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Bitoks - do we know what they are or based on?

The "Prince Roger" books, co-authored by David and John Ringo, are a well-loved series...join us for further conversations!
Bitoks - do we know what they are or based on?
Post by Somtaaw   » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:00 am

Somtaaw
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Has Ringo, or Himself ever actually mentioned, or generally described what bitoks are?

In my latest reread as I'm passing time waiting for the next arc, I got back to the bitoks and once again it's bugging me to not know what it is, or even what a vague clue what it might be derived from, they sound so delicious. Then when flipping back and forth between the books, looking for specific details regarding it, I came into several anomalies that stand out making this bitok sound more fictional than anything even remotely real, but it's hard to scrape any information from the books when this food was only mentioned twice.

March to the Sea, Chapter 4 wrote:"I want a bitok," Macek said. "That doesn't seem too much to ask."

"Oh, man," Julian said, smacking his lips. "You would have to say that. I want one, too. About an eighth of a kilo. With cheese and onions."


This conversation came up while Macek St John, Gronningen and Julian were camping on the mountain near Ran Tai scouting the mining camp that Honal and the Vasin captured. They were [s]eating[/s] gnawing capetoad jerky, and then started talking about the foods they wanted to eat when they got back to Earth, so they were clearly quite hungry.

We Few wrote:Julian had gone over to one of the local restaurants that served a really good bitok. He'd missed them on Marduk, and this place did them right—thick, cooked to a light pink in the middle, and with really good barbecue sauce. It was infinitely preferable to the "snacks" served in the bar, and Denat and Sena had remained behind to keep an eye on things while he ate it.


Julian was with Poertena, Denat and Sena on the planet trying to make contact with Poertena's Uncle to get the introduction to Admiral Helmut, and actually chowing down on one which gives a better description than simply reminiscing about "it'd be nice to have..."



So now condensing that a bit further to help with discussing and trying to figure out what the heck they are, or based upon:
  • Bitoks are ridiculously tiny, an eighth of a kilo is 125g in weight, which is approximately 50% of your average condensed canned soup, something many of us in this era of covid-19 self-isolating are either already eating, or potentially will be varying based on budgets.
  • they add cheese, onion and barbecue sauce to it, and likely other toppings
  • it appears to be almost exclusively a meat dish, excluding the above toppings of cheese & onion


First theory: Based on the heavy meat emphasis and being served rare with barbecue sauce, I almost want to call it a steak. But even filet mignon is at minimum twice the weight (8oz filet mignon is 226g, and potentially as high as 3x the weight (12oz = 340g). And as above, it's 50% of canned condensed soup, and after you add the water it's closer to 20%.

Second theory: Bitoks are clearly a cheap foodstuff, due to it being available even on that remote farming planet. This interferes with the above point, because if it's so cheap it certainly isn't a premium steak-slice, and since it was also a cheap diner, it sounds closer to a burger with no buns.

Countering the potential bun-less burger theory, when faced between finishing his bitok and going to the meeting, Julian didn't take it with him, so it's not something you eat on the go. But the weight is so tiny, that since he must have eaten some of it, Julian could have popped the rest of it in his mouth and eaten on the walk from the diner back to the bar to meet the Sixth Fleet pilot.



Anybody else have any hard information, or want to join me in trying to speculate what this mysterious meal could be drawn from?
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Re: Bitoks - do we know what they are or based on?
Post by FriarBob   » Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:15 pm

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Actually I think it's a burger.

Think about it, an 8th of a kilo is also about a quarter-pound. We don't weigh the entire burger, we weigh the amount of meat. Some add cheese, some add other sauces, some have tomatoes or other stuff. Flexible. Cheap, easy to eat quickly, and in a mid-scale joint you can specify how well-done to make it.

This was someone craving a burger and having fun with changing the US standard term 'quarter-pounder' to metric.
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Re: Bitoks - do we know what they are or based on?
Post by dvdscar   » Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:21 pm

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Actually, if you google bitok, you'll find this:

a Russian dish made with patties of ground meat (mixed with onions and bread and milk) and served with a sauce of sour cream

So it almost sounds like fried meat loaf with a sour cream sauce. :-)

David


FriarBob wrote:Actually I think it's a burger.

Think about it, an 8th of a kilo is also about a quarter-pound. We don't weigh the entire burger, we weigh the amount of meat. Some add cheese, some add other sauces, some have tomatoes or other stuff. Flexible. Cheap, easy to eat quickly, and in a mid-scale joint you can specify how well-done to make it.

This was someone craving a burger and having fun with changing the US standard term 'quarter-pounder' to metric.
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