Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Omnivore's 100

I recently saw this "game" (foodie pissing match?) from the blogger of Very Good Taste on Chocolate & Zuccini, and decided to play along, even though the number I've tried would likely be a bit lower than usual due to the fact that it's heavy on animal products. Luckily (?) though, I was able to try some of these before the Vegetarian Curtain fell across my life. Also luckily (?) I've lived in the semi-rural Southwest, suburban upstate New York and the very urban Northeast, so I've been exposed to a wide variety of strange things, from snake to poutine.

The rules, as Very Good Taste's author describes them:

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.

Also: hilarious FAQ section here. (Ex. "Q. Why is there so much alcohol? A: Because I’m English.")

Below are my results, as well as descriptions in brackets for those that aren't painfully obvious. This makes my list less easy to read but hopefully more educational for all involved (I learn best by writing things down).

As for cross-out items - I am leaving most of these items open, despite the fact that many are meat-based. While I wouldn't go out of my way to try them here in the U.S., when traveling I think it's good to take a "when in Rome" approach when possible (although not literally, as I once ate at a Burger King in Rome - long story, but you get the idea). So I can't guarantee that in certain circumstances I might not be interested in or obligated to try some of these things based on context (an example: my vegan friend once chose to eat goat stew while visiting with a group of Bedouins rather than turn down what was for them a rare feast, served for her benefit, and I would do the same).

