Wednesday, January 4, 2012

100 Foods (and a Facebook rant, apparently)

I wasn't going to blog today, but I've got the flu and feel just sick enough to not be able to do much of anything and just well enough to want to do something. And I'm kinda grumpy from the body aches, so lucky you, you get a snarky post.

Apparently there is a Facebook app making the rounds that has a list of "100 Foods To Eat Before You Die." I don't like Facebook and I don't particularly trust it -- they play pretty fast and loose with private information, spammy ads, and invasive apps.

Plus, every time I try to like Facebook, I grow tired of it very quickly. It's tedious to me and after spending any significant amount of time on it, I walk away feeling empty and thinking, "There's time I'll never get back." It'd be different if items of substance outweighed the fluff, but it doesn't.

So, bah humbug, I'm a Facebook grump. Turned my account off over 2 years ago and haven't missed it.

And the kids and I are wrapped in blankets on the couch with a space heater aiding the radiators in trying to heat this room. The draftiness of an old house cannot be good for our health.

Holy tangent. Back to the food list . . .

So the Facebook app's list has been replicated online for people who also don't trust Facebook. I found it and copied it. Apparently, the initial prediction says that of the 100 foods listed, most people have tried about 20 or less of them. I'm curious to see how many I've tried.

My number: 78

Not bad. I LOVE trying new foods. And strange doesn't scare me. It entices me all the more. Bring it. (Unless it's that fish in Japan that could kill you. I'd pass on that.)

I woke up from a dream this morning where I was tasting copious amounts of middle eastern foods and noodles. It was supposed to be a pre-field trip snack, but in the dream, everyone in our group had left and I hadn't even realized they'd gone. My main concern was trying all the food. So, I shrugged and kept eating. I love food.

1. Abalone - Yes! Live mussels in a shell barnacle. Only I called them "lapas." And ate them raw on the beach to the wonderment of my elementary school classmates on school field trips. Ah, the benefits of being the immigrants' kid.

2. Absinthe - not exactly a drinker, but even if I were, anise and fennel? So liquid licorice?

3. Alligator - Yep. As a kid. And again, on a stick in Florida a few years ago. Delicious.

4. Baba Ghanoush - LOVE this stuff. I like it even more than hummus. So stringy and eggplant-y good. Plus, it's fun to say.

5. Bagel and Lox - I've had the smoked salmon variety, but not the more proper brine type. I'd love to try those.

6. Baklava - Yes, but I don't love it. Too sweet.

7. Barbecue Ribs - Yes, usually with a fork. Don't like getting messy (though my daughter LOVES making a mess when she eats).

8. Bellini - Virgin Bellini, yes.

9. Bird's Nest Soup - have not had the pleasure. Apparently, it's one of the most expensive foods in the world and it's made from bird saliva. I'd totally eat it.

10. Biscuits and Gravy - Yes! My husband's favorite breakfast food. Would love to try this in the South someday. Did have a true Southerner make us some at our house. It was awesome.

11. Black Pudding - Also called blood pudding. I REALLY love this stuff. My Dad used to fry this up and the smell was sooooo good. Yes, it's really made of blood. Yes, it's really yummy. (Snarky side note: I love how some Americans wrinkle their noses in disgust at something like this while simultaneously popping Cheetos, Pop-Tarts, and Pepsi in their mouths, as if that is less disgusting).

12. Black Truffle - Love these! They're mushrooms that are kind of slimy and chewy all at once. Divine!

13. Borscht - I don't think I've had this, but I'd try it. I'd prefer the tomato-based ones to the beet-based ones. Not a big fan of beets.

14. Calamari - Love, love, love calamari. Any way it's cooked is fine with me. YUM. One of mine and Thing 1's favorite foods.

15. Carp - Yep. I love fish. I could ditch all other meats in the world if I could keep eating fish.

16. Caviar - Salty. Love fish eggs on my sushi, though.

17. Cheese Fondue - It's on our menu for this week! Dipping little foods in melted cheese? Um, yes, please!

18. Chicken and Waffles - Sounds weird, but is actually quite good. Another thing I'd love to try in the South (I really love eating regional foods in their respective regions - Italy, someday, here we come!).

