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Season 6 of Rick and Morty begins with the titular duo (voiced by co-creator and executive producer, Justin Roiland) nearly starving to death as they float through space in the last-remaining vestige of the Citadel of Ricks. If only they had a fully-stocked pantry and the official series cookbook to keep them company...
That's right — Adult Swim has partnered up with Insight Editions for a licensed collection of inter-dimensional recipes inspired by the animated sci-fi hit, which is finally back on the air after a year-long hiatus. Hitting stands in early October, Rick and Morty: The Official Cookbook was written by James Asmus and August Craig, who frame the publication as an assignment for Morty's Home Economics class...with input from Grandpa Rick and a handful of Meeseeks (look at me!), of course.
"So many episodes [of the show] have tackled genres, sub-genres, or some particular franchise," Asmus tells SYFY WIRE over email. "Cookbooks are just one more genre of one more medium to let them tear through and stitch back together in some messy, experimental way! And there were already a ton of food, drinks, and references from all across the series that fit in so perfectly [to the point where] I always had something to dig deeper into or riff on. My collaborating chef, August Craig, probably had the tougher end, turning the weirder concepts into great dishes."
"The biggest challenge for myself was to try and make the recipes and the food feel like they came from right out of the show or the mind of Rick himself," states Craig. "I was always trying to make it harder for myself by doing something complicated or trying to make a more wacky idea work. But in the end I am very happy with the results and I’m still coming up with more ideas even now that I’m done writing for this cookbook ... I hope that everyone enjoys the book and the recipes and has a fun time experimenting with the food!"
To prepare for this culinary undertaking, Craig re-watched the entire series with a notepad by his side, writing "down any and every food item I could see in the show, whether it was food characters were eating or just a restaurant sign in the background of a scene. After compiling my list, I started brainstorming recipe ideas. Some were easy, as it was a food already in the show that I could replicate. Others were a bit more conceptual and related to themes or references from the show."
Head below for an exclusive look at recipes inspired by classic episodes like "Mortynight Run," "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate," "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender," and "The Vat of Acid Episode." Sadly, the Mulan-inspired Szechuan sauce from McDonald's that took the world by storm after the Season 3 premiere is not featured.
"I'm told there was an attempt to get that recipe, but both the effort to steal it from McDonalds' corporate headquarters and the other into Rick's mind resulted in those people never being heard from again," Asmus jokes (rumor has it the secret recipe is under lock and key at Shoney's). "On the plus side, their deaths and/or disappearances opened up the job for me!"
"While I would have delighted in coming up with a recipe for Szechuan, I was told very explicitly that I was not to even get close to bringing it up," echoes Craig. "Rick really upset some people with that one, but I guess that's what he does."
"I loved recipes that, by including [them], meant a character had to somehow reflect back on a particularly horrifying or emotional experience — like Morty wanting his mom's meatloaf to be more like a recipe he still remembers from his simulated life in the Roy video game," Asmus explains, referring to the immersive experience found at the intergalactic arcade known as Blips and Chitz, which will make its long-awaited return in the second episode of Season 6. "But as a fan, I'm also just excited to make my own Simple Ricks or Li'l Bits Li'l Pies."
He continues: "I've always been in awe at the density and escalation of the writing in Rick and Morty. The sheer amount of ideas, jokes, and surprises they layer into every episode blew me away and makes it incredibly re-watchable. So I always kept looking for ways to keep our 144 pages fresh. Different character perspectives, unique formats, different ways these recipes or the stuff around them can relate to the show. Our editor told me it wound up being about two to three times as much work for the design team because of all the layers and experimentation, but everyone agreed that it was the way to make a cookbook that actually feels like the show itself."
"I think that one of my favorite recipes has got to be the Vat of Acid Margarita," says August. "It’s a drink that I came up with after re-watching the episode where Rick and Morty spend the entire length stuck at the bottom of this fake vat of acid. It was one of my favorite episodes because of how simple the gag was and I knew I had to make something with it. I think the recipe turned out really well and I was so psyched to be able to add melting bones to it. As a bonus, the drink can also be enjoyed without alcohol."
While neither author was able to secure insider information about the new season, they did get a certain amount of feedback from "Team Rick and Morty" on character behavior and vague indicators of how certain ideas and concepts established in the first five seasons "would be contradicted or outdated by the upcoming stories in Season 6 or Season 7," Asmus recalls. "For how wide, weird, and 'in-universe' we were making this book — I was thrilled with how much they were on board for! And just as happy to have their help making it as accurate and evergreen as possible."
Craig is holding out hope for "an extra Season 6 recipe pamphlet in the future" and "will definitely be on the lookout for food related references in the sixth season."
Rick and Morty: The Official Cookbook goes on sale Tuesday, Oct. 4 for $29.99 a pop. Click here to pre-order a copy from Insight Editions.
"Buy the book!" exclaims Asmus, perhaps belching while he types out the response. "Buy it as your holiday, birthday, or anniversary gift to anyone you know who likes Rick, Morty, or food! Buy enough so that we can make another cookbook for the next five seasons! One hundred years of Rick and Morty cookbooks!"
New episodes of Season 6 premiere on Adult Swim every Sunday at 11 p.m. EST.
Looking for some sci-fi fun and adventure? Check out Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Warehouse 13, Eureka, SYFY's Resident Alien, Sliders, Intergalactic and more on Peacock now.