Wasn't sure if I should put this in the cooking forum or not but I figured this place might be a bit more relevant. For all those who write sci-fi and fantasy stories that involve exotic foods that don't exist on earth, I'm curious as to your process for creating them.
Recently I was attempting to write a simple short story based on someone from a sort of fantastical world sharing a meal with someone from the "normal" world--just some insight into the culture and stuff. In any case, I found that I didn't know what I wanted the dish to be. I at first thought it would be easy, but the more I researched recipes the more I realized how much history they could have behind them, with regards to social class and available foods and location and traditions and so forth, and it eventually felt incredibly overwhelming; dunno if I am overthinking things, but it felt like I had to first come up with entire ecosystems of flora and fauna, account for location and selection pressures, then invent thousands of years of histories, traditions, social dynamics, and what not just to make one dish, not counting actually having to study multiple recipes to see what is needed to create one's own. How would you go about solving this?