19. Chicken Tikka Masala - Oh yes! Love this stuff. Thought it was an Indian dish, but apparently it's the most popular restaurant dish in the UK. Still thought to have originated in India, though, which explains the British connection.

20. Chile Relleno - Yes. And yum again. We're big fans of Mexican food around here.

21. Chitlins - I have eaten intestines MANY times. My favorite meal as a kid was "cassoula" - a stew of all kinds of cow parts, including stomach, lungs, tongue, etc. (my favorite part was the lungs - they were so spongy and squishy - really held the flavor). I later learned that it was really dangerous to eat those parts and the butcher pretty much had to sneak them to us when they'd slaughter our cow every year at the slaughterhouse. Did NOT know that. Kind of freaky. All that being said, I have not yet tried Southern Chitlins. We may have to make a food trip to the South soon . . .

22. Churros - Meh. Fried dough with sugar. Every culture has it. I prefer Portuguese malasadas or American yeast donuts (NOT Krispy Kremes, though -- too sweet). We like our hole-in-the-wall place in our town.

23. Clam Chowder - I'm from Boston. It'd be some kind of crime to not have had it. It's what I ordered at Cheer's in Boston when I visited there with Mark years ago. I love New England Style best, but have also tried the others (Portuguese, Manhattan, etc.). For me, creamy trumps tomato-based. A splash of wine vinegar in your pot of chowder is the secret to REALLY yummy soup.

24. Cognac - Seriously? I'm starting to get annoyed that drinks are being placed on this list of FOOD. I have not tried cognac. I have, however, poured an almost-full bottle of it down the sink as a kid. My dad was patient with me, but not amused.

25. Crab Cakes - Don't love these unless they're 99% crab and 1% bread crumbs/filling. I really don't see the appeal. I'd rather eat straight crab meat dripped in LOTS of drawn butter. But the discussion of crab cakes between Jay and Manny on Modern Family? Hysterical. And oft-quoted.

26. Crickets - No, but only because I've not yet had the opportunity. I totally would try them (cooked and crispy, please). I love the food challenges on The Amazing Race.

27. Currywurst - Sounds like hot dogs in ketchup. I'd try it, just to cross it off the list, but it's German food and very little German food makes me want to jump up and scream, "I HAVE GOT TO HAVE THAT!"

28. Dandelion Wine - Nope. Interestingly, it's a non-grape wine made from, well, dandelion petals.

29. Dulce De Leche - Yes, but my favorite kind was in Portugal where it is called "Baba de Camelo," or "Camel's drool." It's basically a can of sweetened, condensed milk placed in a pressure cooker. Seriously. That's it. It turns all caramel-y and delicious. But very sweet. So, good, but not my favorite.

30. Durian - I don't think so. Apparently, this "king of fruits" in Southeast Asia is used in Yule Logs, so maybe I . . . oh wait. I don't eat things with the word "log" in it. Yuck. (I would try the straight up fruit, though).

31. Eel - Yes. Good in sushi, too.

32. Eggs Benedict - Oh gods, yes. I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to eggs, but when it comes to this meal? Mm-mmm! Eggs covered in Hollandaise Sauce, Canadian Bacon, and sometimes avocado? On a couple of crunchy English Muffins? Yes, please!

33. Fish Tacos - YES! We love these and make them regularly. We first learned of these while living in Arizona and they sounded odd, but oh were they ever good, especially at Rubio's with baja sauce. And cabbage (which I also really like)! YUM!

34. Foie Gras - I don't think I've tried this, but I would try it if the duck or goose had been fattened humanely. I have a conscience, you know.

35. Fresh Spring Rolls - Love these! Especially at Houlihan's with their 4 different dipping sauces. It's all about the sauces, but these are REALLY good.

36. Fried Catfish - Yes, and I like it very much. But it's another thing I'd like to try in the South itself.

37. Fried Green Tomatoes - We made these ourselves. Probably not correctly. They were okay. (Christie is probably flipping out if she's still reading . . .).

38. Fried Plantain - Yes! And they're very good. But that's how they try to fill you at those all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouses (churrascarias). Look out. Don't fall for it!

