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Perhaps the most representative Klingon food, certainly the one best known outside of the Empire, is gagh (or, in Klingon, qagh): serpent worms in a thick sauce (called ghevI'). Prior to the preparation of this dish, the worms are fed only 'Iw puj ("diluted blood"; literally, "weak blood"), which the worms find unappetizing and therefore consume only when they are nearly starving. (The type of animal from which the blood has been taken has a great deal of influence on the eventual flavor of the qagh, and individual cooks, as well as individual eaters, have their own preferences.) As the final step in preparing the dish, the worms are poured into a bowl filled with the ghevI' (sauce), which contains, among other ingredients, pellets of an extremely flavorful herb that the hungry worms quickly ingest, even though it is toxic to them and kills them within minutes. Since qagh is considered best if consumed while the worms are still alive, it is important to keep the worms out of the sauce until just before the dish is served. For the same reason, it is customary to eat qagh as quickly as possible. If, for some reason, the qagh cannot be consumed before they all die, the entire mixture of qagh and ghevI' is saved and later heated up as a sort of stew (the general term for which is tlhIq; thus, qagh tlhIq may be translated as "qagh stew"). Although not as desirable as live qagh, this is a common way to serve leftovers. Like qagh, other small animals are eaten whole, in great quantity (by the handful if possible), and, ideally, alive. Among these are various bugs (collectively, "hew). Large animals are usually chopped into pieces, sometimes with attention paid to which piece is which (thus a tIq ["heart"] might be served as a dish in its own right), sometimes not (the ghab, for example, is just a chunk of the midsection of an animal, including any organs that may have remained attached after the carving). Meat of any kind is called Ha'DIbaH, which is also the normal term for "animal" (and also an insult when used in reference to a person). Often the DIr ("skin") is still attached when Ha'DIbaH is served, though sometimes it is removed and prepared as a dish in its own right. More sophisticated Klingon food preparation involves keeping anatomically identifiable parts separate. Some of the other commonly eaten parts include the lem ("hoof"), namwech ("paw"), pach ("claw"); gham ("limb"); tagh ("lung"), burgh ("stomach"), luH ("intestines"), chej ("liver"), and other internal organs not likely to be familiar to non-Klingons; jet ("tongue"); mIn ("eye"); qogh ("ear" - the external part, if there is one; the actual organ of hearing, the teS, is usually considered too small to bother with); wuS ("lips"), qevpob ("cheek, jowl"), ghIch ("nose"); Hugh ("throat"); Somraw ("muscle"); QoghIj ("brain"; another word, yab, also means "brain" as an organ, but in addition it means "mind, intellect" and is not used in reference to food); to'waQ ("ligament, tendon"); tlhuQ ("tail"); Hom ("bone"); ghISDen ("scales"); veD ("fur"); and 'aD ("vein"). Sometimes an animal's whole head (each) is served. A mixture of animal parts is Daghtuj, regardless of whether the parts are from the same type of animal. Curiously, eggs (QImmey) do not play a large role in the Klingon diet as food items in their own right, though they are mixed into many sauces, usually along with the pieces of shell (pel'aQ), for flavor and texture. The small eggs of the Tokvirian skink (toqvIr lung), however, are often eaten whole, shell and all, usually by the handful.
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