The highly-prized confectionary Khofúhsháti (in Sarvonia mainly known as "Krath Chocolate") comes in a variety of shapes, kinds, flavours and sizes. The favoured Lillivear sweet is made from the yellow-green pods, which are the size of a six year old’s hand, hanging from the trunk and stems of the shághách tree. However, the final product, a richly flavoured brown bar whose shape and color fluctuates with the demands of the customer and the type of shághách tree the pods were harvested from, is quite different from the raw materials it is made of. Although it will definitely cost the customers an extra coin or two, some Lillivear manufacturers also practice a method to produce decidedly scented Khofúhshátí as well. Coffee and vanilla aromas are the easiest to generate and thus are the most commonly used fragrances.
Image description. The delicious contents of a chocolate shop selling an assortment of Krath sweets. Picture drawn by Bard Judith.
The most common translation for Khofúhshátí is “Merry Brown”. Nonetheless, a better paraphrase would be “Brown-thing-that-gives/bestows-merriness” since the actual word is composed of three shorter root words: Kho, which is the colour brown (Pronounced “cho” in Zhun and “khoh” in Krath); Fúh, a homonymic verb which, in this case, means “to give as a gift”; and Shátí, or “merriment”. Since Khofúhshátí is a compound word used as the name of another object, no “-“s are used to separate the roots.
Depending on the kind – hot, mild or cold – and how intricate the design and
decorations of the final product, Khofúhshátí bars range from the sturdy
Khárá-khofúhshátí (“common Khofúhshátí”) or Díluyht-Kháré (“Commoner’s Delight”)
to the easily broken LaeSdámání (“Richmen’s Treat”). Díluyht-Kháré is the name
given to the crudest Khofúhshátí the
Lillivear produce, round in shape and deep brown in colour, a whole pouch
would cost a few woodcoins. Satirically enough, even these coins are carved from
the trunk of the shághách tree or sometimes from the rippled outer layer of the
yellow-green pods; both of which are by-products of Khofúhshátí production. Once
an extra flavour, shape or scent is added to a bar of Commoner’s Delight it
falls under the category of LaeSdámání. Vanilla is the preferred aroma of this
price range. LaeSdámání, or Richmen’s Treat, is oftentimes accompanied by hot
cream or coffee to bring out its rich vanilla scent and flavour.
Despite its easy transportation and storage, Khofúhshátí, regardless of amount, should not be exposed to high temperatures; or else the soft, brown substance will start to melt and will take a quite messy appearance and clammy feel. This is something to keep in mind while storing large quantities of Khofúhshátí, unless they are purposely served in a melted phase. Such servings are only common in Zhun and on certain bakeries, since the two tribes – especially the Lillivear – deem the consumption of pastries in large amounts very unhealthy. Even in Zhun, special care is given to the process to ensure that the Khofúhshátí is melted without any customer worries on cleanliness of the ovens exclusively designed for Erímíshzevh, Melted Joy. Most Lillivear will only consume this type of Khofúhshátí only during the Festival of the Merriment, a celebration dedicated to the warmth and joy generated by the sun.
Method of Production.
There are three main varieties of Shághách: Síríorá, Konto-árárá, and Trínítárá.
Síríorá, “Forest’s Sun”, accounts for almost every nine Khofúhshátí bean out of
ten beans the Lillivear harvest.
Konto-árárá, “Forests’ Pride”, trees provide the rarest and most prized beans.
They are sought after by the finest Lillivear Khofúhshátí makers for their aroma
and delicacy. Finally, there is the Trínítárá, “In-between pride/Pride in
between”, variety of Shághách trees, which is a cross between Síríorá and
After the hand-sized fruits are picked up from the trees, the rippled outer layer is stripped off by a knife. A short prayer of gratitude to the soil that harboured the tree and the hot sun that ripened the fruits is also recommended at this point. Chunks of the fibrous white pulp inside are also prized by those that cannot afford to buy the finished Khofúhshátí product. The pulp is said to be mild tasting, with a subtle, bittersweet chocolate flavour. Embedded in the pulp are dark, purple-coloured seeds that, after being dried and processed, Khofúhshátí experts have come to recognize as "merry beans".
There are seven steps to the making of Khofúhshátí: the selection of the beans, proper roasting, winnowing, squeezing, refining, tempering and packaging:
The process of turning shághách beans into Khofúhshátí, not surprisingly, begins with the beans. For fine brands of Khofúhshátí, the selection and mix of beans is vital. Khofúhshátí manufacturers like the Shkárffýn family of Síhítárá use up to sixty different varieties of beans from all over the southern jungles.
All of the beans are sorted by hand before put into special ovens for roasting. Each variety of beans should be roasted separately, otherwise an unwanted cross of flavours may result from the heating. Especially the dark brown seeds of Síríorá and the cream coloured Konto-árárá should never, under no circumstances, be mixed. Otherwise a very gummy Khofúhshátí with a filthy tang and not-so-pleasant smell forms.
