Collected lore tidbits from Bethesda’s “Official Vault Dweller’s Cookbook”

fallout 3 - Collected lore tidbits from Bethesda's "Official Vault Dweller's Cookbook"

This year Bethesda released "The Vault Dweller's Official Cookbook", which is a compendium of recipes that we think of in connection with the Fallout universe. (BlamCo mac and cheese, salsbury steaks, an official Nuka Cola ingredient list, etc…) It's all written as though it were an official Vault-Tec publication, and it has notes written throughout that were penned by the book's Vault Dwelling, wasteland wandering owner.

Since it's an official Bethesda publication, I've decided to treat it as a canon source of information and collect all the minor lore tidbits together for everyone else to parse and enjoy. I've divided them between lore found in the official Vault-Tec portions of the book and the crib notes made by the book's owner.

The Owner

The owner of the book is a Vault Dweller from the North East (presumably Boston, although they definitely aren't from Vault 81, as there is a reference to them meeting Dr. Penske in 81.) They have traveled to Nuka World, Far Harbor, the Capital Wasteland, and have made the journey across the country to visit the NCR on the West Coast. The G.O.A.T. exam told them that they were supposed to be the vault diner's fry cook. While they were in Far Harbor, they managed to do the Captain's Dance for Teddy Wright.

The Vault-Tec Lore

The cookbook was "mandatory reading" for all vault residents and every vault's Mister Handy was programmed with it as well.

If a resident wanted to throw a party that consists of more than 8 vault dwellers, they would need to get approval from the Overseer.

The book recommends using VATS to hunt animals for food when leaving the vault.

Certain Boston area vaults were supplied with "no fewer than 10,000 cans of clams" at the expense of medical supplies due to Boston's love of clam chowder.

Vaults were pre-programmed to stay at 72 degrees.

Vaults were stocked with seed vaults to regrow post-apocalyptic America.

Joe Spuckies had a deal with Vault-Tec to have their scientists improve the recipe.

Saddle Up refused to partner up with Vault-Tec, although Vault-Tec scientists reverse engineered their recipe for salisbury steak anyway noting that, "our legal team has informed us that the Saddle Up corporation is unlikely to bring this matter up in court in the future as they refused to sign on to our corporate vault partnership program."

Fancy Lad signed on to the corporate partnership program (noted as an exclusive partnership) and gave their recipe for snack cakes to Vault-Tec.

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Although Slocum's Joe never sold their Buzzbites to the public, Vault-Tec obtained the recipe for the vaults.


The official Nuka-Cola recipe was a combination of 17 different fruits, Vault-Tec scientists claim to have replicated the formula with oranges, limes, lemons, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, anise and vanilla. This was necessary as Nuka-Cola refused to sign on with Vault-Tec.

Monday evenings in the vaults were tapioca night and it was dispensed from a "food reconstitution system".

Some vaults had a "Nuka-Cola plant". There isn't any explanation as to what this is. A "promotion at the Nuka-Cola plant in your vault" is the only reference to it.

The Wastelander's Lore

Potatoes are extinct on the East Coast, but scientists in Rivet City have managed to resurrect them in small amounts. One annotation says, "Two whole fresh potatoes for this recipe! This is one of the most expensive meals in this book!"

Chicken eggs are scarce, but are used in wasteland cooking.

Pigs survived the war. The book's owner makes two references to them being "hard to come by", but still used in cooking in the wastes. The owner remarks that genuine bacon is still available post war.

The NCR grows cabbages. They're described as "huge" and "mutated". The owner mentions cooking a batch of cabbage soup for Vadim Bobrov, so we can assume they exist on the East Coast as well.

Ducks did not survive the war. The book's owner substitutes radgulls.

Xander roots are analogous to turnips. (This may not be new lore, per say, but I've never made the connection before.)

The Children of Atom have a religious text called Healing the Nuclear Soul. It contains a recipe for chicken noodle soup.

Goats seem to be extinct as well.

Wasteland corn is still "delicious". Much unlike tatos.

Broccoli is absent from the wasteland, although Janice Kaplinski in Rivet City was researching how to bring it back.

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Bison are also on the list of extinct animals.

The shoulder of a deathclaw is the most tender part of the animal.

Rosemary and thyme are nowhere to be found in the wastes, but onion, garlic, celery, and fennel are in the same recipe (prime rib) and not mentioned as being unobtainable in the wasteland notes.

Unsurprisingly, bananas do not grow in the American wasteland.

Final Word

On a final note, the recipes do look very good. Much better than I expected when I got the book; it seems that the author, Victoria Rosenthal, really put a great deal of effort into these recipes. Most of them seem pretty involved and I have to say I'm anticipating trying most of them out.

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