Stardew Valley's dripfeed of 1.6 patch notes reaches artistic levels of absurdity: 'You can now drink mayonnaise'

 A man holds out a glass of a white substance that may well be mayonnaise.
A man holds out a glass of a white substance that may well be mayonnaise.

Stardew Valley's 1.6 update will arrive tomorrow, March 19, and may represent the last set of major additions to the game from creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone. Barone says to expect "a lot more… than people think" and in the runup to the patch's release has become drunk with power, posting a single patch note every day.

This has now reached a level of absurdity that one can only admire, with Barone's Sunday announcement being the sentence: "You can now drink mayonnaise."

Believe it or not, there is context for this. Way back in October 2021, a fan of the game going by the handle Sage asked Barone about a rumor they'd heard: "we can't eat Mayo and Pickles in Stardew Valley because you don't like either of those foods. Is this true?"

"I like pickles," replied Barone at the time. "But mayo... I plead the 5th. But if I remember right, the real reason you can't eat them in the game is because they are in a glass jar and I didn't want to have to draw a special animation for fishing out the pickles, and no way would I allow drinking mayonnaise."

"No way" has clearly now become "yes way." The reason this bothered Barone at all was that it's internally inconsistent: "You can eat certain glass jars but not others [...] making a game as big as Stardew Valley, I forgot to make everything consistent. It was a lot to think about."

Finally, drinkable mayonnaise almost certainly means another feature will be included as part of 1.6. "When the roe was added in update 1.4 my thinking had changed with respect to eating glass jars," said Barone in 2021 (this patch added fish roe which could be preserved in jars and eaten). "But back when I first made Stardew Valley, many years prior, I guess I had a different mindset. I dunno, maybe if there's another update some day I could make pickles edible."

You heard it there first folks: time to get our gherkin on. Barone has clearly put a lot into 1.6 for longterm fans, and leaning into some old jokes show the kind of attitude behind the patch.

As well as drinkable mayonnaise, Stardew Valley's 1.6 update will also add a 1-week honeymoon period for newly-married players that keeps spouses "from laying in bed all day due to being upset." Barone also shocked players by revealing that, for the past 8 years, left-to-right harvesting has been 100ms faster than right-to-left harvesting. As for what other surprises lie in store, we'll all find out tomorrow.