Ever since the opening of Galaxy’s Edge in both California’s Disneyland and Florida’s Disney World, Star Wars fans across the world have dreamed about stepping foot onto the fabled stones of Batuu. Innumerable pictures and videos of the land have spread far and wide across blogs, timelines, and group chats, and every prospective visitor has been able to fantasize about their own dream trip to one of the most important creations in the history of the franchise.
What will I see?
What will I do?
What will I buy?
The preparation necessary for such a potentially life changing experience can be truly daunting, and with so many factors to consider, fans have been eagerly searching for any and all information available to ease that burden. Thankfully, the folks over at Insight Editions have recently published a new book that will help answer at least one of those essential inquiries:
What will I eat?
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook from Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Marc Sumerak is here to answer that exact question by offering readers a chance to experience the exotic cuisine of the Disney park right in the comfort of their own kitchen.
Upon first opening The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook, you’ll notice one very important detail that sets it apart from other books of its kind. This cookbook has a narrator. If you’ve been fortunate enough to read Delilah Dawson’s Black Spire or Zoraida Córdova’s A Crash of Fate, you may remember a certain Artiodac named Strono Tuggs, or “Cookie.” Cookie acts as our guide through the various spices, dips, drinks, and more by not only laying out the ingredients necessary to compose these concoctions, but also offering backstory and fun facts about every dish in the book.
That’s right. Every. Single. One.
Marc Sumerak tackles these narration duties while Chelsea Monro-Cassel is responsible for the heart of the recipes themselves. As someone who doesn’t profess to be any kind of master where the kitchen is concerned, I found Sumerak’s writing of Cookie to be remarkably enjoyable and honestly enticing. The introduction of the book takes you through Cookie’s culinary career from his time at Maz’s castle (another reason to go rewatch The Force Awakens) to serving salads on Savareen and desserts on D’Qar. Cookie’s reverence for cooking that he picked up from the holovids of the ancient chef Gormaanda, fictional though it may be, really put me at ease as I began to flip through the actual recipes.
I wasn’t just going through a list of dishes that I may not be able to make; I was becoming a part of Cookie’s story. How cool is that?
For folks that may not have experienced Black Spire Outpost either in person or within the novels, Sumerak does an excellent job describing the various stalls and restaurants after Cookie’s introduction. Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo, Ronto Roasters, Oga’s Cantina, The Milk Stand, and Kat Saka’s Kettle all get their due through the eyes of the Artiodac, and before I even dived into the first recipe, my mouth was already watering.
But then, of course, come the stars of the show: the actual food that you’ll be preparing in the style of Galaxy’s Edge. As stated above, I was a bit nervous about voyaging into the culinary galaxy of Strono Tuggs, but luckily, the layout of The Black Spire Outpost Official Cookbook is easy to follow, gorgeous to look at, and exceedingly entertaining.
The recipes are laid out into seven categories, and each division has its own unique charm that adds to both the experience of reading the book and the process of preparing the actual food. When you turn to a specific recipe, you’ll be greeted by a paragraph of narration and stories from Cookie geared towards your chosen item, and then you’re off to the races. Each entry features Prep Time, Yield, and Difficulty so you can properly assess what kind of night you’re about to have regardless of your previous experience in the kitchen.
Here are a few of my favorite facts from each section of Cookie’s expertise as well as some recipe previews.
Condiments, Sauces, and Garnishes
- I would have never imagined how key creating specific spice blends would be, but the fact that you can create these additives before diving into the main courses adds that extra layer of authenticity to your experience.
- In terms of accessibility, each spice and dip tells you which later recipe will use its contents, so flipping back in forth as you cook is as easy as possible.
Sides, Starters, and Snacks
- Most of these starters could be considered “small plates.” Depending on how much you want to prep, you can create anything from a small salad to a decent sized entree from this section.
- Some of my personal favorite EU Easter Eggs appear in this section with the Xizor Salad (a perfect fit for any Black Sun Prince) and the Constable’s Caps in honor of the greatest cameo that we never saw.
- A few of these recipes include personal anecdotes from Cookie about his discovery of the dish. For example, the Mon Cala Sardine Fritters were had at intermission at an opera at the Moncaladrome.
Soups & Stews
- For culinary Padawans like myself, every dish in this section is firmly planted at the Easy level of difficulty.
- The photography in this section especially shines thanks to the skills of Ted Thomas.
- Any rudimentary chef will tell you that baking bread is a tough business, and Cookie is no different. The introduction of this section braces you for the difficult road ahead.
- However, one of the easier and more fun recipes in this section was the Polystarch Portion Bread that Rey makes on Jakku. 1 minute of prep + 1 minute of cooking = 1 serving and 1 satisfied scavenger.
- Cookie sets up this section by telling us that these will be “Fast and flavorful” dishes - perfect for any smugglers on the run.
- A few animals will be exceedingly familiar to fans of all eras! Puffer Pigs and Nerfs stood out as my favorites.
- Fans of A Crash of Fate will be happy to know that you can make your own Tip-Yip which was featured prominently in that story and bears a striking similarity to chicken.
- Corran Horn would be jumping out of his cockpit to find the official recipe for Corellian Ryshcate in this section.
- A few of the dishes here get a bit more traditional by Earth standards, but they’re no less delicious.
- Whether you’re cooking for younglings or hosting a party of Dryden Voss’s First Light, you’ll be all set here as the book offers both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.
- A good amount of drinks use some spices from earlier in the book, and the earlier numbers are printed when needed for your quick reference.
- Quite a few drinks from Vi’s introduction in Black Spire can be found here as well as the famous Port in a Storm from Claudia Gray’s Bloodline.
Once you’ve made your way through every recipe, Cookie leaves you with one more gift that may not be quite as popular on Batuu as it is on Earth: Dietary Restrictions. At the back of the book, there’s a marvelously helpful table that tells you which recipes are Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, or can be easily made with substitutes that are. This type of inclusion will ensure that you can enjoy your homemade voyage to Galaxy’s Edge no matter what!
If you’re not able to make the trip out to Batuu, yourself, or if you’re simply hoping to get a little practice in before you step through the fabled gates of Black Spire, you can’t go wrong trying out some of Cookie’s favorites in The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook. Monroe-Cassel, Sumerak, and Thomas have compiled a book that is informative, entertaining, and beautifully immersive that will keep your personal hyperdrive fueled for years to come.
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