Monday, August 25, 2008

Omnivore's Hundred

So, a British food blogger at Very Good Taste came up with an interesting game. He made a list of 100 items he thought every omnivore should try at least once, asked people to post it on their blog, bold the items they had tried, cross out the items they wouldn't consider trying, and link the results to his blog. While a lot of the choices would definitely make my 100, some of them definitely would not and strike me either as rather odd choices or things that I can't imagine anyone who is even remotely fond of eating wouldn't have tried already and eaten many times (e.g. catfish, poleta, calemari). Maybe I'll make my own list later. But it is a fun game, and you'll probably learn stuff about my by reading it. I can't figure out how to do strike-through on blogger, so I've put asterisks around the items I wouldn't consider trying, and I've annotated my list as I thought interesting. A quick count yields 26 items that I have not tried, and only three that I wouldn't consider trying, and in reality I probably would in certain circumstances. Chocolate and Zucchini has linked to wikipedia for the more obscure entries if you want more explanation.
At any rate, here it goes.

1. Venison (I would actually replace this with elk on my 100. I had elk once in vermont and once in Montreal and both times it was really delicious)
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros (i've noticed these a lot on T.V. lately, and apparently producers think these are some form of scrambled eggs. They are actually fried eggs with a tomato or chile sauce. They are ok, but not great I much prefer a breakfast taco or quesadilla).
4. Steak tartare (not yet, but I'm now very fond of beef carpaccio, so I'm willing to give it a shot)
5. Crocodile (I've had Aligator but not croc)
6. Black pudding (delicious as part of a hangover-curing, artery-clogging irish breakfast; much more commenly known as morcilla, or blood sausage, some of David and my favorite parrillada fare)
7. Cheese fondue (I've had it in Switzerland!/if I see one more reference to this as dated or a blast for the '70s past I am really going to kill someone)
8. Carp (Better than you'd think. Whole fried carp chinese style is really good)
9. Borscht (I prefer the polish style, clear borscht with little tortellini-like dumplings). I've been dreaming of it since I went to a Polish restaurant near my friends apartment in Brooklyn a couple years ago. In fact, I found a recipe a few days ago and was going to try it out)
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho (anyone who reads this blog can attest to my obsession)
13. PB&J sandwich (not a big fan)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses (a french, washed-rind cows-milk cheese. I picked some up from Copone's once. If I recall it was pretty could, kind of caramely, but would definately not make my top 100 in the cheese category)
17. Black truffle (I don't know if it was just too subtle or a poor execution, but truffles did not make a big impression on me)
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (not a big fan of the fruit wines I've had)
19. Steamed pork buns (I love these and miss them so much that I'm considering trying my hand at them)
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes (someday I will have a garden full of these)
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras (mostly in paté; I still want to try an honest to goodness dish made of foie gras)
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese (It's not bad, actually)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (I guess I would try this, but I don't see much point)
27. Dulce de leche (I come from the land of Dulce de Leche--speaking of which, I'm really tired of Argentina getting sole credit for lots of things that are also typical of paraguay: yerba mate (it's called ilex paraguayensis for pete's sake), empanadas, and if that weren't enough they even steal credit for things that are unambiguously Paraguayan like chipa)
28. Oysters (I love them)
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda (aparently an Italian fondue-like dish)
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (I don't really think the sourdough bowl in necessary)
33. Salted lassi (I got this one by mistake once, and I got to say, I thought it was disgusting)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (I've had them each separately (sorry mom) does that count?_
37. Clotted cream tea (Also my favorite. Tealuxe in Boston has great crumpets with clotted cream and strawberry jam and a fantastic tea selection)
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O ( i'd really rather have the vodka straight)
39. Gumbo ( I really hate okra, even in gumbo)
40. Oxtail (very common on my dinner table growing up. I love it in puchero and in pasta sauce)
41. Curried goat (I love goat curry, one reason for my secret plan to become a goat farmer)
42. Whole insects (I'd try them, I guess, but I wouldn't go out of my way to)
43. Phaal (apparently the hottest curry dish you can order at an indian restaurant. I know what I'm getting next time I visit Devon Ave. in Chicago)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (there is a funny story about this and our unexpectedly large dinner bill the first week we were in Paraguay a year ago).
46. *Fugu* (this is that Japanese pufferfish dish. I can't imagine it's delicious enough to be worth even a small risk of death)
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel (I've recently discovered that eel is common in rural Paraguay, and on my last stint of field work had many a bowl of deliriously delicious eel soup)
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (They really are quite good)
50. Sea urchin (I had some at Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo)
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi (very sour)
