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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet really lean into the whole people-eat-Pokémon thing

Klawf al Ajillo, pickled Toedscool, and Pokémon that are literally olives

A Klawf Claw sandwich in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo via Polygon
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Look, it’s no secret that people eat Pokémon. It happens in both the anime and in the video games. But it’s hard to ignore just how many delicious, food-based Pokémon there are in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. They’re everywhere, including in meals and sandwiches used as buffs in-game.

Let’s begin with the Pokémon that are literally, explicitly food. I’m thinking along the lines of Lechonk, or Oinkologne, whose name is literally a play on bologne. (Ham, incidentally, was an important sandwich ingredient in Sword and Shield.) Scarlet and Violet have three Pokémon that are made out of olives (Smoliv, Dolliv, and Arboliva), two that are chili peppers (Capsakid and Scovillain), a sushi-like fish creature (Tatsugiri), and two dogs made out of bread (Fidough and Dachsbun). Combine any of those with rock-salt Pokémon Nacli, Naclstack, and Garganacl, and you’ve got a tasty meal.

A screenshot from a menu in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. An image for “Klawf al Ajillo” is highlighted. There is a whole Klawf claw (which looks like a crab claw) in the soup bowl, so large it sticks out of the side, along with the soup. Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo via Polygon

There’s even a sandwich ingredient made specifically from Klawf Sticks, likely a Pokémon version of imitation crab. Guides writer Julia Lee suggested that it means Klawf Sticks are made from some ground up, readily available fish like Magikarp. According to the item description, though, it’s ground up Klawf shells — though there’s got to be something else in there.

Beyond sandwiches, there’s also a bunch of food served at restaurants throughout Paldea. Like sandwiches, these give passive buffs for activities like finding eggs and/or Pokémon of a certain type. Two of these dishes stand out for their prominent ingredients: Klawf and Toedscool. In Klawf al Ajillo, served at the Go-For-Broke Grill, there’s a big ol’ Klawf shell sticking out of the bowl. Honestly, it looks delicious.

A screenshot from a restaurant menu in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. “Pickled Toedscool and Cucumber” is highlighted. The dish looks like a mix of cucumber, mushroom, and pepper. Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo via Polygon

At Jade Palace Garden, there’s the Pickled Toedscool and Cucumber dish, made from Toedscool, which is canonically a Pokémon that’s “chewy and very delicious,” according to its Pokédex entry.

Beyond Pokémon as ingredients, the food in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is visually fantastic — maybe the best looking food in a Pokémon game. There are a few different restaurants and cafes along the city streets, but there are also small vendors selling churros and ice cream. There’s a surprisingly large variety, which is nice for food-in-games-appreciators like me. It’s the small details like this, rather than a bloated open world, that make these spaces feel more intimate and lived-in; to know what the people of Paldea eat means feeling a little bit closer to its inhabitants, and learning a little bit more about their world.

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