As everyone knows, when you talk about food you often segue into talking about happy memories, so I've included some of those here, too.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding [a.k.a. blood sausage]
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp Eh. They're the rats of the sea. No desire to eat rats either, incidentally.
9. Borscht [cold tomato soup - which reminds me of the "Chuckie Gets Skunked" episode of "Rugrats" in which borscht is used as a miracle deodorizer]
10. Baba ghanoush [eggplant dip]
11. Calamari
12. Pho [a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup]
13. PB&J sandwich (I like mine with fresh raspberry jam and crunchy fresh-ground peanut butter on white bread, with a glass of milk)
14. Aloo gobi [a staple "Indian buffet" dish made with potato, cauliflower and various spices]
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses [an unpasteurized cow's milk cheese washed in pomace brandy]
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (my dad makes his own amazing, very alcoholic wine from the fruits in his garden!)
19. Steamed pork buns (I have to make do with the red bean and lotus buns, which are just as tasty in their own way, I'd imagine)
20. Pistachio ice cream (Eastern Standard used to make their profiteroles with pistachio ice cream, hence my love for them)
21. Heirloom tomatoes (see this post)
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras [duck or goose liver pate; I am tempted to cross this off due to the cruelty of the methods sometimes used to produce it, but as not all fois gras producers engage in these methods, I would like to try it sometime when I can be sure of the way it was done]
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese [from wikipedia: 'meat slices in aspic (gelatin made from meat stock), with onion, black pepper, allspice, bayleaf, salt and or vinegar, from the head of a calf or pig (sometimes a sheep or cow). It may also include meat from the feet, tongue and heart.']
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper [one of the spiciest peppers in the world, often used in Caribbean "jerk" dishes]
27. Dulce de leche [Portugeuse milk-based syrup - am hoping to snag some next time I am in Inman Square]
28. Oysters
29. Baklava [The best I've found in Boston is at Yada Yada, made by grandma Shpresa]
30. Bagna cauda [An Italian warm dip made with garlic, anchovies, olive oil, butter and sometimes cream, served with raw vegetables like fondue. I haven't tried this yet, but am going to remedy that immediately.]
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (woot Boston)
33. Salted lassi [an Indian yogurt-based beverage; I've only had the sweet, mango-flavored kind, not the salty, cumin-flavored kind]
34. Sauerkraut (woot Buffalo)
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (you can be sure I'll knock this off the list at some point)
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O (Heather and Margot - I love you)
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal [a notoriously hot Indian curry, popular in the UK]
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (on an unforgettable anniversary with the b.f.)
46. Fugu [I'm not a Russian Roulette kind of girl, and this is the infamous, potentially deadly Japanese blowfish dish - which I remember from this Simpsons episode where Lisa drags her family to a weird - to them - restaurant...Lisa and I are pretty much the same person, even though she's a cartoon.]
47. Chicken tikka masala (the b.f.'s favorite thing ever)
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi [tasty pickled Japanese fruit; I'm going to seek this one out asap]
53. Abalone [huge edible sea snails - if you're like me, you remember the girl in "Island of the Blue Dolphins" speaking of nothing but abalone for pages and pages, it seemed]
54. Paneer [simple Indian cheese; I want to learn to make my own]
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle [egg-based dumplings or noodles]
57. Dirty gin martini (file this under, "really, I haven't had one of these?" But this can be easily remedied, as I love gin)
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine [French fries topped with gravy, cheese curds, and sometimes sausage]
60. Carob chips [carob is a legume from the Mediterranean region, eaten by humans as early as ancient Egyptian times]
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads [the thymus glands of lambs, cows or pigs]
63. Kaolin [a kind of edible clay...but hey, it's vegetarian!]
64. Currywurst [hot pork sausage in curry sauce]
65. Durian [an enormous fruit whose odor food writer Richard Sterling describes as "pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock"]
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis [from wikipedia: "sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours]
69. Fried plantain [a relative of the banana...mmm, just had this last night!]
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette [pig intestines]
71. Gazpacho [cold tomato soup]
72. Caviar and blini [fish eggs + a thin crepe - too bad they don't serve this at Zaftig's]
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost [a sharp Norwegian goat's milk cheese - putting this on my Formaggio Kitchen fantasy shopping list]
75. Roadkill. Not unless I was truly starving.
76. Baijiu [A Chinese liquor usually distilled from sorghum, a grain]
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (Says the author, "It was these or Twinkies, and I don’t want to encourage anyone to eat a Twinkie.")
78. Snail (another example of "when in Rome", but of course it was "when in Provence" excellent move, I'd say)
79. Lapsang souchong [Smoked Chinese tea - expensive and getting more so]
80. Bellini [peach + prosecco cocktail]
81. Tom yum [delicious Thai soup made with lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, shallots, lime juice, fish sauce, tamarind, and crushed chili peppers]
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky [Japanese snack food - basically sticks dipped in chocolate]
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse Again, not unless I was starving. I draw the line at companion animals. No cats, no puppies, no horses. No thanks.
90. Criollo chocolate [chocolate made from the rarest, most expensive, most finicky cacao bean]
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa [a North African hot sauce]
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano [a delicious sauce with about a kajillion ingredients, including "dried chile peppers (commonly ancho, pasilla, mulato and chipotle), ground nuts and/or seeds (almonds, indigenous peanuts, and/or sesame seeds), spices, Mexican chocolate (cacao ground with sugar and cinnamon and occasionally nuts), salt, and a variety of other ingredients including charred avocado leaves, onions, and garlic. Dried seasonings such as ground oregano are also used. In order to provide a rich thickness to the sauce, bread crumbs or crackers are added to the mix." - wikipedia]
96. Bagel and lox [salmon, for you goys]
97. Lobster Thermidor [I love the wikipedia entry here: "a French dish consisting of a creamy, cheesy mixture of cooked lobster meat, egg yolks, and brandy or sherry, stuffed into a lobster shell, and optionally served with an oven-browned cheese crust. The sauce must contain mustard (typically powdered mustard) in order to be true to the original recipe and to have the distinctive Thermidor taste. Lobster Thermidor was created in 1894 by Marie's, a Paris restaurant near the theatre Comédie Française, to honour the opening of the play Thermidor by Victorien Sardou. The play took its name from a summer month in the French Republican Calendar, during which the Thermidorian Reaction occurred, overthrowing Robespierre and ending the Reign of Terror. Unlike the recipe, the play was not a critical success and is rarely performed."]
98. Polenta [boiled cornmeal]
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee [one of the most expensive coffees on the market and the base of the Tia Marie coffee liqueur]
100. Snake

This means I've eaten 52 out of 100. Not bad for someone who's not really an omnivore at all. I'm already making a mental Vegetarian 100 list...although it looks like some folks are way ahead of me.


Blogger doublenegative said...

Oh man, reading this list made me recall that I used to be a total strawberry Pocky addict. I ate it so much in high school that my parents felt compelled to send me boxes in the mail when I got to college. When did I stop eating it? Why don't I start again? Nothing like that buttery/chalky/faux-fruity taste, and holding 'em between your fingers like a cigarette.

Also, you are TOTES like Lisa Simpson. I don't know why I never thoughta that before.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Ryan Rose said...

Mmm, totally. They're like Cruella de Ville cigars, but chocolate.

1:20 PM  
Blogger tiger said...


3:08 AM  

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