39. Frito Pie - I think I tried this early in our marriage when we shopped at Food4Less. What I wouldn't give for a Trader Joe's. So, yeah, I've tried it. No, I wouldn't seek it out again.

40. Frogs’ Legs - Yes, crispy. Not a lot of meat. Must take oldest child to try it; she's been asking for some time now.

41. Fugu - Oh! Oh! The deadly Japanese pufferfish! No way. Not worth the risk. I value life more than playing Russian Roulette with my food.

42. Funnel Cake - A local delicacy at street fairs. Around here, because of our proximity to Hershey's, they are often drenched in chocolate syrup and peanut butter as well as powdered sugar. Another fried dough thing.

43. Gazpacho - Yes, but I prefer warm soup.

44. Goat - Oh yes! I have a picture of me as a little girl standing next to a slaughtered goat in our backyard (yes, I was one of those kids). We love goat! It's delicious. We ate it as recently as this past summer when my brother came to visit while my mom was here. It was basically "killing the fatted calf," if you will.

45. Goat’s Milk - Yes. Yum.

46. Goulash - I'm sure I have in some form or another. There is a Portuguese version of this, too. I mean, it's stew with paprika. Not rocket science.

47. Gumbo - Yes. Paella, Gumbo, Jambalaya, etc. Have had all of them. Had a bad experience with paella while pregnant, though, so I don't crave it anymore.

48. Haggis - Not officially, though I have had pig's stomach locally, which is essentially the same thing. I have seen "So, I Married an Axe Murderer," though.

49. Head Cheese - Yes. And it's not cheese. It's cow tongue. In jellied meat made from the flesh of a cow's head. My mom would slice that into sandwiches for me as a kid. Cafeteria time in school was always a big hit. This is why I never had PB&J growing up. I was eating cow tongue (though that's honestly probably tastier).

50. Heirloom Tomatoes - Yes. Weird thing to have on the list. I think anyone who has ever gardened or belonged to a co-op has had these, no?

51. Honeycomb - Yes. Good for you. Sweet.

52. Hostess Fruit Pie WHY?!? WHY is this on this list?!? Who wrote this list? I've had one before. Yes, ew, gross.

53. Huevos Rancheros - Yes, but I prefer my eggs pure.

54. Jerk Chicken - Yah, Mon.

55. Kangaroo - Um, no. Didn't know you could?

56. Key Lime Pie - Yes. Eh.

57. Kobe Beef - I've probably had the more accessible Kobe-style beef in the states. I guess. Not sure.

58. Lassi - No, but I'd love to! Yogurt-based drink with butter and spices? Sounds yummy.

59. Lobster - Um, yes. One of my favorite foods!

60. Mimosa - Another drink?!? Urgh. And no. Though it would be easy enough to make a virgin mimosa. Kind of like delicious European sodas (no HFCS).

61. MoonPie - No. I think it's an Elvis thing? But the Marshmallow fluff? Now, that I've had. Fluffernutters were a common sandwich in the 80s in New England. Weirder than PB&J.

62. Morel Mushrooms - No, but I have a friend who gets them from her foraging husband and his family. If she's reading this, I'd love to try one next time you get a batch. :P

63. Nettle Tea - Yes, either made by my mother or my awesome hippie neighbor down the street. Or both.

64. Octopus - Yes and often! It's a common Portuguese dish. Thing 1 had about 5 servings of it at her 8th birthday party that my Uncle threw for her in MA.

65. Oxtail Soup - Yes, but again, Portuguese-style. My Mom likes to suck the marrow out. Moist.

66. Paella - Yes.

67. Paneer - Technically, no. But the other varieties and versions from other parts of the world? Yes.

68. Pastrami on Rye - Yes! Mustard, please.

69. Pavlova - No, but it looks good. It's a dessert, so it's not as high on my list as, say, foie gras.

(Strangely, I'm still not hungry. I hate being sick). Sniff.

70. Phaal - Nope. It's apparently VERY SPICY curry. I like curry. And I like spicy. So, I'd try it.

71. Philly Cheese Steak - Well, of course! The best ones come from the greasiest dives.

72. Pho - Oh my, yes. Just had some with friends, not 5 days ago. YUM! Also? The "Pho" scene in Modern Family is one of our most quoted (along with a bazillion others). I love having older kids who can watch these shows with us (most of the episodes, anyway)!

