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Butter on Roshar?


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Just started another re-read/listen to the Way of Kings, kind of as prep for SA 5 later this year. I noticed something that caused me to pause in thought, and wonder about life on Roshar, and laugh a little bit. 

In chapter 15, Dalinar uses the metaphor “like a pat of butter sliding off a too-hot knife” to describe his memories of his wife. And I suddenly thought “where are they getting milk for butter?” The only “common” mammals outside of Shinovar are horses/Ryshadium, minks, and they mention swine being used as bait in the greatshell hunt. My guess is that they use horse milk, just because that would be most similar to cultures on earth (nomadic Mongolian people often use horse milk) and my Wikipedia research says that while pig milk is similar to cow milk, pigs don’t tolerate milking well, lactating sows are too aggressive. My partner insists that mink milk must be the answer, but how do you milk a mink?!?! They’ve got to be too small. I guess people milk is an option as well? But using either people or Ryshadium for milk would be odd, humans don’t tend to like using other sentient beings as food sources.

Shallan specifically mentions enjoying jam imported from Shinovar, but I would think that dairy products would be too delicate to ship very far for trade on Roshar. Even though I suppose that fabrials would enable refrigeration. 

Am I forgetting some part where they talk about obtaining dairy products? Anybody know of a “word of Brandon” on this?

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Welcome to the Shard. Here are some tips and tricks that you may not yet know (as each forum is slightly different):

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And more on searching information from the Coppermind and Arcanum


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Hope that helps

6 hours ago, LiseeLou said:

Anybody know of a “word of Brandon” on this?

Yes, here it is:



The characters eat all of these crustaceans... do they have some sort of butter to dip into—even without cows, although maybe they have cows in Shinovar? (I can't be the only one who envisions himself on Roshar eating dinner every time I eat crab or lobster)

Brandon Sanderson

Their milk products are much lesser used, but they do get cream and whatnot from sow's milk. The pigs on Roshar produce more milk from years of natural genetic modification—breeding and whatnot—in the same way that humans have bred cows over the centuries. So they do have milk products. Some of their curries will have different types of cream. Whether they're dipping the crustaceans depends on the culture. For instance, Horneaters have teeth that break claws. Their back molars are different from standard human molars. To a lesser extent, the Herdazians have the same thing going for them. For those two cultures, they'll chew the shells and eat them. For the Alethi, they're probably dipping the meat in a curry, or just preparing the curry with the crustacean meat in it. There are other cultures where they’ll sauté it or have a sow's milk dipping sauce or things like that.

Tor.com The Way of Kings Re-Read Interview (June 10, 2014)

Hope that helps

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Thanks! I’m glad it’s not mink milk, for some reason, that sounded so difficult and weird. 
And thanks for the arcanum searching tip. Searching on coppermind and here did not yield the results I was looking for, but I’ve retraced your steps here and see the method. 

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