The topic of food is an interesting one. As a final product, food is subjected to far more scrutiny than, say, drinks or liquor. Apart from having to appeal to the palate, it also needs to appeal to our senses of touch, smell, and, in some cases, even sound. Chances are, at some point in your life, you came across a potential mind-blowing dish, but you avoided eating it because it didn’t meet your minimum requirements in one of those criteria. Delicious in Dungeon episode 2 begins with Marcille dreaming about her mom preparing all her favorite dishes, but to her dismay, they’re all made from dungeon monsters. Marcille awakens with a scream, only to realize that her reality mimics her dreams.
After her less-than-ideal awakening, Marcille is greeted by the tantalizing aroma of grilled pork, which causes her to express envy. Her gripes, in turn, cause Senshi to begin a lecture-like tangent on the importance of a balanced meal and how her body craves the fatty pork because it needs it. She protests that his summation is incorrect, but the reality is that she doesn’t want to eat monsters anymore. The group goes on to eat some more monsters. RIP Marcille.
Roasted Basilisk Tastes Like Chicken?
Have you ever wondered what’s the go-to meal when you’re stuck in a dungeon and need something fatty? Well, basilisk eggs, of course! That’s common knowledge; don’t question it. Also, a little cryptid fun fact: what’s shown as a basilisk in this show is more reminiscent of a cockatrice in mythology. Regardless, both of them taste like chicken, so we move on.
The original plan was to raid the basilisk’s nest to get a few eggs for breakfast, but it quickly soured as another party brought the basilisk back to its nest. Upon seeing Marcille with its eggs, the basilisk goes on the offensive. Anyone who grew up on a farm or lives an adventurous life can tell you that being chased by a rooster is one of the most mundane and traumatizing experiences a kid can suffer. Now, imagine dealing with an adult-sized bird. Actually, you don’t have to imagine that — Australia fought adult-sized birds, and they lost.
Laios steps in to help her and employs the “if it’s black, fight back” technique. After all, if it works on bears, it probably works on basilisks. (Anime Corner is legally required to state that we’re not experts on basilisk fighting.) Well, it works, and while Laios distracts the basilisk’s chicken head, Senshi takes on the snake head — it’s stated that a simultaneous attack overwhelms the animal.
After the Delicious in Dungeon party manages to take down the basilisk, they tend to the other adventurers only to find that one has been poisoned. But! Senshi has an antidote, so it’s all good. Or at least it would be, but he doesn’t want to give it up as he’ll use it to cook the mutant bird. He casually remarks that the antidote is tastier when eaten with food and proceeds to lovingly prepare and roast the basilisk without so much as a care in the world for a man dying next to him. Say what you want to say about Senshi, the dude can cook so well that he can even make Marcille forget about the grievously injured to enjoy a meal. Foodies really are a special breed.
Omelets Feed the Soul
Almost a third of the way into the Delicious in Dungeon episode 2, we’re reminded that the group is trying to return to the red dragon to rescue someone. Marcille seems to be struggling to keep up, and when she’s called out on it, she pretends to play it off. This causes Chilchuck to mention that if she pushes herself too much, she’ll sustain an injury. It would be burdensome not only to her but to the whole group. She then tries to go the extra mile to try and make up for her perceived shortcomings but has every suggestion turned down.
The topic of a meal is broached once again, and Senshi mentions that they need vegetables, so they decide to harvest mandrakes. Hearing this, Marcille squeals with excitement, as finally, there’s something she can do. In her own words, mandrake harvesting is her specialty. For those unaware, mandrakes are actual plants belonging to the Mandragora genus. They contain hallucinogenic properties, and this has led to a plethora of myths and folklore cropping up around them and associating them with magic.
As shown in Delicious In Dungeon episode 2, one of those myths is that when a mandrake is pulled from the ground, it will scream. This can be detrimental and fatal. Marcille tries to show off her skills by collecting mandrakes, but her convoluted plan leaves much to offer. Laios suggests a more practical approach, but there’s some apprehension about it. Senshi, on the other hand, takes direct action and immediately dispatches the mandrake as he begins pulling them out. Their instant decapitation renders them harmless.
Still wanting to show her usefulness, Marcille decides that the tried-and-true method she just witnessed is for the heathens. She reverts to her original plan (which would have involved a dog pulling out the mandrake) but decides that getting a monster to rip out the mandrake from the ground is a more humane option. It is safe to say that her plan backfired. However, it did give us a tender moment where the Delicious in Dungeon crew talks it out before making up. As this is happening, you can see Senshi gralloching the Big Bat they just caught in the background, and if that doesn’t give you PTSD flashbacks to early 2020, the past few years have been kind to you.
While providing comedic relief, there is a reason why one must field dress as quickly as possible. Removing the organs and blood as soon as possible is essential for the proper storage of game meat, especially out in the field where refrigeration isn’t possible. Bleeding the Big Bat also serves another function: taste. Unbled animals are prone to blood spots and have a metallic taste.
As the crew begins to prepare yet another monster meal, Senshi points out that the mandrake that Marcille managed to harvest has a different color than the rest. Upon tasting it, they discover that her mandrake also has a milder taste and isn’t as bitter. A statement is made that the plant’s ability to scream before it’s harvested causes a difference in taste. This is actually spot on — everything from temperature to soil pH to harvesting affects the taste of a plant. Ever wondered why veggies and fruit at a farmer’s market taste better than those at big stores? Part of it is because they’re usually hand-picked. Believe it or not, plants feel stress. Mechanically picking vegetables induces negative stress in plants, and thus, changes their flavor.
The difference in color between basilisk egg yolks and chicken yolks is briefly covered, and it would have been nice to get a more in-depth explanation. For those who don’t know, free-range eggs have a more yellow yolk because the chickens that produce them get more carotenoids due to their varied diet. Likewise, diet can cause egg yolks to range from white to red to brown. Chickens that eat a lot of sorghum will have paler or even white egg yolks. You can even find green egg yolks, though there is some debate about what causes that. All are perfectly edible; yellower and red egg yolks, in particular, are even better for salter egg yolk recipes.
Delicious in Dungeon Episode 2 Wrap-Up
As the Delicious in Dungeon episode 2 continues, the crew proceeds lower into the dungeon. Chilchuck shows off his skills by not only finding a secret passage but also carefully navigating through a room laden with traps. While Laios and Marcille follow his instructions to a T to avoid any mishaps, Senshi has none of them. The man is a leader, not a follower. It’s the fate of sheep to follow, and Senshi is no sheep. So, he purposefully triggers all the traps, and as he does so, he sets off a fire trap and is warned that it may be paired with a gas or oil trap. Seeing this, his thoughts naturally go toward food, and he cracks out the ingredients to prepare a dungeon kakiage. As the show closes, we get more banter and friendly chit-chat as Senshi and Chilchuck come to a mutual understanding, teaching each other the ins and outs of trap avoidance and dungeon cooking.
Screenshots via Netflix
© Ryoko Kui, KADOKAWA/Delicious in Dungeon PARTNERS