Cheeses of Sornieth
folks on my Discord channel convinced me to write these headcanons about friggin’ dragon cheese so here we go (im a cheese specialist irl thats my job description lmao)
Earth - cheesemakers in the Earthshaker’s domain use the many natural crevices and caves scattered around Dragonhome to age their cheese, piling rocks and dirt over the molds to prevent the dry air from scorching the cheese before its ready. earth cheese is usually cave aged, with a deep, musty flavor and a naturally speckled rind that is edible but usually too strong for most dragons to stomach. the older and more crumbly the cheese, the more readily its eaten in Dragonhome. rocks are a popular additive, so non earth dragons must watch their teeth.
Nature - dragons in the Viridian Labyrinth like their cheese as colorful and bright as they are, and often use locally sourced dried fruits and spices to enhance the taste of the cheeses they make. nature cheese is usually very brightly wrapped in waxed rinds, and is often given as a gift to new members of clans or visiting dignitaries. due to the hot and humid climate, nature cheese cant be aged for too long without serious mold issues, so the cheese is usually eaten at a relatively young age, accompanied by fresh fruit and wine.
Arcane - to taste cheese from the Starfall Isles is to experience a strange realm of clashing flavors. arcane dragons are incredibly fond of making cheese, although their home isnt exactly suited to the art. wheels of cheese often blink in and out of existence, returning months later perfectly aged (or possibly covered in strange magical runes and shrieking.) experimentation is an arcane cheesemaker’s claim to fame, and combining different methods from other flights in order to see what happens is the norm. arcane cheeses are usually paper wrapped, and can range from young to incredibly aged. it all depends on the magic used.
Plague - with resources as scarce and warped as they are, cheesemakers in the Scarred Wasteland dont waste a scrap in the production of their cheese. with mold and mildew running rampant, plague dragons are especially honed to the moods of blue cheese, and can craft especially pungent varieties that would make the Plaguebringer’s toes curl. when blue cheese isnt being made, plague dragons are often found producing any manner of soft-ripened cheeses, with a stink that is so horrid, you never know if something has died, or a cheesemaker is perfecting his craft. meaty flavors are preferred, and plague dragons are not above using blood as an ingredient.
Shadow - shadow cheesemakers are a secretive bunch. using local flora and fauna to craft and flavor their cheeses (spearmint is a particular favorite.) they are particularly fond of letting the ever-present mushrooms of the Tangled Wood overtake their cheese molds, which instills a deep, earthy flavor with a bitter aftertase. shadow cheeses are often cloth wrapped in whatever tatters that can be reused from old worn clothes and apparel, and usually take the form of a crescent moon shape, as opposed to the circular wheels found in other areas of Sornieth. shadow cheeses have washed rinds, the source of said washing liquid being a closely guarded secret.
Light - cheesemakers in the Sunbeam Ruins, in keeping with their archaeological roots, are always attempting to uncover ancient cheese recipes long forgotten. trial and error produces some of the most complex flavors of cheese in Sornieth, as light dragons are fastidious in their recreating of ancient secrets and methods. semi-hard cheeses are the norm in light dominated areas, with carefully constructed aging racks set into the crumbling ruins. light cheesemakers are still in the process of developing a method that would expose the cheese to full sunlight at all times, in order to glorify the power of the Lightweaver. they have yet to perfect this method.
Wind - carefully wrapped in young bamboo shoots and leaves, cheese originating from the Windswept Plateau is almost never of any particular uniform shape, size, or color. wind cheesemakers prefer their cheeses to be young and bright, with rich buttery flavor. flavored rinds are common here, originating either from the natural wrappings or from purposeful washes. since wind dragons spend so little time on solid earth, their cheeses are often taken airborne with them, and the aging process (if any) is a turbulent affair. pull apart cheese is a favorite, easily carried and handed out to young dragons to help sustaint hem as they fly.
Water - moisture is cheese’s number one enemy, and with the majority of the Sea of a Thousand currents being submerged, its often difficult to find any water born cheesemakers at all. those who persevere produce spongy, soft cheeses that mimic the natural sea life. cheese wheels are often buried in the loamy soil of the Tsunami Flats, where they can age peacefully. the texture of water cheese is often gritty, as even the most careful water dragons cannot remove all of the sand from their paws. shallow pools are used to produce briny washes for the cheeses made here, and salt crystals form readily on the rinds and wraps that encase the cheese.
Lightning - the Shifting Expanse is naturally arid, and so cheesemakers in the realm of lightning use this to their advantage when producing their cheese. mold resistant cheeses are very common, with a crumbly texture and very sharp taste. dragons closer to the influence of the Stormcatcher create cheese wheels of exacting uniformity, weight, and size, under the careful gaze of their task-driving deity. lightning dragons have found all sorts of uses for the electricity that naturally crackles around them and their homeland, and often create massive pieces of machinery in order to process their cheese. complex, exacting, and a little bit manic, lightning born cheesemakers have yet to find a way to put lightning directly into their cheese. theyre working on it.
Fire - the Ashfall Wastes are no place for cheese, at least not in a solid state anyway. cheesemakers residing in fire take their craft to the naturally occurring magma vents, using the heat and pressure to cook up vast vats of melted cheese with which to dip all manner of foods into. when fondues are not on the menu, fire dragons take to bartering with other flights in order to procure the spiciest ingredients they an get their claws on. flame resistant and incredibly hot peppers are grown in abundance in the dry and ash rich soils of the Emberglow Hearth, and these as well as bartered ingredients are thrown into cheese recipes with wanton abandon. a fire made cheese is many things, but mild is never ever one of them.
Ice - with temperatures as frigid and unrelenting as they are, clans in the Southern Icefields are pressed to keep their cheeses from freezing over. many local fauna such as elk are corralled and herded by ice born dragons, and their milk is used to make incredibly rich, soft cheeses which are eaten for sustenance with most meals. ice dragons are often seen bartering and trading with local beastclans, and many ingredients for their cheeses (as well as recipes) are beastclan born. cheeses produced in ice are hung in sturdy fur sacks throughout the more mild months, and are only opened when the ice storms are at their most ferocious and hunting is impossible without risking life and limb. ice dragons are particularly fond of stinkier cheeses, as the strong rich milk they use gives their cheese a natural odor and musky flavor.