Pokémon Sun & Moon – Big Malasada

“It’s the miraculous munchy born in Alola!”

Even though Pokémon games don’t have the robust menu that most JRPGs boast nowadays, the few food items they DO have are just so unique and iconic that I just can’t help wanting to make them for myself! I especially like when the food item compliments the region like the Lumiose Galettes do in Pokémon X & Y.  The Kalos region in those games was based heavily on Northern France so they included a version of the classic galette des rois pastry. Pokémon Sun & Moon takes place in the Alola region (a fantastical interpretation of the Hawaiian islands) so it’s only fitting that the unique food item from these games be the traditional Hawaiian doughnut known as Malasada.

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Pokémon Diamond & Pearl – Old Gateau

Although #PokeNOM may have officially ended, I still had one more Pokémon entry for you all. In my defense however, the onset of cooler weather and spooky decorations is actually the perfect backdrop for this recipe!

Described as its “hidden specialty,” the Old Gateau is very appropriately found while exploring the creepy and definitely haunted Old Chateau outside of Eterna Forest. While I’m pretty conspicuous when it comes to my love of wordplay, there’s actually much more to this pun on second glance.

Pixel sprite image of the Old Gateau item from the Pokemon game series.

As many of you may know, gateau (pronounced: geh-toe) is a french word that means “cake.” However, the image above certainly doesn’t resemble any kind of cake I know of, and that’s because it’s not really a cake at all! This type of inconsistency is found quite often in video games (and their foods!) that are brought to Western audiences, and is a product of the localization process. Localization is the means by which something is adapted to suit different audiences or markets, usually across cultural and linguistic barriers.

Most of the video games I cover in the blog were originally written and programmed in Japanese. Obviously the games are translated so that English speakers such as myself can understand them, but the process doesn’t end there. Many times in games as well as TV shows and movies there will be cultural references or word play that simply would not make sense to a nonnative viewer and thus must be “localized.”

In the case of the Old Gateau, the connection to the Old Chateau makes sense, but these names were completely different in the Japanese version of the game. In the original, the Old Chateau is called もりのようかん (Forest Manor) and the Old Gateau is もりのヨウカン (Forest Yōkan.) Both of these words are pronounced “mori no yōkan” in Japanese and therefore a different, yet equally clever play on words can be understood.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!? you may be typing in all caps. Well, it means that in the original version of the game, the item in question was never a cake to begin with! Instead, it’s in fact a popular Japanese confection called Yōkan. It’s actually a snap to make, so why not give the recipe below a try!

(By the way, if you find this stuff stuff interesting like I do, definitely check out my friend Tomato’s website Legends of Localization to see all sorts of neat facts and trivia!)

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Pokémon X & Y – Lumiose Galettes

Hello and welcome to #PokeNOM month, everybody! Myself, and several other cool nerdy food people have begun scheduling monthly food themes based on books, movies, and video games as a way to bring the community together. Check out the post over at The Gluttonous Geek to get all the details, recipe links, and more! And you may just find some cool new blogs to follow as well!

My first contribution to #PokeNOM are the prided pastries of Lumiose City, Lumiose Galettes!

The sprite might look like just a cookie, but galettes are actually little cakes! There are a few different kinds, but because of the Parisian aesthetic of Lumiose City in Pokémon X & Y, I felt like this item would most closely resemble the Galette des Rois, or “King Cake,” which is popular in France around Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Lumiose Galette pixel sprite from the Pokemon game series.

The galette, also called a pithivier, is very simple to put together and very tasty to eat (the best combination!). It basically amounts to a sweet almond filling, called frangipane, tucked between two layers of puff pastry. Hopefully using the recipe below, now even you can enjoy the most popular treat in The City of Light!

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