Friday, October 03, 2008

Incredible Edible Meme

This one's been traveling the rounds for awhile...I had it bookmarked and then forgot it. Since I've started my food blog I notice I've been neglecting that topic here, so maybe I need to remedy that.

This is a list of food and drink that someone -- I forget who -- thinks we all need to taste before we die. The boldfaced items are things that I myself have actually eaten.

1. Venison. I absolutely love it. Sorry, Bambi.
2. Nettle tea.
3. Huevos rancheros.
4. Steak tartare. Although this used to be a special New Year's Day treat for the old men on my mom's side of the family -- they'd eat steak tartare, drink a lot and sing sentimental German songs until they were all weeping into their beer.
5. Crocodile.
6. Black pudding.My people call it Blutwurst. And it's actually pretty good; the cholesterol content is enough to infarct an elephant, though.
7. Cheese fondue.
8. Carp.
9. Borscht. Not to be braggadocious, borscht rocks.
10. Baba ghanoush. The departed, and much missed, Northern Delights Restaurant in Benzonia, MI, used to make a great baba ghanoush.
11. Calamari. One of my favorite seafoods.
12. Pho. Pho, no.
13. PB&J sandwich.
14. Aloo gobi. Sounds like something that lives in an aquarium.
15. Hot dog from a street cart.
16. Epoisses.
17. Black truffle. I think in my past I have eaten some restaurant offering that had a homeopathic miniscule of truffle in it; which didn't impress me at the time.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes. Gill's Pier Winery's Cheerio Cherry is the bomb -- dry enough to enjoy with a pork, turkey or game meal.
19. Steamed pork buns.
20. Pistachio ice cream.
21. Heirloom tomatoes.
22. Fresh wild berries. I used to spend much of June, as a young person, bent over in our pasture picking wild strawberries -- one year I picked 12 quarts, many of which made their way into pie. There is no comparison between wild and tame berries for intensity of flavor. Ditto blackberries...I love the wild ones; they are worth every scratch and yellowjacket encounter to obtain.
23. Foie gras.
24. Rice and beans.
25. Brawn, or headcheese. Another tribal-identity dish of my ancestors. One year we even made it from scratch at home -- my dad somehow obtained a hog's head (hence the name) from a butchering neighbor, and we boiled and spiced and hacked that thing into headcheese. As long as you don't think very hard about the ingredients, and as long as it's properly vinegary, it's not that bad.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper.
27. Dulce de leche. Only the ice cream.
28. Oysters.
29. Baklava.
30. Bagna cauda. Sounds like a chiropractic ailment.
31. Wasabi peas. Wasabi almonds, too...yum.
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl.
33. Salted lassi. Salted, no. The hippie-dippie fruit-juice-and-buttermilk mixture, yes.
34. Sauerkraut. Das schmeckt gut.
35. Root beer float.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar. Not even in a fantasy.
37. Clotted cream tea.
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O. My coworkers think this is high mixology. 'Nuff said.
39. Gumbo.
40. Oxtail. Good, but not as good as short ribs.
41. Curried goat.
42. Whole insects. Not intentionally, anyway.
43. Phaal. No, I won't bow down to Phaal! Oh -- that's Baal. Anyway.
44. Goat's milk. I have a tricky relationship with caprine dairy products. Some of them are all right. Others are so...goaty. Know what I mean?
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$130 or more.
46. Fugu.
47. Chicken tikka masala.
48. Eel. My homesick Prussian great-uncle once brought an eel home from Eastern Market to my great-aunt and beseeched her to cook it. She had never done such a thing before, but tried to prepare it according to his memories of his mother's eel cookery. According to family legend, the result was so foul that the entire pot had to be thrown away. I had this tale in mind the first time I had spicy eel rolls in a sushi bar...but I actually enjoyed my eel.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut.
50. Sea urchin.
51. Prickly pear. I believe I've had salsa made with prickly pear. It wasn't all that remarkable.
52. Umeboshi.* I think I've probably eaten this as an ingredient or garnish in an Asian dish without knowing what it was.
53. Abalone.
54. Paneer. I think I have had paneer as part of a dish at the now-closed Indian buffet restaurant in Midland that my mom and I visited once in awhile.
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal. About once a year I get a craving for this. I try to lie down until the feeling goes away, but sometimes I succumb.
56. Spaetzle. I love both making and eating spaetzle, although I don't think I have my grandmothers' dexterity in the former.
57. Dirty gin martini.
58. Beer above 8% ABV. I'm sure I have.
59. Poutine. Despite my Canadian friend Dan's high regard for this dish, I've not tried it. Nor have I dipped my fries in mayonnaise, as they do in the Netherlands. The thought of either makes my gall bladder pucker in trepidation.
60. Carob chips.
61. S'mores.
62. Sweetbreads.
63. Kaolin. This sounds like the name of a foul-smelling old-school disinfectant that my dad used to keep around the farm. I hope it's not the same thing.
64. Currywurst. Because my family's experience of Germany is fossilized in the late 19th century, I'm having a difficult time with the idea of curry and Wurst together...although I'm sure it's very good.
65. Durian.
66. Frogs' legs.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake. No, yes, yes, yes.
68. Haggis.
69. Fried plantain.
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette. Ecch.
71. Gazpacho. FT makes the best.
72. Caviar and blini.
73. Louche absinthe.
74. Gjetost, or brunost. I can't get past the color.
75. Roadkill. I have had barbecued beaver in a bun (long story), but it was trapped, not run over.
76. Baijiu. God bless you.
77. Hostess Fruit Pie.
78. Snail.
79. Lapsang souchong.
80. Bellini.
81. Tom yum.
82. Eggs Benedict.
83. Pocky. These are thin shortbready Chinese fast-food cookies. They taste better than the name sounds, but I'm pretty much off any food product that comes from China these days.
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. I'm thinking a three-star Mobil Guide restaurant doesn't count. It was good food, though.
85. Kobe beef.
86. Hare. Cottontail and domestic rabbit, actually. And I very much enjoy it...just the other day on my food blog I was bemoaning a lack of local sources for fresh rabbit. My mom used to flour/season wild rabbit, brown it well in a decent amount of oil, brown a mess of chopped onion, and throw the whole thing into a pressure cooker. The meat was so tender, and the gravy was incredible dolloped over mashed potatoes. And the sad thing mother was so rabbit-averse, I think because of the rodent association, that she wouldn't touch the stuff. Talk about a labor of love.
87. Goulash. The real deal -- oh, yes. But I like the American mac-and-beef variety as well.
88. Flowers. I've had fried squash blossoms (yummy), chive and nasturtium flowers in salad (yummy) rose petals and violets (pretty but tasteless).
89. Horse.
90. Criollo chocolate.
91. SPAM. I was generally an enthusiastic eater as a child, but I had to work up to SPAM...oftentimes, accompanied by fried eggs, a Friday-shopping-day fast supper at our house.
92. Soft shell crab.
93. Rose harissa.
94. Catfish.
95. Mole poblano. Mole something, anyway.
96. Bagel and lox. My first and only experience of lox, I expected the sort of hard-smoked fish I was used to growing up. The lox texture made me gag. Now that I'm a fan of sushi, I wonder if I would like lox.
97. Lobster Thermidor.
98. Polenta.
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. I suspect, though, that this only made up a percentage of beans labeled "Jamaican Blue Mountain."
100. Snake. My game-eating relatives, who would eat nearly anything, somehow failed to go in this culinary direction. Thank God.

