Catan Board Game Inspires Official Cookbook with 77 Gamer-Inspired Recipes


Engaging in virtual conquests of world domination at the gaming table can stir up quite the hunger. Thankfully, a fresh-off-the-press cookbook enables devotees of the Catan board game to indulge in their gastronomic pursuits while outmanoeuvring adversaries.

“Catan: The Official Cookbook” whets gamers’ appetites with a tantalizing collection of 77 recipes, each one a culinary echo of the multiplayer sensation. From savoury Forest Dweller’s Dip to the robust Tavern Ale Pie, down to the delectable Fireside Banana Boats—this cookbook brims with mouth-watering snacks, small plates, generous dinners, divine desserts, and even a handful of thirst-quenching beverages.

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For Casie Vogel, Vice President of Editorial at Ulysses Press, these recipes were intended to be not just playful, but also authentic. The emphasis was on crafting a legitimate cookbook loaded with an assortment of dishes that would appeal to a myriad of tastes, a distant cry from a mere novelty or prank gift.

The concoctions pay tribute to the mechanics of the game, where contestants strive to construct settlements on an imaginary island, capitalizing on five key resources—wool, grain, lumber, brick, and ore. To illustrate, the cookbook featuress opulent lamb dishes in honour of wool, incorporates brick into a series of recipes such as Brick Smash Burger, Chicken Under a Brick, and Homemade Fudge Bricks, and salutes the game’s use of ore through the use of cast-iron skillets.

Acknowledge the family-oriented design of the game, Vogel aimed to create recipes that align with the various degrees of commitment among players. Suitable for all ages and skill levels, the cookbook offers a range of gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan recipes.

Ever since Catan, originally known as The Settlers of Catan, made its debut in 1995, it has continued to enchant players across the globe, selling millions of copies in over 40 languages, spawning an array of spinoffs, and earning the title of “the board game of our time” by The Wall Street Journal.

The allure of Catan saw a resurgence in the time of the pandemic, with its popularity skyrocketing as people sought comfort and entertainment within the confines of their homes. Vogel, herself a long-time fan of board games and an ardent Catan player, embraced the opportunity to create a culinary anthology that reflects her passion for the game and resonates with its ever-growing community of ardent aficionados.

Working in collaboration with a recipe developer and a tester, and with the blessings of the game makers, Vogel embarked on this venture in the fall of 2021. Kelli Schmitz, Brand Development Director at Catan Studio, believes that bringing people together over board games and food fosters a sense of community.

This venture marks a departure from the norm as popular cookbooks inspired by games like Tomb Raider, The Elder Scrolls, Minecraft, and Street Fighter have been exclusively linked to video games. Vogel believes her cookbook could be the first to be inspired by and authenticated from a board game.

Emphasizing cooperation and negotiation over outright war, a remnant of creator Klaus Teuber’s upbringing post-WWII in Germany, the cookbook embodies the game’s fundamental ethos. “You can’t be an island unto yourself,” said Schmitz. Exuding warmth, community spirit, and collaborative adventure, the cookbook makes its debut simultaneous with the Catan U.S. National championships in Minnesota, enriching the game’s matrix of enjoyment.