The Szechuan smell of garlic and peppercorns, the fiery red flavour of chilli, balanced against an eruption of ginger and sesame – Gha’l Zhauo. Flame-tongued is the nearest translation.
Gentle Zhauo Kialu, nutty like bamboo shoots yet with the rich, cloying, sunlight-in-the-British-summer sweetness of mint.
A taste of fish, with a stuffing of what seemed to be pine-nuts and breadcrumbs – Lian Aipur.
Kebabs of what tasted like goat, or kangaroo. The touch of umami against your lips, the numbing acceptance of Thians – you become ready. Ready to feast. A flood of cholecystokinin to the stomach, and your tongue swells, ignoring the horror on the table before you. A moment of intricate silence.
The xenos have perfected the culinary arts – small wonder that the first explorers met the same fate that befell those on earlier adventures: Into the cooking pot!