The Weekly Kickstarter: Ethnic Cooking from an Imaginary Land

We live in a time when much of the excitement of exploration is behind us. Barring the depths of the sea, humanity has found and mapped out pretty much all there is to discover on Earth (and yet, sadly, still no sasquatches). Luckily, we are a species with great imaginations and, when actual locations are exhausted, we're perfectly capable of inventing our own. That's just what this week's featured Kickstarter project, the fictional cookbook/history work, The Feasts of Tre-mang has done.

We live in a time when much of the excitement of exploration is behind us. Barring the depths of the sea, humanity has found and mapped out pretty much all there is to discover on Earth (and yet, sadly, still no sasquatches). Luckily, we are a species with great imaginations and, when actual locations are exhausted, we’re perfectly capable of inventing our own. That’s just what this week’s featured Kickstarter project, the fictional cookbook/history work, The Feasts of Tre-mang has done.

The Feasts of Tre-mang is a fantastic absurdity — an ethnic cooking guide to a land that has never existed. Creator, Eli Brown, has slaved over his construction, vividly recounting the history of Tre-mang, an island nation situated in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, describing its customs, its relations with various colonial occupiers and, of course, it’s local food.

And while everything else about Tre-mang may be fiction, the recipes themselves are not. Eli Brown has worked hard at creating food that not only fits into the cultural background of his country — but that tastes good too. Along with the many details that Brown has created for the invented Tre-mang, his book is full of original recipes that channel the type of meals that denziens of an island nation, colonized by Spain, France and Portugal throughout its history, would likely have called their own.

The book provides readers with everything required for celebrating Tre-mang’s rich heritage by offering cultural background of dishes before describing exactly how to prepare them. Fancy duck for dinner but want to try something different? The Feasts of Tre-mang will tell you exactly why mean-spirited fowl just tastes better along with a brand new recipe to take for a test spin alongside it.

Brown comes to The Feasts of Tre-mang with an impressive background in food and literature writing. Along with an award-winning first novel (The Great Days) and ongoing poetry output, he maintains a regularly updated culinary blog (Tuttifoodie.com) that serves as a great demonstration of his culinary imagination and skill. These qualifications allow readers to trust their taste (both literal and intellectual) to Brown’s capable hands, knowing that their time spent exploring Tre-mang holds great pay-offs.

Contributions to the project go toward Brown’s continued effort to properly document the food, history and customs of Tre-mang. It’s a lot of work, inventing a nation and an entirely new style of food, and The Feasts of Tre-mang now requires a boost from interested fans in order to make print.

Brown currently needs financial support that will be directed toward the completion of the book’s manuscript, recipe ingredients and testing, edits and design layouts and, lastly, marketing and publicty for the finished product. Of course, because this is Kickstarter, a number of tiered “thank you” prizes are available to donors. These range from credit on the Tre-mang website (for $5) to being crowned as “Honorary Governor of Tre-mang” at a live ceremony (for $550 and up).

To learn more about the project, visit its official website (which offers excerpts and sample recipes) or head over to its Kickstarter page. The Feasts of Tre-mang will be funded on Friday, April 8 at 1.24pm EST (if the funding goal of $6,000 is met).