The Other World Dining Hall - novelonlinefree.info
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Fruit Gratin In no time, it was now late autumn. Victoria who was prepared to eat more breakfast than usual stood in front of the black door that appeared as soon as the sun rose. (Today, I have been requested.)
Swallowing her saliva, she remembered the “job” that she had taken beyond this door 7 days ago. This time, she would taste test a new dish that would be added to the “menu”, then she would write its name and description along with its price on the book. That was the job that Victoria was asked for. This was a part of the work that Artorius, her master, had undertaken… Victoria was in charge of writing the “dessert” selection. (I wonder, what kind of confection he will make.) While grasping the handle, she wondered about the dessert that would be served today. Victoria loved the sweets of otherworld. 8 years ago, when Victoria first started to visit the otherworld almost once in 7 days, she was asked to write down the dessert menu list as Artorius did not like sweets. Compared to the sweets of the Princ.i.p.ality, no, of this world, the otherworld sweets were far more superior. Apparently, the recognition was not a mistake, and in the recent years, the number of customers that came to order the confectionaries had become non-negligible. (According to a story I heard from teacher, 8 years ago, before they started to stock desserts from professional craftsman, the amount of dessert available could be counted with one hand.) She thought that the most delicious dessert was the pudding made from eggs and milk, but other sweets like cakes, ice creams and jellies were also delicious, and she now looked forward for this unknown sweet. Therefore, she was pleased with the occasional request. ‘Chirinchirin’, and as usual, the bell rang when the door was opened. When she entered, the inside of the shop was thoroughly cleaned and there was no one yet except for the owner and Aletta who were ready to welcome the customers. [A, welcome, Victoria-san.] [Welcome to Western restaurant Nekoya!] The two people smiled and welcomed Victoria. [Un, good morning.] Victoria asked after she greeted them with a smile. [So, what is the new dessert?] [Aa, today I’m making fruit gratin.] The owner told the name of the dish for her question. As it would be served soon, Victoria thought about the kind of dish offered while seeing the owner retreating back to the kitchen. (Fruit gratin… I wonder what kind of dish that is.) Victoria knew of the dish named gratin. It was a dish with meat or seafood, vegetables and mushrooms, and wheat noodles mixed with knight’s sauce in a ceramic pot, topped with cheese and then baked in a kiln. It was not as delicious as a dessert, but it was particularly delicious during cold weather so a lot of customers ordered it. However, she had never seen fruits being included inside and she felt that gratin did not fit with the sweet otherworld fruits. (But since this is the owner, he wouldn’t serve any strange things…) Victoria was not worried while she waited. Victoria was this restaurant’s regular for several years. The owner wouldn’t serve any dish that he thought wasn’t delicious. Then, surely this dish called fruit gratin would be delicious. [Thank you for waiting. Here’s your fruit gratin.] [Un, thank you.] As such, when Aletta brought the food, Victoria smiled back. Placed before her was a bowl smaller than the one used for normal gratin. [Please be careful as it’s still hot… well then, please enjoy.] With such words, she silently nodded at Aletta who bowed her head and then concentrated on the food. (It’s yellow. So this is not knight’s sauce?) That was Victoria’s first impression. The appearance of fruits swimming with its surface turned brown due to the cooking heat was similar to the normal gratin, but there were some differences. While it was a point that all of the ingredients were sweet fruits, the most prominent colour was yellow. Yes, fruit gratin was made using pale yellow sauce without cheese. So it had baked fruits and yellow sauce. (This is probably…) Victoria picked up a spoon. She broke the brown surface of the gratin and saw the fruits and yellow sauce inside. She then brought a spoonful to her mouth and licked it. (…Is this custard? No, it’s somewhat different.) To the sweetness spreading in her mouth, Victoria tried to identify it. First, the fruit. These were probably boiled in sugar. Unlike the firmer texture and sour taste of raw fruits, it was much sweeter and softer than ordinary fruits and its sweet juice overflowed when she chewed. The first fruit she ate was called peach. Its bright orange colour was often seen on cakes and such. The problem was the sauce. A pale yellow sauce used for dessert. From that condition, Victoria thought that it was custard of milk and eggs used for puddings and such. (Probably, milk wasn’t used. There’s a little taste of wine instead.) Although the sauce was as sweet and smooth as custard, it did not have its milky flavor. Instead a small amount of wine was mixed, so it was wrapped in the slight incense of alcohol. (…Indeed, this is delicious.) Rolling it in her mouth, she reached that conclusion. Since it was a gratin, the sauce was warm. It might be the reason to use other sauce than custard as it was used for confections that were eaten cold. With that in mind, Victoria looked at the ingredients of this gratin… various types of fruits. Numerous fruits were swimming in the fruit gratin. They were all probably boiled in sugar. She would taste them one by one. The peach that she first tasted was so soft that her teeth could easily sink into it, its sweet scent and juice was strong. When she chewed, its warm juice overflowed in her mouth. The next thing she tasted was the orange coloured Michele. Unlike before, this sweetness also contained acidity. It complimented the sweet yellow sauce and was delicious. Also, the feeling of the pulp in her mouth was also good. Then there was a pear that could also be found at the Princ.i.p.ality at this time of year, it was still uniquely chewy even though it was boiled and left a distinctive flavor. And the last fruit she ate was one called banana. The fruit was nice and had sweetness unlike other fruits and was not found at the Princ.i.p.ality. According to literature, it seemed to be commonly found at the southern part of Western Continent, but she heard that it was a product that hardly circulated in the Eastern Continent as only a small amount was brought in a trade s.h.i.+p. None of the otherworld fruits were sweeter than this. It was boiled carefully in sugar water, mixed with the egg sauce and baked. The slight bitterness of the burnt surface complimented the sweet sauce and fruits; it drew Victoria for the next bite. (Again, it is not out of place.) All of the confections that the owner intended to add to the menu were delicious. Recognizing that again, Victoria kept moving her spoon until the last bite. —Fruit gratin. Sugar boiled fruits mixed with egg sauce and then baked. The different sweetness of fruits and the sauce were delicious. 4 coppers. After tasting it, she familiarly wrote the descriptions on the menu brought by the owner. [It’s done. Is this fine?] [Ee. Thank you very much for this time too.] After receiving the menu written by Victoria, the owner replied while nodding. [It was delicious. Then, I’ll have pudding as usual… aa, is it possible to takeaway this fruit gratin?] While ordering her usual “souvenirs”, she asked what’s on her mind. [Aa, it’s possible. When it cools down, it tastes different but it’s also delicious.] To that question, the owner nodded and replied. It’s delicious when it’s still freshly baked, but it’s delicious too even when it’s cold. That was the dish called fruit gratin. [Well then, I want three of it. I wish for my younger brother’s children to taste it.] It would be nice if her niece and nephew could taste it when they came to play.