the four elements of food - magic ideas

thinking about schools of magic and food led me to think up a quick little four-elements style set of magic ideas. take the most common: Fire, Earth, Air, and Water, and apply traits to each!

essentially my idea revolves around each element having defining characteristics, and being associated with different aspects of food and flavors. the elements can be combined by skillful chefs**/**mages, and used to create different foods, meals, or spells of specific effects.

what I have so far:

  • Earth
    -hearty foods, entrees, substance. meats, grains, filling foods.
  • Air
    -snacks, light foods, oils and fats. also sweets, but less so than water.
  • Water
    -drinks, sugar, sweet and sour flavors.
  • Fire
    -the act of cooking/fire, spicy and salty flavors. not typically associated with a single food type.

I also have a few ideas for element combos:

  • Earth + Fire - lunches, dinners, entrees. hearty, filling food.
  • Earth + Water - stews, soups, heavy desserts.
  • Earth + Air - “fast foods”, breakfasts, greasy/fatty snacks.
  • Water + Fire - sauces & dressings, appetizers. flavorful, satisfying food.
  • Air + Water - sweet drinks (sodas, drinks, shakes, etc.). light, sweet desserts.
  • Air + Fire - ?

I don’t have a good idea for what Fire + Air could be, so if anyone’s got suggestions, I’d love to hear.
I just had an urge to I guess worldbuild, so feel free to use if you have ideas for implementing into DnD, a game, writing, etc.


Fire+Air = Spicy chicken wings or chili sauce?

yeah, I guess it could just be spicy snacks; I wanted to make it general and kinda vague so it could easily be expanded in different ways.

Air and fire made me think of things like peppermint candies, or mint candies. Heck, I’ve seen potato chips that are wasabi/spicy flavored, so those can fit there.

So I guess, minty candy or snacks that leave a slight tingly sensation on your tongue, like from eating spicy foods?

Personally I associate meat with fire.

If you include meat with fire then Fire + Air could give you smoked meats, or BBQ skewers.

You could have Air include poultry. Air + fire could be turkey dinners, or other cooked birds.

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Fish and other seafood are classified in water, it will be better.

My first instinct would be to associate the classical elements with the five flavors (bitter, sweet, etc) rather than classifications of food.

Fire: Salty/Spicy
Water: Sweet
Earth: Umami/Savory
Air: Bitter
Aether: Sour

Last two are kind of arbitrary, and if you didn’t want to bother with Aether and it’s connotation of being on a different “level,” you could ignore it and roll Sour into Air along with Bitter. My opinion, anyway.


In traditional Chinese medicine, there are five-elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, water.
Wood means birth, wind, green/blue and sour.
Fire means growth, heat, red and bitter.
Earth means transformation, damp, yellow and sweet.
Metal means harvest, dryness, white and pungent.
Water means storage, cold, black and salty.

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about TCM


That’s kind of interesting, actually. Might look into that.

Not sure what “pungent” means as a flavor profile, though.

Oh,sorry about my poor English.
I mean spicy. My dictionary misled me.

You’re alright.

I guess spicy makes sense, now that I think about it.

So long as we’re sharing these:

The classical Western conception of medicine, incorporating four of the classical Greek elements and associating them with “humors.” Of note is a belief that certain foods were associated with certain humors, and thus consumed/avoided to maintain balance within the body.

Wikipedia doesn’t go into those foods much, but some searching online should turn up something.

popcorn! crisps! mexican!