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Critical Role cookbook gives us a taste of Vox Machina’s Tal’Dorei

A recipe from Exquisite Exandria, available this August

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A chicken pasta dish, with lots of garlic. A photograph of a recipe from Exquisite Exandria Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

I love products that reward fandoms by bringing them closer to the center of the worlds they love. I’ll never forget finding The Dragonlover’s Guide to Pern, a book co-written by science fiction author Anne McCaffrey, which included a recipe for klah — the coffee-like drink that had been a fixture in my favorite fictional world from childhood. That’s why I’m so excited for fans of Critical Role and The Legend of Vox Machina, because later this year they’ll finally have the chance to taste the world of Tal’Dorei.

The cover of Exquisite Exandria shows the closeup of a feast table, covered with pies and meat dishes. Is that a quesadilla? Who let the cat in here!? No gauntlets at the table! Image: Penguin Random House and Critical Role

Exquisite Exandria: The Official Cookbook of Critical Role is ready for its big debut this summer, and fans are in for a treat. Written by Liz Marsham, with recipes by Jesse Szewczyk, Susan Vu, and Amanda Yee, inside you’ll find 60 dishes and drinks inspired by the world of Critical Role. The official description lists a few that should pique any Critter’s interest, including Slayer’s Cake from Whitestone, the Issylrian delicacy known as Highsummer Honey Polenta, and even some street meat from Marquet.

Publishers Penguin Random House were kind enough to share a sneak peek with Polygon readers. It’s a pasta dish known as Percival de Rolo’s Revenge Pasta, and I’m sure you can guess what the key ingredient is.

A recipe for a pasta dish, which includes 20 cloves of garlic and some fresh pepper. It’s called Rolo’s Revenge, based on the world of Critical Role. Image: Penguin Random House and Critical Role

Garlic. It’s garlic — 20 whole cloves of garlic.

As far as recipes go, it’s every bit as grounded in the world of Critical Role as Heroes’ Feast: The Official Dungeons & Dragons Cookbook is grounded in the worlds of Faerûn and Krynn. But, more so than the slightly more technical dishes in that excellent book, De Rolo’s Revenge Pasta leaves plenty of room for improvisation — just like a good episode of an actual play. My family added to the meal by rolling up some hickory smoked chicken breasts on the grill, marinated simply with Italian dressing, a fresh baby kale and beet salad, and a well-aged Barovian wine that just came in the mail.

Good news! There are no leftovers to speak of, the kids are clamoring for more, and I’ve been invited to a mysterious castle by a count with impeccable taste in reds. Best toss a bit of extra garlic in the overnight bag just to be on the safe side.

Exquisite Exandria: The Official Cookbook of Critical Role arrives on Aug. 29 with a retail price of $29.99. It includes a foreword by Quyen Tran and Sam Riegel. You can pre-order with your local bookseller and online.


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