A golden pastry with colorful toppings|
- ¼ sour goat cheese
- ¼ firm white cheese curds
- ¼ sharp yellow cheese
- ¼ cow’s milk cheese
- Premade dough
- Optional: Honey, syrup, sap, sweet pulped fruit, or savory sauces
Ostepai is a beautiful, delicate cheese pastry which surprisingly originates from the rugged northlands of Holzskagger. The tartlet is constructed of thin layers of baked pastry, incorporating several interwoven varieties of cheese, cemented with butter, and dressed with any number of savory sauces, sweet syrups, or other additives. Ostepai has benefited from the relatively recent integration of more refined baking techniques and influences proliferating across Holzskagger’s borders as a result of cultural trade. As a result, while its components remain largely traditional to local tastes, its added ingredients have expanded to include the sweet and savory traditions of other regions. However, despite its sparse foreign influences, Ostepai is still viewed as a traditional item of Holzskagger.
In its earliest form, the direct origins of which are too old to be effectively traced, Ostepai was a simple, thick-skinned pastry filled with sour cottage cheese. However, as Holzskagger suffered in the Skagger Wars, both its ingredients and the baking techniques required to create it were disrupted. When the Wars finally ended and Holzskagger was absorbed into the wider Empire, the arrival of scattered Ithanian migrants resurrected the dish thanks to the baking skills they brought with them. Now, Ostepai incorporates four different tastes and textures of cheese, with a much thinner and crunchier pastry than it did at its genesis. Today, Ostepai is consumed mostly as a breakfast dish featuring any number of toppings. As a result of its sheer versatility, the ease of its preparation, and its status as a truly delicious treat, Ostepai has discharged quickly across Holzskagger’s borders and into the Regalian Empire. Additionally, because of the simple nature of its ingredients, Ostepai is prolific through all levels of economic class - for upper classes, it is upscaled by using combinations of expensive or artisanal ingredients.
The preparation of Ostepai is not as difficult as it is simply time-consuming; the payoff, however, is a beautiful golden pastry that breaks into crumbly pieces tied together by ribbons upon ribbons of rich cheese. The baker starts first with the most difficult step: the construction of the pastry itself. The exterior crust is created by cutting and layering thin wafers of unleavened dough, with butter as an adhesive agent. When the pastry is complete, it is filled with four different categories of cheese local to the area it’s being created in. It is then baked, most often in a stone oven, cooled, and finally topped with any number of toppings depending on the circumstance or time of its creation.
- Ostepai appears as a tartlet of various colored cheeses - it’s cast in striated strips of white, yellow, and champagne gold, like a field of wheat.
- The smell of the pastry is unique and shifts according to the cheeses incorporated into it - it is always slightly pungent, with an edge of sweet dairy.
- Ostepai is a unique item and integrates a profile of tastes that can vary, but always with salty, nutty, and mildly sharp notes. Depending on its topping, Ostepai will carry either sweet, savory, or fruity characteristics, with similar texture and temperature changes.
- Ostepai has been adopted as one of several tea-time pastries of the Regalian Empire’s aristocratic courts - in this capacity, it is generally topped by a stone fruit puree and powdered with coarse sugar.
- A famous explorer, when served Ostepai, made a jesting comment that it was a rather feminine pastry for the rugged cultures of the North Belt - he was roughly ejected by the insulted tavern-owner and his drunken patrons.
- Ostepai was famously a favorite pastry of Allestrain III and saw a significant boost in consumption after this preference became known to Regalian Empire aristocracy.
HydraLana on 09/23/2018.|
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