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An Overview of the Foods of the Redwall Abbey Universe

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The Redwall universe’s food can be roughly divided into five categories: breads, cheeses, drinks, savories, and sweets. Almost all of the dishes available in the Redwall universe are vegetarian or vegan; exceptions include some dishes with fish and the fact that it’s never explained where the milk for cheese comes from, and vermin will eat birds. In Redwall itself, goatsmilk is served; but, like the horse, the mention of Portugal, and the rumor of pigs, this never comes up in any of the other books. It is implied that Redwall Abbey grows all or almost all of its own food, though while we see berries, fruits, and vegetables being picked, there’s never any mention of the fields of oats, rye, barley, and wheat which must be necessary to sustain their diet, nor for that matter do we ever see the mill which must exist to grind their grain.

(For this reason, my coauthor and I have come to the conclusion that the Abbey must include very sizeable lands, either within or just outside the walls, on which they cultivate their grain crops; and as many of the books feature the Abbeydwellers discovering parts of the Abbey long hidden or forgotten, we must also conclude that the main building itself is positively enormous. Of course, the issue of size in the Redwall universe is always a vexed one, as in the real world a building constructed to mouse-scale could not house a badger, nor indeed would it be as tall as the neighboring trees. One theory which my coauthor has put forward is that the Redwall creatures are gengineered survivors of some apocalypse which destroyed human civilization entirely but left our humanoid animal servants behind to build themselves a new society. But this might be too much thought to put into a series of children’s books.)

There is also never any mention of cows, goats, or sheep (aside from the earlier-mentioned goatsmilk), which means that it is probably safe to assume that the ‘greensap milk’ which is referred to on occasion could be, in the real world, some form of soy or almond milk. It is apparently possible to make cheese out of soy milk and some lemons and hot water, so a vegan cook wishing to make Redwall-style dishes could probably do so using soy milk and soy cheese; cooks not wishing to use soy could probably use cow’s or goat’s milk so long as they don’t think too hard about the anachronisms.

(It’s worth noting, here, that Salamandastron does not grow its own food, apparently relying on mostly-unseen settlements of hares in the surrounding area to supply them. We only see one of these settlements briefly, in Long Patrol, just before Tammo leaves home. Later Badger Lords have gardens on the sides of the mountain, but given the ravenous appetites of hares, such small plots cannot possibly supply more than garnishes to the Salamandastron cooks. It’s also worth noting that once you start thinking about the underpinnings of the Redwall universe it’s actually very hard to stop!)

In this work I have attempted to group items first by overarching category and then by type within that category; thus in the category of ‘bread’ you will find ‘stuffed bread,’ ‘scones,’ and ‘muffins’ as sub-types. I’ve also noted, whenever possible, what side dishes can be associated with a given type of food: thus, scones often come with honey, butter, damson preserve, or cheese - just to name a few sides!

Anyone wishing to see my entire exhaustive set of spreadsheets is welcome to contact me in comments.

Anyone wishing to start a restaurant using these foods as a menu should probably contact Jacques’ estate first - and then tell me so I can come visit, because putting this list together without being able to eat all of it was its own special kind of torture.

With no further ado, I present to you, my friends: the foods of the Redwall Universe!