The Colors of Castles & Cooks

Undoubtedly, if you’ve looked through any of our early recipe or class introductions you’ve seen various sections coded in various colors. These colors are part of our system to define equipment and ingredients based on attainability, price and ease of use. For gamers experienced with World of Warcraft or Diablo I & II, the system should appear familiar, for these colors are a handy guide to determining the rarity and scarcity of items without having to consult a glossary.

The scale is as follows:

Gray – always on hand non-perishables


 The most basic of ingredients and tools. The types of things that will always be in your kitchen and pantry and generally you should not have to purchase very regularly. Things like basic spices and baking ingredients are the most common. As far as equipment is concerned, your most basic utensils, pots, pans, and other various sundry kitchen items (ie dish towels) are categorized here. If you don’t own one of the “gray” pieces of equipment listed, you really should.

Ingredient examples: sugar, flour, salt, pepper.
Equipment examples: cutting board, knives, stirring spoon, spatula.

Black – always on hand, long shelf life but perishable

 Same basic catagory as gray, except that black items are perishable. These are the consumables that you use most often in your recipes (depending on class) and will probably be purchasing on a weekly basis as your stores deplete. They are all easily found at any type of market regardless of size or scope. Many might even be found among street vendors  or in small convenience stores depending on where you live.

Ingredient examples: eggs, milk, onions, potatoes
Equipment examples: varies greatly by class, but items like rolling pins and specific knives or dishware

Green – perishables but easy to obtain

 Any large market place will allow these ingredients to easily be obtained. They aren’t rare so much as perishable. Green items may only last a few weeks in the fridge or on the counter top and are often bought in preparation for a specific dish. Supermarkets will almost always carry these ingredients barring an apocalyptic scenario.

Ingredient examples: almost all non-root vegetables, fruits, breads, most meats
Equipment examples: standard fair electronic equipment – blenders, electric hand mixers

Orange -specialty shop, non-perishables

These are items found in specialty shops that have specific attributes not often found at standard super markets. Most liquors fall into this category along with beers and wine, and many spices. Equipment here is pricey, but common at many large stores.

Ingredient examples: saffron, beer, wine, liquors, cheese
Equipment examples: counter top mixer, specialty pans and sheets

Purple – special shop, perishables

Purple items often are the core of a dish, without it the meal will not come together. These items must almost always be obtained fresh and used within a few days, if not a few hours, of purchase. Some of these can be found in supermarkets, but specialty stores are better used. Equipment here is high end and will set you back a fair amount of gold.

Ingredient examples: prime rib, any fresh seafood, rare and exotic fruits and vegetables.
Equipment: sous-vide  machine, ice cream maker, espresso machine

Blue – intangibles and the absurdly expensive or rare

 Blues are not always items, but are important skills essential to the craft of your class. Very few ingredients fall into this category but the very expensive items do. No items belong here

Ingredient examples: gold leaf, certain truffles
Intangible examples: timing, vigilance and counting

These categories are not static. Depending on where you live and the type of food you make on a regular basis some items might fluctuate between a few of the categories. Living in a place like New York versus a small town in Iowa will define what ingredients are available to you and in what qualities.