73. Pineapple and Cottage Cheese - Why this is on the list is beyond me totally.

74. Pistachio Ice Cream - Yep. One of the signature 31 flavors.

75. Po’ Boy Yes. We used to get these at a local BBQ place. That place had great food, but horrible luck. First location burned. Second one was flooded. We haven't had Po' Boys in a while.

76. Pocky - We love these! Especially the chocolate ones!

77. Polenta - Yep. So many ways to prepare it. This is a side we make fairly often.

78. Prickly Pear - We've had it in a jelly. They grew right outside our AZ window.

79. Rabbit Stew - Yes, probably weekly as a kid. At least. We raised the rabbits and we ate them.

80. Raw Oysters - Yep. They're okay.

81. Root Beer Float - Yes. Served best with strong, homemade Amish root beer.

82. S’mores - They're okay. Sticky. Sweet. Eh.

83. Sauerkraut - Yes. And I like it. It's big around here (German influence) and often served on hot dogs.

84. Sea Urchin - Yes, on sushi.

85. Shark - Yes, often. But I prefer flaky fish to steak-like fish, so it's not one of my favorites. Thing 1 loves it, though.

86. Snail - One of my VERY favorite European snacks. I could spend all afternoon sitting and eating a huge bowl of them.

87. Snake - Yep. It's okay. Kind of fatty/chewy.

88. Soft Shell Crab - Oh! I love these! In sushi, in a sandwich, on a plate, on the beach, whatever! YUM.

89. Som Tam - Yes. Thai food. Can't remember what I thought of it, since all Thai food at the time was new to me.

90. Spaetzle - Yep. For some reason, Hungarian noodles at religious fairs and local, amusement parks are big around here.

91. Spam - Yep. Pan fried with eggs. Big Hawaiian specialty, I understand. Why, I do not.

92. Squirrel - Have not had the pleasure, but if it's up to Scout, we may try some soon.

93. Steak Tartare - No. I have absolutely NO problem eating raw fish at all. But raw beef? Brrrrrrr! Who? Who thought of this? "Hey, I know! Let's not cook it! Just stick it on a plate with some garnish and call it a specialty!"

94. Sweet Potato Fries - LOVE these!!

95. Sweetbreads - No. And I don't eat veal either.

96. Tom Yum - Yep. As part of our "try everything Thai" adventure. It is yum.

97. Umeboshi - No, but Mark has.

98. Venison - Yep. From friends and family who hunt and share.

99. Wasabi Peas - Yes. Used to love them. Got sick of them.

100. Zucchini Flowers - Did not know they were edible! Will have to try!

How did you fare? What odd things have you eaten?


The Magic Violinist said...

I'm surprised sushi wasn't on here. they could've put that on instead of pineapple and cottage cheese.

As soon as I saw "Crab Cakes" I knew I would quote Modern Family in my comment. Should've known you would too. ;) (I ever tell you about crab cakes)?

MUST . . . TRY . . . FROG LEGS . . .

Not a big fan of sauerkraut. Probably because I don't like anything on my hot dog.

I REALLY want to try snail! :D

LOL! Love the squirrel comment! :D

Dr. Mark said...

Awesome list, however you came by it. Instead of reiterating a lot of the same stuff, I'll just comment with my differences (and there aren't many):

Foods Stacy's Eaten But I Haven't

15. Carp - If I have, I don't remember. I just remember people in Japan shuddering at the thought. "Why would you eat garbage fish?"

24. Cognac - If you get credit for pouring it out do I get credit for knowing what it is? ;)

32. Eggs Benedict - I just don't like them, but can I have credit for making them more than once so you could cross it off on your list?

Food I've Eaten That Stacy Hasn't

26. Crickets - There's a whole band camp story with this one. It would have been better fried by a street vendor in some far-off land.

61. Moon Pie - Don't remember when or where so I'm guessing it was just a'ight.

93. Steak Tartare - Just raw beef in Japan, but same difference. Do I get bonus points for raw horse?

97. Umeboshi - vinegary, sour, pickled, plums. They taste vinegary, sour, and pickled, but not in the good way.

My Food Total: 80 (Let's get 100 together! Well, 99 is fine. Skip the fugu.)

