the RMS Titanic! Filet mignons lili, sirloin of beef and chateau potatoes, poached salmon in mousseline sauce, lamb in mint sauce, waldorf pudding, peaches in chartreuse jelly, and OH! Chocolate éclairs and french ice cream, oh my!

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  53. Hmm. I'm not a foodie, so... steak would be good.

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  54. I love all things potato so...Potatoes :P

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  55. Dessert! Chocolate cake, pudding... Basically anything sweet!

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  56. Chocolate and fudge wedding cake!!
    -Alaa

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  57. I’d definitely want to have Baklava, Macaroni & Cheese, and a Sherlock Leather-bound novel version, shaped cake. :D

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  58. If I could make everyone like raw fish, it would be sushi. Or the local Hawaiian dish of lau lau (meats steamed in banana leaves with sides of taro/poi).

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  59. I would love sashimi! Your post did make me hungry!

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  60. I don't know, but this post made me so hungry!

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  61. At all my family's wedding receptions, there's always been crab soup. A wedding reception in my family is not complete without crab soup!

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  62. I am all about the cake. As long as cake is present I'm happy!!

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  63. I'm not sure if it's special, but a chocolate fountain would be cool!

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  64. Tacos, spaghetti, steak, hamburgers.... the list goes on and on
    And i can't forget about the dessert! A chocolate fountain would be amazing with bunches of fruits and stuff to dip into! Ice cream and chocolate cake would be awesome as well!!

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  66. I would love a big vanilla wedding cake and maybe italian food

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  67. I want a giant cake. Many a bunch of MINI cakes. Ice cream cakes, chocolate cakes, lavender cakes, etc. CAKE.

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  68. Well, I'm already married so I'll share my favorite from my wedding. My mother-in-law makes the best cakes on the planet so she made our wedding cake which was lemon with whipped frosting. We got married in August and it was pretty hot that day so the lemon was just so refreshing and my mouth is watering just thinking about it! YUM!

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  69. I'm getting married in April. Rather than have a big, lavish event, we're just having a few family members watch us exchange vows, and then we're going to eat at an Italian restaurant. (My fiance is Italian). I can't wait! All that pasta...

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  70. I'd want Lobster Bisque served. It's always been a favorite dish and so elegant!

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  71. I'm undecided on the main course but for dessert i definitely want a chocolate fountain :3 minus the cavities :)

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  72. Your Wedding Chocolate sounds delicious! Chocolate you'll be able to ne'er go Wong and blueberry, that has to are divine what surprised|an exquisite|a beautiful} surprise - several congratulations to you each - no wonder you were quiet!!!!! Steam punk - well World Health Organization would have seen that one coming back - sensible...

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  73. Wow, that is a lot of food! I would want my Grandma to make her cookies that she makes for members of our family when they get married. I love her cookies and it would be something that is special to me.

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  74. I love Thai food! Everytime I go out with my friends from high school we always end up getting something from a Thai place. Last time we went out we all ordered Pad Thai and it was delicious!

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  75. We had butternut squash bisque that my H and I still talk about 7 years later.

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  76. I would definitely like something with red velvet cake at my wedding--whether an actual cake or cupcakes. Of course, it would need to have that lovely cream cheese icing!
    -Kate

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