When you explore the wilds of Tamriel long enough, the “taste boredom” of the repetitive small game on a spit will set in. The adventurer’s palate will long for a diet with more variety and flavour.
There are two types of provisioning products: Food and Drink. Food increases the players resource pools (Total Health, Magicka, and/or Stamina) and drinks increase the player’s regeneration of resource pools (Health, Magicka, and/or Stamina Regeneration). There are seven possible combinations: Health, Magicka, Stamina, Health and Magicka, Health and Stamina, Magicka and Stamina, and all three.
Single resource products are green. Two resource items are blue. Three resource items are purple. There is a special yellow product (Experience potion) which is created by very rare item obtained by fishing.
A gourmand will eat anything in front of them, while an educated gourmet prefers sophisticated recipes made from the freshest ingredients.
Provisioning food and drink are one of the main ways to improve your resource pools over a longer period of time. If the local guild trader doesn’t have the basic ingredients you are looking for, there are several grocers scattered around Tamriel ready to serve you.
Note: I am currently collecting data to assess the changes made with patch 4.1.5.
In my twenty years as supply captain for the Seventh Imperial, I learned one absolute truth: provisioning is the same whether feeding yourself or an entire army. — Basic Provisioning Guide by Cloelius Maluginensis.