Bonus round: Most unusual food you've ever eaten: Fish head soup. It was my maternal grandmother's special recipe, usually made with pike during winter ice fishing season. It was a kind of thin chowder with a milk base,onions, potatoes, pickling spices with extra allspice and bayleaf, chunks of fish and the aforementioned heads. It was another one of those contractual-obligation in-law recipes that my mother would make for my father while refusing to eat it herself. I thought the soup part was okay; I couldn't bring myself to tackle the heads of the fish, leering at me with their glazed eyes and toothy rictus grins. I'm actually rather curious about the exact ethnic pedigree of this dish; this grandma's people came from an area of central Europe that was either in Germany or Poland depending on what year it was, and where the cuisine was a Gulasch of German and Eastern European dishes. Or maybe she just made it up.

If you're reading this, you're tagged. Bonus points for the most unusual food not on this list that you've ever eaten.


Processing Counselor said...

I guess I'm tagged...

southernbooklover said...

Oh, fun!! I'd forgotten about your food blog. Thanks for including a link.

toujoursdan said...

Poutine should really be eaten at a local French hockey game with cheap beer.

For exotic foods, I have had Vegemite, Kangaroo burgers and emu steaks in Australia and grubs, mealy worms, flying fox meat, pupa soup (with python meat) and sautéed tarantula in Papua New Guinea (I guess some of those go under insects).

When I lived in Dallas, ostrich meet was all the rage and you could get that in a burger. That was pretty tasty.

I am 5 weeks away from a 3 week trip to west Africa so I may come back with some others to add.

stinuksuk said...

I'm tagged.
It was fun! Likes the Germanic fiber runs close to us!!

Rev Scott said...

I'll play sometime today or tomorrow - I'm looking up all the stuff I've never heard of before so I can wonder if I should try it or not.

Most unusual food not on the list? Gotta be Lutefisk. You know, the piece of cod that passes all human understanding.