Ahem, my apologies. As you may have noticed, cooking is something of a passion of mine.
Which brings us to my present problem, and the reason I so desperately require your assistance.
It all began when agents of the Forum contacted Professor Galveroche, seeking to draw upon his wisdom and the nutritional expertise of his research facility.
Their request was simple: they wished him to invent a singular meal that could provide all the daily nutrients a person needs to survive.
They expressed their intent to develop a “food supply for emergencies,” and thus the only condition imposed was that it be possible to prepare this miracle dish from ingredients readily available in Labyrinthos.
For his part, the professor threw himself into the work with routine intensity, using Archon loaf as a base to devise a new type of bread─the most recent batch of which I inflicted upon you earlier.
Archon loaf was never praised for its flavor to begin with, and it seems the more nutrients you pack into the mix, the more revolting it becomes. Some volunteers have even been known to retch up the contents of their bellies after choking down a sample.
Suspecting that a difficulty with digestion was to blame, Professor Galveroche asked that I work on making our meal easier to stomach. But the fact is...it simply tastes terrible.
Can you imagine if there truly was some emergency, and we were forced to live on panaloaf alone? People would survive, of course, but gods, would they wish they hadn't.
To make matters worse, the professor sees gourmet cooking as a wasteful abomination. If the Forum adopts his recipe, there is a very real chance he might champion panaloaf not only as a candidate for emergency supplies, but as a new, nationwide food staple.
By and large, Sharlayans prefer meals that are easily prepared and easily consumed over more flavorful, but less time-efficient, culinary efforts. Scholars busy with their research will settle for sandwiches more often than not.
And that ambivalent attitude towards food is exactly why I fear this horrible bread might actually be accepted into our everyday diets!
As a Sharlayan myself, I never had much interest in fine dining. Then I tried a dish at the Last Stand, and it was as if an entirely new world had opened up before me...
I soon discovered that a course in nutritional science would grant access to a vast repository of information on recipes and ingredients, so I enrolled as a student at the Studium's Faculty of Medicine.
But their approach to food preparation was purely academic. Utilitarian. I reasoned that if I was to learn anything about gourmet cooking, then finding employment here would be the surest route.
In fact, I was on the brink of abandoning my formal studies altogether when this request came in from the Forum.
As a lover of fine foods─nay, as a person with a functional tongue─I am compelled to prevent this crime against cuisine from entering society in its current form!
Fortunately, I have the opportunity to improve the panaloaf's flavor under the guise of carrying out the professor's instructions.
It will, however, be exceedingly difficult to enhance the taste without sacrificing any nutritional value─especially considering my lack of practical experience. My theory is sound, but when it comes to technical expertise...
And that, my dear alchemist
, is why I need you! If you do decide to help, then please, I beg you, come and see me at Makers' Meet.