Monday, December 22, 2008

The Omnivore's Hundred

By the time this post appears, I will be in Austin for my annual two-week end-of-the-year visit with my family. I am especially happy about that right now, because it is currently -5 degrees here in Chicago and the expected high in Austin today is 48 degrees. It should be in the mid seventies in a few days.

I haven't been doing much cooking this week what with trying to clean out the refrigerator, doing the few holiday-type things I do, and trying to get everything done at work before I leave. I thought this would be a good time to write about the Omnivore's Hundred.

Back in September Kate at Accidental Hedonist wrote this post about a list compiled by Andrew at Very Good Taste. It's The Omnivore's Hundred, a list of 100 food items he thinks a good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. I copied the link and planned to participate, but always had something else to write about so it stayed on the back burner.

This seems like a good time to bring it out. I'm not sure I agree with all of the items listed, but it certainly is food for thought and I enjoyed going over the list. I thought it was especially interesting to see which foods I would never consider eating. I believe you should try anything once, but apparently there are some exceptions I would make.

I guess 49 out of 100 isn't terrible. I'd feel better if it was at least 50. Guess I'd better get cracking.

If you don't recognize anything (there were some I didn't) you can find them at Wikipedia.
The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

Venison - A housemate of mine made chili with venison. It was tough and gamey and I did not care for it. Years later I had some venison sausage and it was pretty tasty.

2. Nettle tea - I would try this.

Huevos rancheros - But of course. I actually prefer huevos Mexicanos though.

Steak tartare - I have a memory of my parents making this once when I was pretty young. When I tasted it as an adult it was familiar, so I must have eaten it back then as well. It has a distinctive taste that cannot be recreated with cooked meat. I wouldn't want it every day, but every once in a while it is a rare treat.

5. Crocodile - Never had the opportunity but I would definitely try it.

6. Black pudding - Not something I'm particularly eager to try. Won't know until I'm facing it whether or not I can eat it.

Cheese fondue - In Switzerland! (got drunk!) (Yum!)

Carp - Can you say gefilte fish?

Borscht - Hated the idea of it as a kid. Love it now.

Baba ghanoush - I make this on a fairly regular basis.

Calamari - It took me a while to develop a taste for it, but now I like it.

12. Pho - I haven't had the opportunity yet, but I am eager to try this.

PB&J sandwich - Duh.

Aloo gobi - I had to look this up to see what it was. It's a buffet staple at most of the Indian restaurants in Chicago.

Hot dog from a street cart - It's a must in Manhattan.

16. Epoisses - Never heard of it. Can't wait to try it.

Black truffle - I could get kicked out of the foodie club, but I don't care for them.

Fruit wine made from something other than grapes - A friend made pear wine - very tasty.

Steamed pork buns - Yum!

Pistachio ice cream - My aunt used to get a pistachio ice cream cone when we were kids. Thanks to her, I tried it much sooner than I would have otherwise. Love it (and all things pistachio).

Heirloom tomatoes - It's nice that our produce choices are expanding.

Fresh wild berries - We used to pick dewberries in Houston when I was a kid. Delicious.

Foie gras - It's good, but I actually prefer good old chopped liver.

Rice and beans - Many many times.

25. Brawn, or head cheese - No desire, really.

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper - I am not a masochist.

Dulce de leche - It was all over Mexico when I used to go regularly. You can make a quick version with sweetened condensed milk.

Oysters - Not such a fan of raw, but fried are good.

Baklava - Not the first greek food that comes to my mind for this list, and not my favorite.

30. Bagna cauda - I really really want to try this.

31. Wasabi peas - Frankly, I don't see the point.

32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl - Well, I've certainly had my share of clam chowder. Why it has to be in a sourdough bowl is beyond me.

33. Salted lassi - Only if offered to me and I was in a position where I couldn't politely refuse.

Sauerkraut - Hated it when I was a kid. Love it now.

Root beer float - Hated it as a kid. Hate it now.

36. Cognac with a fat cigar - I like the idea of this, but will probably never do it.

37. Clotted cream tea - Can't remember if I had this in England, but I'll say no since if I did I don't remember it.

38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O - The days when I would do this are long gone.

Gumbo - Yumbo!

40. Oxtail - This winter I plan to make oxtail soup, so that should take care of this one.

41. Curried goat - I have had goat on more than one occasion, and quite enjoyed it, but I don't believe it was ever curried.

42. Whole insects - although these days you never know. Actually, I would probably eat an ant.

43. Phaal - again, I am not a masochist.

44. Goat’s milk - Goat, yes. Goat cheese, yes. Goat milk, not so much but I would try it.

45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more - I would try this but it would probably be wasted on me.

46. Fugu - I started to cross this out because I am basically a coward, but I think if it were in front of me I would feel obligated to try it.

Chicken tikka masala - One of my favorite Indian dishes. I've even made this.

