Characters: Thranduil, Master of Esgaroth
Book/Source: pre-Hobbit (book)
Disclaimer: Middle-Earth belongs to Tolkien, I'm just playing a bit with it for fun.
Note: The Master of Esgaroth is not meant to be the one we meet in the Hobbit. Many thanks to shadowycat for looking this over! All remaining faults are my own.
Again, the Master of Esgaroth bowed deeply. At least this time, his hair didn't touch the floor.
“Your Highness, please accept this dish my chef created especially for you.”
Thranduil, who had been ushered into a dining hall of threadbare splendour and shown to the seat of honour, nodded gracefully. A small page offered a flat dish on a silver platter.
“Made from the best our kitchens and cellars could provide, from a very rare plant from the south, only served at the highest tables. We call it Gratin Royal, in your honour.”
The dish emitted an enticing, rich aroma, making his mouth water. Thranduil raised an elegant eyebrow, contemplating the golden colour of the thin slices, sizzling in a rich sauce.
“Pray, tell me, what is this mysterious plant?”
“It is called Arda's Apple, it grows underground. It was brought to us by traders from the south.”
Thranduil accepted a fork, took a sample, and closed his eyes in bliss.
“It is not unpleasant. May I suggest a small addition, perhaps?”
The Master's eyes bulged.
“An – an addition?” he stammered.
Thranduil gave a condescending nod. “Nutmeg. Some fresh gratings of nutmeg will go perfectly with the apples of Arda.”
Note: 'Arda's Apples' are potatoes. The literal translation, 'earth's apples', is a regional name for them used in Austria and some areas in the south of Germany.