Other Random Comments on This Post

But does FB play fast and loose with the menu?

Bah humbug? That's too strong.

I may have to tell you about me and crabcakes . . .

Dave Barry has a great rant on fugu in one of his books. It starts on the bottom of page 72.

Thanks for the great post and also for helping me eat a lot of these things. Who would have guessed marrying a Portuguese girl would have given me a chance to eat blood pudding, head cheese, and a whole host of other random and seemingly odd foods.

Emily Foley said...

My number is 28. But I have a few things to say:

Are you kidding me that you would rather eat cooked BLOOD than Cheetos? 'Cause if you're serious, you're CRAZY. :)

I've had steak tartare and it's delish. I had it at a steak restaurant in Beverly Hills when I was there with some girlfriends a few years ago and now I can't have my steak cooked more than medium rare. I'm telling you it was one of the best things I've EVER eaten.

Have you had the churros in Disneyland? You'd change your mind about them, I guarantee it.

Foie gras is offered EVERYWHERE in Paris. Go there.

Zucchini flowers are DELISH.

Boquinha said...

I gave myself credit for cognac?!? I just corrected that. Oops. Not sure what I was thinking. So my new number is 78.

LOVE the comments so far. YES on the blood vs. Cheetos. Totally.

I'd be willing to try Disney churros. Still not so sure about steak tartare.

Foie gras in paris sounds good to me (did you try it?).

Thing 1, agreed on the sushi vs. cottage cheese and pineapple.

LOVE your comments.

Mark, LOVE that you ordered your comment. We're such nerds.

Moon Pie? Seriously?

If you're counting cognac, too, you have to change your number. What the heck was I thinking??

"Dinner for lunch. Lunch for dinner."

"Cause it is my favorite holiday . . . "

Good thing you married a Portuguese girl. :)

Boquinha said...

Paris. Capital P. Grrrr. Nerd!

Dr. Mark said...

Nope, never tried Cognac, cooked in something or otherwise.

Of course my comment would be organized. What else did you expect?

Moon Pie? I don't even remember where I had it. How sad is that?

Zelia said...

All these foods sound great to me. I love my culture. Being Portuguese has it's merits.

Dave Johnson said...

Paris? Isn't that like Tulsa?

I can't eat the raw stuff on here - blame my gag reflex. I'm pretty much up for trying anything else. Who in the world knew you could eat kangaroo? Some of my favorites - crab cakes (Hey, Kate - I ever tell you about crab cakes?), ALL the Thai stuff, and ribs. I wish I could take you guys to Smokin' Joes in Bentonville, AR.

Boquinha said...

Really? "Oklahoma? Oh, What a Beautiful Morning? Surrey With the Fringe On Top??????"

"Are you telling me that we're moving to Oklahoma? OR THAT YOU'RE GAY."

Dr. Mark said...

You know how they say that Tulsa is the Paris of Oklahoma?

Boquinha said...

Stage Directions: (Cupped hand moving farther and farther to the right while talking with astounded/slightly constipated look on Chandler's face)

Dave Johnson said...

"What? Who says that?"

Boquinha said...

"The Sooner State, whatever that is."

Dr. Mark said...

"People who have never, ever been to Paris."

katie said...

This is totally unrealated to your post, but since I dont believe I have your email address I wanted to respond to your comment on my blog earlier today--

You can get Eric's book at Barnes and Noble, many indpendent book stores and on Amazon. Or you can order a signed copy (if you have that desire) from a Utah store called "The Kings English". Eric stops in every so often and signs their supply, and then they ship them off to people.

As far as the food, you are way ahead of me :)

em said...

I know it just sounds like a joke we tell tourists, but kangaroo meat is sold in most Australian supermarkets. It is incredibly lean and healthy and you'll find whole websites etc promoting it as an environmentally responsible and sustainable alternative to beef in Australia (just have to get beyond the cute/ iconic factor)

Boquinha said...

Got it, Katie! Thanks! So excited to read it!! My friend is ordering it, too. And our kids are SURE to tell their bookworm friends. :)

Em, thanks for the comment. I had NO idea. I'd love to try it sometime!