Tozhk Sávrúlkmá, lit. “Tossing into the Light Dust (air)”)
Following the roasting process, the beans are loaded into a machine, about two peds high, made up of interlocking disks of runes, known as the winnower. If the correct runic inscription is selected, the activated runes located on each disk will slowly start to toss the beans and grind them as they move up in between the disks to remove the hard outer hulls and separates the "nibs" of the beans by size. The nibs are the basic product used for Khofúhshátí production. As it can be seen the making of Khofúhshátí is a very time and energy consuming process, which in turn, accounts for the high price of the product.
With a second utterance, another set of runes will slowly start to work, generating a vacuum flowing through the empty center if the winnower, as the glow and warmth of the others will slowly start to dissipate. The vacuum will help gather the cracked hulls in the center and direct those away from the disks into a curved bowl called ‘the gatherer’. The lowest-priced currency of the Lillivear, the woodcoins are made from this by-product of Khofúhshátí.
The magical procedures involved explain why there always is a priestess from one of the local Earth Temples present to oversee the process.
The squeezer has marble runners all covered with runes, another motive for the high price, which revolve on a steel or stone bed to mash the nibs into a thick paste. The squeezer is powered by the energy the runes channel from the surrounding into the machine. Sugar, vanilla and/or any other flavours and aromas are added during this process.
This is more or less the final phase if the “Merry Drink” is desired. However, for the production of Khofúhshátí bars the "liquor" from the squeezer is transferred to the "refiner" for further processing. The liquor is heated inside the ovens and this process takes several hours – even for the crude bars of Díluyht-Kháré. Some LaeSdámání makers on the other hand may “refine” the liquor for over three days, heating the liquid ever so slightly (but without allowing it to condense). Refining ensures that the liquid is evenly blended.
Following the refining procedure, the liquid chocolate is tempered for several hours. The tempering process involves several stages of heating and cooling the Khofúhshátí liquor. The cooling is advised to be done in several steps to avoid unwanted ‘bubbles’ in the final product. This progression stabilizes the Khofúhshátí butter spheres so that they become more uniform in size. It also gives the product a bright luster and a sharp shatter when you break it.
It is important to note that the Lillivear don’t regard this as a separate procedure but as a common service. However, Sarvonian experts have decided to include the shaping and wrapping of the bars as a distinct practice. They accept the final steps in the making of Khofúhshátí to be the molding the brown substance, allowing it to cool and harden, and then finally packaging it. The shape of the final product depends on the shape of containers the Khofúhshátí was placed in for hardening.
Image description. Expensive, but irresistable: Exclusive pralines for the acquired taste sold in the Empire of Krath. Picture drawn by Bard Judith.
The production of Khofúhshátí mainly remained on the core of the Grand Earth
Empire of Krath, in the southwestern jungles, even after trade relations forged
between Anis Anpagan and Zhun. Cusca
is the only Zhunite city close enough to the jungles to import enough Shághách
pods to support its own Khofúhshátí industry.
Khofúhshátí produced by the Shkárffýn family of Síhítárá, a Lillivear city located in the center of the peninsula famous for its confectionaries and glass manufacturing. The city itself is positioned on the riverbank with its northern territory facing the mountains and its eastern borders neighboring an Aesteran settlement across the river.
The city of Hootar, later the capital of the City States of Zhun, was one of the primary consumers of Khofúhshátí in the Empire. After the treaty of 2.673 b.S., which placed Anis Anpagan as a central trade partner, the Lillivear started to export large amounts of the product to eastern Nybelmar through the help of their new seafaring partner. However, fearing that the eastern empires would discover the secrets of Khofúhshátí making, they never got a stral close to selling anything other than the final product overseas – despite the pleas of Anpagan to import the raw materials involved. Up to this date, the Lillivear and the Zhunites have zealously held on to their recipes and methods of production.
History of the Industry. The origins of this industry are not known among Sarvonian researchers. However, it would make sense that the Lillivear of southwestern Nybelmar have been practicing the trade for over four millennia, if large amounts of Khofúhshátí could be exported to Anpagan in the 2.600s b.S.
Whether or not there were any notable discoveries, breakthroughs, or innovations in the manufacturing process or the names and lives of famous inventors and experimenters are lost to the Santharian Compendium and not likely to be discovered in the near future if the Lillivear continue to be so secretive about their production.
Lore and Legend. Zhunites believe Khofúhshátí to be an aphrodisiac while the Lillivear associate the confectionary with a joyous state of the mind. Priestesses of Ankriss use Khofúhshátí to treat their patients because of the "good feeling" that many people experience after indulging a piece of this candy. However, they also warn people that consuming large amounts of Khofúhshátí may result in restlessness. Zhunith Priestesses also assert that the consumption of Khofúhshátí has a positive effect on paying attention and staying alert. - Which ever side may be right, one thing is certain: Khofúhshátí is indeed a very merry sweet.
Information provided by Coren FrozenZephyr