53. Abalone ( I don't believe I've had any)
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (But I've actually been on a fast-food boycott since I saw supersize me. It has been almost five years since I've had anything from an unambigously fast-food chain ('casual dining' such as Chile's not included)--my mom beats me though. Once when I was like in third grade she had a terrible hamburger at the Mcdonald's in the Field Museum in Chicago and vowed she would never eat fast food again. We all thought she was crazy (really), but it has been probably 20 years since she has eaten anything from a fast food restaurant besides KFC--my parents are loco for KFC, but even that they only have like once a year).
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini (I hate gin, and until several years ago, I didn't like olives either)
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. *Poutine* (This is a quebequeois specialty of french fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy; it's not so much that I wouldn't consider trying this; i just can't imagine that I'd enjoy it that much)
60. Carob chips (I really don't know how this made the list. Unless your allergic to chocolate, there is no point)
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads (They come grilled a lot in Paraguay as molleja. I used to hate them, but I can stomach them now)
63. Kaolin (this is a kind of clay; I certainly wouldn't object to trying it, but would probably only do so in conjunction with some highly alkaline food like acorns or something that required its neutralizing properties).
64. Currywurst
65. Durian (I'm definitely intrigued after all the press this stinky southeast asian fruit has recieved)
66. Frogs’ legs (I can't remember if I've ever had these; if I did, they didn't make a big impression)
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (I've had all of these, in fact, and, as long as the cinnemon is kept far, far away from them, I love these kinds of fried pastries).
68. Haggis (why not?)
69. Fried plantain (I got a taste for these when I was in Haiti for a summer teaching music)
70. *Chitterlings, or andouillette* (I just know that I wouldn't like these. I have such a history of disappointing experience with cow entrails that I don't really want to explore the possibilities of porcine viscera)
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini (I don't believe I've had them together)
73. Louche absinthe (not yet, but it's on my list)
74. Gjetost, or brunost (If someone offered, I would definitely try this Swedish whey cheese. But, odd-looking as it is, I don't think I'd try it on my own)
75. Roadkill (do people actually eat this? really? I thought that was a mean-spirited, classist joke. I guess it depends on the circumstances though)
76. Baijiu (an extremely potent, apparently fowl-tasting chinese liquor distilled from sorghum. I'm not opposed, but I'm a little past wild nights of drunkenness (usually)).
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (again, not sure how this made the list)
78. Snail (see No. 89 'Horse')
79. Lapsang souchong (a pine-smoked, chinese tea. I tried some at tea-luxe. It is very smoky, good for crisp weather)
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky (we just found some of these chocolote-covered cookie sticks at a Korean store in Asuncion)
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. (someday . . .)
85. Kobe beef (not yet, but some japanese restaurants in asuncion advertise kobe-style beef)
86. Hare (I've had rabit, and like it a lot, but I've never had an honest-to-goodness wild hare)
87. Goulash
88. Flowers (you'll notice in my future posts that nasturtium garnishes will become ubiquitous as our plants FINALLY started to bloom)
89. Horse (When I was in Switzerland. Me and a chinese-american friend tried to explain to our bemused Swiss hosts how it was strange and a little uncomfortable for Americans to eat Horse. However, it was our turn for bemusement when the Swiss shrieked "You guys eat that?" in disgust when we decided to order to the snails.
90. Criollo chocolate (not sure what this is)
91. Spam (It really doesn't taste bad, but I don't think this is a can't miss. It's pretty much represents all that is wrong with the food industry)
92. Soft shell crab (I think soft-shell crabs are kind of insect-like, and disturbing. With all the other delicious crabs out there, I'd leave this one off the list).
93. Rose harissa (I've had harissa but not Rose Harissa. But if it is made with rosewater, I probably wouldn't like it. They make meringue with rose water here, and I think it makes everything taste like old ladies' makeup)
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox (I think I blogged about this, but I'm always amazed by how much better this is in New York)
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake


Sam said...

you don't like gin?! how are we even friends?

also, poutine will rock your world. if you're ever in NYC, check it out at Pommes Frites, which I think is near Union Square (that's the end of my NYC geography cred).

Alice said...

I'm going to go through on mine too, when I get a free minute, oh that will probably be never. I can't believe I've eaten things you haven't!

mcplanner said...

Yeah, so roadkill. My dad's favorite story to tell new boyfriends is the time he was riding his motorcycle home late one night and hit a deer. He argues he was trying to prove to my mom he wasn't out messing around, so he broke it's neck (it wasn't dead yet), skinned it with his repair kit, wrapped it in its own hide and brought it home. Mom cooked it and they ate it.
Take THAT Sarah Palin!

Anonymous said...

this is way after the fact, but--
i can hook you up with some gjetost anytime you feel the need...

Anonymous said...

this is way after the fact, but--
i can hook you up with some gjetost anytime you feel the need...jennifer n.