And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, "I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak unto them, saying, 'At evening ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God.'"
Many myths and folk tales describe a food that is created by gods
, magic, or some kind of phlebotinum
to feed people in a time of need. It goes by many names: manna, ambrosia, nectar, etc., but it is usually portrayed as a gift to sustain the faithful. It may taste like heaven itself or cardboard
, but it is enough to keep you on your feet.
This trope is Older Than Feudalism
, going all the way back to Greek mythology and the concept of ambrosia, although in some cases it gets mixed up with the food eaten by the gods themselves that provides them with immortality
, and so forth.
In a Standard Fantasy Setting
, priests and/or wizards may be able to conjure food; this is typically sustaining but bland. In a Science Fiction
setting, Food Pills
may be utilized; if not, Applied Phlebotinum
may churn out gruel or paste for the masses that keeps them alive, if not necessarily happy, with "real food
" available only to the privileged. The point is that the food in question comes from a "black box", whether it be magic or science that's involved in creating it. A typical dystopian subversion
is that the food is created in an immoral
A subtrope of Supernatural Aid
. See also Matter Replicator
- The Bible:
- God sent manna to feed the Israelites in their exile.
- Elijah once encountered a widow and her son during a famine who were down to their last meal, but after they prepared a cake for him from what little they had, he promised them that their flour and oil would not run out until the drought and famine were over, and God fulfilled that promise so that even though they didn't get any more flour and oil, what little they had never ran out.
- Jesus fed 5000 men plus women and children using five loaves and two fishes. On another occasion, He fed 4000 using a few loaves of bread.
- The Lord of the Rings: Elven lembas, or waybread, is created by a secret art, never spoils, and a single bite can sustain a person for an entire day.
- The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: Nicholas can create food very quickly with alchemy.
- Star Trek Universe: The replicators can recycle matter to synthesize almost anything, including food and drinks. Several episodes have seen the crew replicate food and other provisions for people in need.
- In Finnish mythology, the Sampo is a magical mill that produces grain and salt from nothing.
- In Greek mythology, the Cornucopia is a magical horn created by Zeus (or Herakles in some versions) which is said to be able to create a never-ending supply of fruits and vegetables.
- Dungeons & Dragons: Magic users in all editions of D&D have spells that can conjure food and water. Some magic items can do this as well, and most deities have it as one of their basic powers.
- Exalted is about demigods performing miracles, so of course it has the spell, "Food from the Aerial Table"; One casting of this spell produces enough food to feed a unit of Magnitude (Essence) for one day. It's demonstrated in Keychain of Creation here. And it makes all witnesses want to learn sorcery.
- In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, there is a Gift the Bone Gnawer tribe have called Cooking. It allows the Bone Gnawer to turn anything into bland but nutritious food. Anything.
- SCP Foundation
- SCP-1176 is a sarcophagus that produces an extremely nourishing honey-like substance. This being the SCP Foundation universe, it's only after widespread distribution that they discovered it only works on those of a certain blood type, killing all the others.
- SCP-1615 is an edible fungus that causes the eater to survive via photosynthesis until a more stable food source can be found.