Strawberry Vinegar is an acquired taste, pardon the pun. It is a visual novel centred around a precocious girl, Rie, who finds a small, ravenous demon in her kitchen, scoffing all of the chessboard cookies she just made. When the demon announces that she intends to stay with Rie and be served delicious meals, otherwise she will subject Rie to her wrath, the reserved girl is forced to entertain the ever-vivacious demon, Licia, for six days. Rie is forced to break with her tendency for solitude, possibly making a new friend (or future soulmate?) in the process.
The chessboard cookies which Rie never had the opportunity to taste. Poor Rie.
As well as telling a story of the Underworld manifesting itself on Earth in a surprisingly sweet package, Strawberry Vinegar emphasises the importance of food in the characters’ lives and what it has to say about particular relationships.
Many Steam reviews advise against playing Strawberry Vinegar on an empty stomach, and these warnings are justified; the dishes are described in minute detail and the artwork manages to make even dull dishes pretty. The power of these meals is augmented by how they feed directly into the plot.