- Vilani culinary dish. A thick porridge-like ragout of meat and vegetables, packaged in a folded, edible leaf.
The name originates from the Old High Vilani "vilnaf," which means "herdsman" or "herder." The word "vilnafka" means a "herd of livestock." The two words combined to indicate the source of the primary meat ingredient of Vilnafku.
Today, the word Vilnafku is most often translated into Terran English as "stew" or "ragout."
See Vilani language for more information about Old High Vilani (language) and modern Standard Vilani (language).
Vilnafku is typically cooked in brine or stock, but many regional variations exist. The basic method of preparation involves slow cooking over a low heat.
There are many main ingredients; Vilnafkus may be prepared with or without meat although Vilnafku with meat is traditional. Additionally a wide variety of vegetables may be incorporated, which may be more or less heavily spiced and seasoned.
The folded, edible leaf can also come from many different plants and even worlds of the Ziru Sirka. The Vilani have resisted making Vilnafku with non-Vilani ingredients, although such non-Vilani ingredient usage is tolerated when no other options exist.
Background and history
Vilnafkus have been made since ancient Vilani times. A Vilnafku was one of the Shugilii's favorite dishes and ways of transforming raw food into edible food. Proper Vilnafku uses a variety of traditional methods of chemical treatments and special aging techniques. Almost every Vilani family, and at one time every individual Shugilii, has a different set of Vilnafku using slightly different ingredients, recipes, chemical treatments, and special aging techniques.
Vilnafku is one of the national dishes of the Vilani and a symbol of the Ziru Sirka.
Terrans tend to compare vilnafku to Greek dolmadas or Italian lasagna. Only some vilani vilnafku is layered like a lasagna.
Vilnafku is inexpensive to prepare, and easily preserved for sale using a variety of methods (...freezing, pickling, canning, vacuum packing, irradiation, freeze-drying, etc.). As such, Vilnafku is not a significant commodity.
Stocks for food manufacturers are sold rather than specific preparers of Vilnafku. The Vilani prefer their Vilnafku home-made anyway.