Food is merely fuel for the Vacore of some races. Crude fuel that has been rendered superfluous by the technological advancements of the Empire. Advancements such as: a steady stream of nutrition that can be provided ambiently, nutrition that can be diffused into the Vacore by way of a kiosk, or the need itself can be eliminated. The nutritional needs of each race, of course, are grouped into different tiers with some races, such as the Szarehan, needing no such thing.
Despite no Empirian truly needing to consume food, whatever form it may take, there are cultures in Tyra Kolaq’blegae that elevate food to being more than just fuel for their physical forms.
The race with the strongest culture ties to food are the Humans. All generations of Humans have had strong cultural ties to the consumption and preparation of food. Cuisine is an enduring core part of the Human’s fractured culture. They are alone in Tyra Kolaq’blegae in their passion for cuisine, as they are in many other things as well. Even the Paeyk, with their varying cultures, care not for grand displays of food and flavor. However, food is one of the numerous cultural differentiators amongst the Paeyk themselves so it does hold some place in their fragmented culture.
Just as food can be proof of differences between races and even amongst themselves, it can also be a common unifier for a race. For the Vapaezyre, consumption of food (blood) is a declaration of honoring their racial being. Catasore made the Vapaezyre’s being with a specific connection to their food and how they consume it. Although the Empire has eliminated the need for such things, the intent of that creation is still evident and something to be honored.
Also evident and honored is how the Vacore of an enemy can turn into food for the victor—a demonstration of power over another. The Dracite and occasionally the Wolfen are known to consume the bodies of their enemies to exert dominance. Humans of the third generation are especially prey to this practice for obvious reasons. It could be argued that this is not any cultural commentary of the place of food, but merely one way how a Vacore can be dominated.
And so food may merely be fuel for the Vacore, but to the rest of the parts of being—it may be more.