Spine Fruit, Eronidas Blood Fruit, Red Pineapple|
Sometimes called the “king-among-fruit” for the spiked crown of leaves that protrude from the top of the fruit, the Shurbakal is a plant originally cultivated on distant Guldar now transplanted to wider Aloria by the Eronidas. The blood-red flesh of a Shurbakal’s fruit is surprisingly sweet and has been a favorite treat among Eronidas for many millennia. It is difficult to grow, taking plenty of time and care, though the sweet fruit and juice it produces is certainly worth it for many. It has seen rising popularity among non-Eronidas, resulting in Shurbakal being farmed across the broad swath of tropical terrain.
Shurbakal was a beautiful fruit which initially grew on Guldar, among the jungles of the Avarr. A plant they initially enjoyed (as its rich red juices and coloration was highly emblematic of the blood they so craved as part of their violent society), the Eronidas they oppressed came to highly value the fruit. When the Avarr were eliminated by the Dragons, the Eronidas quickly took to growing Shurbakal, and embraced it as a key part of their culinary culture. Their love of fruit extended to other plants beyond the red pineapple, but Skurbakal remained part of many dessert centerpieces at feasts. When the Eronidas fled Guldar in their exodus, they took the fruit with them, but its consumption was rationed. Harder to grow in the unique farms the Eronidas had established, and unable to grow well in the short spans of time the Eronidas spent on most of the Drifting Isles, the crop dwindled among the fleets. At last, when the Eronidas reached wider Aloria and split off, some fleets had entirely lost access to Skurbakal, or found themselves in territories whose climate was not suited to the growth of the plant. Those Eronidas who landed in Westwynd and Altaleï were soon able to make the bush thrive, however, and it remains a key part of Eronidas' agriculture to this day. Non-Eronidas have increasingly come to enjoy the fruit as well, from the Kathar who live beyond the Dread Empire and seek red liquids to mimic those of the Dread Kathar, to the wealthy Ailor who always enjoy an exotic dish.
Shurbakal grows to be between three and four feet tall. At the base of the plant is a thick, woody stalk from which the long, green, fluted leaves of the plant extend outwards in all directions. These leaves are anywhere from one and a half to two feet long, resulting in the plant’s circumference being roughly the same as its height. These leaves have a series of small, thorn-like hooks along the sides. Twice each year, the budding of one to three bright bell-shaped flowers form at the center of the plant. These flowers have a bright-pink coloration with a deep red base. After a few weeks, these flowers begin to turn into the initial stages of the fruit. It then takes roughly two months to grow to maturity, the flowers ultimately all fusing together to create the final product. The fruit of the plant, known as a Shurbu, is roughly a foot tall and can weigh as much as ten pounds, with an egg-shape topped by a thick top of green brittling leaves. The fruit’s skin is red, as are its insides, but the external skin is covered in highly durable brown spines which protect the plant from most animals.
Uses and Abilities
Shurbakal is primarily used in cuisine, with the Shurbu it produces being a sweet and tangy substance. They are commonly cut open and eaten in the traditional Eronidas way involving such fruit, but outsiders largely just cut them into triangles or keep them as rings. In addition, the fruit’s juice is an exotic ingredient drunk whole, though rarely at a very high concentration, for it is often deemed too tangy, and is sometimes incorporated as a sweetener. From candies to ice-related dessert dishes, the Shurbu has many uses. However, the Eronidas have also created a special dish, known as Shur-Drak, which has the central stalk dried and cut into thin strips. These are often brought on military campaigns and used as an energy boost on long marches. They also find themselves capable of producing crude sugar through the grinding of the dried stalk, allowing for them to sweeten dishes but also harvest something else of value for export.
- Shurbu juice is occasionally kept in bars to be mixed with a dark rum. The resulting beverage is called a “Setting Sun,” as the Shurbu juice mixes with the rum creating a similar appearance to the sky at sunset.
- Shurbakal sugar is a rare trade commodity sold to Regalian traders known for its unique taste.
- Normal pineapples are a product of Altaleï and Westwynd, with some believing they were developed from Shurbakal plants heavily altered by Elven cultivators in the final millennia of the Allorn Empire.
HydraLana on 11/15/2023.|
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