Eel - So far I've only had it in Japanese restaurants and I love it.

Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut - first one I had was unbelievably good. Now I can't even stand the thought of them.

50. Sea urchin - After waching the original Iron Chef, I am curious and would try this.

Prickly pear - I have had nopales on one or two occasions. I do not care for them.

52. Umeboshi - I've had plum rolls, but never umeboshi.

53. Abalone - I don't know if I'll ever have the opportunity to try these.

Paneer - Saag Paneer is another one of my favorite Indian dishes.

McDonald’s Big Mac Meal - I've had this, but I like the Burger King Whopper better. Haven't had either in years, though.

56. Spaetzle - I know I would like this. Hmmm . . . I should make it.

57. Dirty gin martini - Not much of a drinker so it's not likely I'll try this.

58. Beer above 8% ABV - maybe? I don't know. It should come as no surprise that I don't care, either.

59. Poutine - I suspect that I will like this. More than is good for me.

Carob chips - Why? Not only are they *not* chocolate, they don't even taste good.

S’mores - There is nothing like eating a s'more around a campfire in the woods. They just aren't as good anywhere else. I know. I've tried.

62. Sweetbreads - I considered crossing this out too, but I don't know what I would do if they were in front of me. I think I would have to taste them.

63. Kaolin - Is this even food?

64. Currywurst - Another dish I suspect that I will like more than is good for me.

65. Durian - I would have to try it, but only if I were in southeast Asia.

66. Frogs’ legs - I would try these, but I suspect I will not like them.

Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake - Fresh churros from a cart in Mexico City dipped in hot chocolate - Yum!

68. Haggis - I'd try it.

Fried plantain - The first time I had it was in Puerto Rico and I loved it.

70. Chitterlings, or andouillette - Cracklings, maybe. Chitterlings? No thanks.

Gazpacho - Yummy yummy yummy!

72. Caviar and blini - I've had toast points with caviar and love it. The only time I had the opportunity to try caviar and blini I was a kid and wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. :sigh:

73. Louche absinthe - This is one liquor I would definitely try.

74. Gjetost, or brunost - I've never heard of this, but I would definitely try it.

75. Roadkill - More viable in theory than in practice.

76. Baijiu - There's a lot of liquor on this list. I would try this.

77. Hostess Fruit Pie - I liked them when I was a kid and didn't know any better.

78. Snail - with lots of garlicky butter - yum!

79. Lapsang souchong - I don't think I've ever had this, but I'd like to.

80. Bellini - Now this I think I would like, but I've never had one.

81. Tom yum - I'm more of a Tom Kha Gai kind of gal.

82. Eggs Benedict - I prefer spinach benedict.

83. Pocky - I wouldn't say no, but I wouldn't seek it out.

84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant - I wish.

85. Kobe beef - I'm not sure if it was the real thing or US "kobe-style", but it was soft like buttah and tasty as hell.

86. Hare - I don't know if I've had hare, but I've had rabbit and I'm counting that. My attempt to cook it did not come out so well, but I ejoyed the rabbit stew I had at The Berghoff.

87. Goulash - At least that's what my mother called it.

88. Flowers - I wouldn't refuse to eat them, but it seems a little precious to me.

89. Horse - I don't think I could get past my cultural bias on this one. Nor would I want to.

90. Criollo chocolate - Apparently Lindt uses this in their truffles, so I think I can say I've had this. I do like their truffles . . .

91. Spam - Not a fan.

92. Soft shell crab - I actually did not like these as much as I thought I would, more for the texture of the soft crunch than for the flavor. I love me some crab.

93. Rose harissa - I've never had it with rose. Again, one of those things to which I wouldn't say no, but I would not seek it out specifically.

94. Catfish - All you can eat at the Catfish Parlor in Austin back in the day. Great hushpuppies too.

95. Mole poblano - Hated it the first time I had it, love it now.

96. Bagel and lox - I cut my teeth on lox and bagels.

97. Lobster Thermidor - I like crab and shrimp better than lobster. I'd eat it if it were served to me, but I would not order it.

98. Polenta - Delicious! Who knew I was eating polenta in my chili pies back in Texas?

99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee - Other than preferring dark roast coffees, I am not really that much of a connoisseur. I think the subtleties would be lost on me.

100. Snake - I'd try it, but I'm not all that interested in it.


Anonymous said...

Ok, we are going for pho some time this winter. It is one of my favorite things, and little Vietnam is so wonderful. We should try to find a time we can go for lunch so they we can go to the markets.

Anonymous said...

Oh, also, I bet you would actually like salted lassi if you gave it a chance. It is especially good with very spicy items.

dejamo said...

I am so there for the pho misreall. I know it's one of your favorite things; that's why I'm kind of surprised I haven't had it yet. Let's make a plan when I get back and yes, we should definitely make it a lunch date.

And then we can tackle the salted lassi . . . ;)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...