So what do Nomes eat? Combining all of the references in the Oz books, it seems that they eat a combination of minerals and what we would consider to be more usual fare. Here are the foods that I can recall being mentioned in the series:
- In Ozma of Oz, the Chief Steward serves cakes to the invaders from Oz, along with coffee made from clay. Dorothy finds the coffee “most refreshing and not at all muddy.” Later, the Steward lists the breakfast that he’s given the Hungry Tiger: “seventeen bowls of porridge, a platter full of fried sausages, eleven loaves of bread and twenty-one mince pies.”
- In Emerald City, Kaliko recommends that Roquat drink a glass of melted silver to quiet his nerves. This beverage is mentioned again in Handy Mandy, in which both the former Nome King and the Wizard of Wutz drink some.
- In Tik-Tok, Kaliko serves Betsy Bobbin broiled mushrooms, mineral bread, and petroleum butter. She is unable to eat the butter, but enjoys the other items.
- Ruggedo drinks melted mud while living underneath the Emerald City in Kabumpo.
- In Hungry Tiger, Kaliko eats a mud pie and “scalding black rock coffee,” while serving roast beef, legs of lamb, fried chicken, sweet potatoes, and peach pie to his guests. We also learn in this book that the National Drink of the Nome Kingdom is root beer.
- In Gnome King, Kaliko brings ground rocks, pebble pie, and muddy coffee (presumably the same kind served in Ozma) to Ruggedo; and steak, fried potatoes, and ice cream for Peter Brown.
- In Wishing Horse, Shoofenwaller offers Kalicocoa to Dorothy, and packs a lunch of cold meat, fruit, pie, and sandwiches. We also learn in this book that Nomes flavor their tea with dried lizards.
- Lucky Bucky shows Kaliko partaking of a sandstone sandwich and hot quicksilver.