Home Delicious in Dungeon Episode 20 - Cryptobotany

Delicious in Dungeon Episode 20 - Cryptobotany

I don’t aspire much in life or have any grand wishes or hopes. But after watching Delicious in Dungeon episode 20, I added one more thing to my bucket list: talking to Ryoko Kui. After all, anyone who is so adept at capturing the excitement and repugnance that comes with trying exotic food and seems interested in cryptozoology, is a really unique person in my book. If they were a gacha character, they’d be a UR (Ultra-Rare) level card.

New Company & Ice Golems

As the Delicious in Dungeon party presses forward in episode 20, they’re butting heads with a somewhat feral Itzusumi. Some may say she’s ill-mannered while others say she’s just displaying typical feline behavior. Either way, as the party gets to the area where they had first fought the Red Dragon, luck is somewhat on their side.

Most of their supplies are still scattered about. Their food, however, isn’t. So, it’s time for them to do what they do best—chow down on questionable cuisine. And by they, I mean Laios, Senshi, and, to an extent, Chilchuck. Marcille doesn’t belong in that exalted group.

As they scavenge for food, they come across a frozen waterfall and a plunge pool. Which, to their luck, contains frozen fish. But as they try to collect said fish, they awaken an ice golem, which immediately incapacitates Laios, Marcille, and Senshi. Being the only ones left, Chilchuck and Itzusumi tag team to bring down the manufactured monster, and while there’s some initial distrust between the two, with the power of friendship, they manage to subdue the threat.

Building Trust

By the looks of it, Itzusumi isn’t keen on making friends with the party. She’s not even keen on following their basic sense of morality, as while the party tries to warm themselves by the fire, she strips herself in the open instead of behind Marcille’s cover.

She’s mistakenly under the impression that no one would be excited over seeing a naked beast-man. Laios, however, is foaming at the mouth at a chance to see her naked. Can I fault that man for such a primal display of curiosity? No, I cannot; it would be hypocritical of me for I too, was excited. So much so that I wrote a poem:

“Oh Neko-musume, with a chest so filled with floof
The warmth of your body must mirror a fire on a cold autumn night
Your eyes remind me of the full moon’s call on long summer nights
I’d roam the world if only to find you at the end
Tell me, oh beautiful Neko-musume, where does your tail attach to your spine?”

Jokes aside, when kindness is presented to her, Itzusumi relaxes, even if for a moment. However, as the party presses on, she still struggles with monster cuisine. Her aversion to it, however, appears to be just mental. She believes eating monsters will make her sick or impure. Even in our world, plenty of cultures and religions believe that eating some things can make you impure.

Crime Pays, But Cyrptobotany Doesn’t

If you were around 1646 and were lucky enough to read a copy of Thomas Browne’s “Pseudodoxia Epidemic,” you would have read a weird article about a plant like no other. Agnus scythicus, as it was scientifically named, or Borometz, Barometz, and the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary, was quite an unusual zoophyte.

A natural chimera, the Barometz was a living sheep (bones, meat, and viscera included) that grew from plants. After the sheep ate the surrounding foliage, it would die. In the historical account of this zoophyte, its flesh was said to taste like fish and its blood was as sweet as honey.

It sounds outlandish, but tales like it are found in several cultures, and things like it are found in even more. For example, there are accounts of Barnacle Trees whose fruit would produce geese once ripe. These are some of the obscure, wonderful cryptids you only find out about after hours down the rabbit hole.

But in Delicious in Dungeon episode 20, it’s only another food source. And despite her prior protests about not eating monsters, Itzusumi runs off to get the sheep. Or did she? It then later appears that she was baiting dire wolves into attacking her companions so she could get away. Marcille notices and follows her, which works out to Itzusumi’s advantage as Marcille saves her from being mauled by a dire wolf.

When the party reunites, the dire wolves have made off with all the mature Vegetable Lambs. So, the only option is to eat one that’s still in the fruit, and the finished product is Barometz Balut. Maybe I’m just looking too much into it. But the name “Balut” is a nod towards eating something not yet born. Balut is a developing duck embryo that is boiled, or steamed, and eaten whole. It is a popular street food in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Delicious in Dungeon episode 20 ends with Itzusumi again trying monster cuisine and enjoying it after many protests. So, we can assume that she and Marcille will get along well. Do you want to know more about the Barometz? Then check out this episode of the Loremen Podcast to learn about the history of this little curiosity.

Screenshots via Netflix
© Ryoko Kui, KADOKAWA/Delicious in Dungeon PARTNERS

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