Cooking is a crucial part of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and unless you track down excess hearts and weather-proof gear early on, food is an absolute necessity of survival. Not only are there an impressive volume of dishes for players to discover and concoct, but the sheer amount of ingredients available is at times difficult to comprehend. If a recent blog post from Nintendo Treehouse's Bill Trinen is anything to go by, coming up with the complete list was no small task.
The post talks mostly about how Eiji Aonuma has long compared crafting Zelda games to the process of cooking, but stops to touch on the vast array of cooking ingredients available in Breath of the Wild specifically. Displaying a detailed image of a particular species of fish, the attached caption reads as follows.
The implication here is that concept art was required for all cooking ingredients, if not several pieces for each (the fish image, as an example, depicts two angles). When you consider the sheer volume of ingredients in the game, this becomes almost mind-numbing - there's little doubt Nintendo could release an entire tome of "ingredient concept art" if it wanted to, and probably still run out of pages. Whether or not there's demand for such a thing is another discussion entirely, but you get the idea.
As mentioned, the post describes Aonuma's thoughts on Zelda and cooking in a more general sense, which you can read below.
The post proceeds to touch on other bits of trivia, such as how "electric steaks" were almost an in-game possibility, as well as the fact that crabs were hotly debated with regard to whether or not they should be food or elixir ingredients. If this much detail and attention went toward cooking and usable materials alone, it's no wonder Breath of the Wild took over five years to fully develop.
Recently Nintendo detailed upcoming Breath of the Wild DLC entitled The Master Trials, scheduled for release this summer. For more Breath of the Wild, check out our continued coverage as well as our collection of handy guides.