Thursday, September 11, 2008

I try my hand at the Omnivore's Hundred

And so should you! The Omnivore's Hundred is a list of one hundred food items (though some stretch the definition of 'food' a little) created by Brit blogger Andrew Wheeler over at his blog Very Good Taste. It's a list of things he thinks we should all try, cut down from a brainstorming session of about three hundred items that he and a select panel (ie. his friends) decided upon. He's been asked so often about his criteria for the list that he created a FAQ to explain his reasoning.

Since he created his list it has appeared on many a blog, including Chocolate and Zucchini, where Clothilde reports that she hasn't tried 37 of the 100 items on the list. How many have I had? You'll have to wait and see! My number appears at the end of this post. Meanwhile, whilst you peruse, you should keep a tally of your items consumed, and tell me how you did in the comments!

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros (I know it's odd, but I've never had them)
4. Steak tartare (absolutely delicious)
5. Crocodile (has anyone tried this?)
6. Black pudding (So rich. My latest was at the Oxo Tower restaurant in London)

My black pudding on the left, nestling next to the deliciously fatty pork belly.

7. Cheese fondue (definitely – if there's cheese involved I'm there!)
8. Carp (in gefilte fish, too)
9. Borscht (had some great borscht at Cafe SVP in Vancouver, home of the infamous avocado-banana milkshake!)
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari (yes, my brief period where I ceased eating calamari is thankfully over)
12. Phở (I like beef best)
13. PB&J sandwich (a classic, though not for the cooked-fruit impaired)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart (also, pork sausage from a London street cart)
16. Epoisses (yes, at Lumiere. It was so runny it needed its own little vessel).

My securely-contained epoisses on the left at Lumiere

17. Black truffle (sniffle – a little, but not enough so I could really taste it)
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (blackberry wine in Ontario; Japanese plum wine)
19. Steamed pork buns (yes, dim sum is one of my most favourite things)
20. Pistachio ice cream (one of the best flavours – see my second scoop!)

Me and four scoops of ice cream (coconut, pistachio, dulce de leche and black sesame at Mondo Gelato in Vancouver)

21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries (see this post)
23. Foie gras (as often as I possibly can!)
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese (at Salt
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (not so far...)
27. Dulce de leche (and the fabulous manjar from Chile)
28. Oysters (again, whenever I can get my hands on them. Here are some from Wright Brothers oyster bar in Borough Market in London).

29. Baklava (had some great baklava and mint tea with Ben on Mill Road in Cambridge)

Various types of baklava in Borough Market in South London)

30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (does it have to be in a sourdough bowl?)
33. Salted lassi (I've only ever had mango lassi, but I'd love to try this)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float (the best, had a great one at Helen's diner during Diner Tour)
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (in Monte's in Kingston in my student days)
37. Clotted cream tea (yes, my parents live in Devon)
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo (No! But I'd love to try it)
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (perhaps one day)
43. Phaal (Sounds like a challenge!)
44. Goat’s milk (and many other goaty products)
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/€80/$120 or more (suddenly got into whisky last Christmas at my brother's in Scotland )

Jon's ever-growing collection of whiskies

46. Fugu (don't think it'll happen)
47. Chicken tikka masala (yes, in East London)
48. Eel (not even in sushi, or an East London eel pie!)
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (yes, but only the once, I swear)
50. Sea urchin (once had the opportunity at Kitto, but handed it over to brave Meg)
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (far too frequently)
56. Spaetzle (yes, I think the dumplings I had at Country Style restaurant in Toronto are the same thing)
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV (just this past weekend)
59. Poutine (the perfect after-drinking food in Kingston, again in my student days)
60. Carob chips (what are these?)
61. S’mores (fantastic idea)
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian (isn't that the one banned on the Tokyo metro it's so horrid-smelling? Would try – it's supposed to taste fairly innocuous)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (just had some great churros at the fair in the Tuilleries in Paris)
68. Haggis (eaten outdoors on the north tip of Loch Ness)
69. Fried plantain (sounds good, though)
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho (my Chilean-born aunt makes the best)
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost (Yes! Just this summer in Bath)

The Gjetost is the far one – a sort of delicious caramel cheese!

75. Roadkill (I suppose that would depend)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (no real desire to try)
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong (yes, but it's so strong and smelly it's not my favourite)
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict (I hadn't tried them until about 2 years ago, but now I think they're fantastic)
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant (if only!)
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare (no hare just rabbit)
87. Goulash
88. Flowers

Salad with edible flowers bought from Hali Farm in Victoria

89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa (have tried plain harissa a couple of times recently, and that's very tasty)
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox (I'm Jewish! It's a staple)
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Well, there it is. Of the one hundred, I've missed 34. But that means I've enjoyed 66! I am looking forward to trying more of them. Especially that tasting menu at a three-star Michelin rated restaurant!


Meg said...

Laura, I'm so glad you're eating calamari again! [note to others - if you want to really test your love for calamari, read the story in Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted involving a swimming pool drain...]

You have to have huevos rancheros as soon as possible! Locus has good ones. My favourite breakfasts involve eggs and beans together.

And thanks for giving up your sea urchin to me that time. I can't say I'd eat it again, but at least it will add one to my score when I do this... I am really curious if the four of us combined would score 100. You've had tons of things I haven't and I can fill in quite a few of your gaps. We'll see soon...

Maybe we'll have to go out and try to run over a moose - our next WeDine fieldtrip? Oooh, if we ran over a horse we could cross two off at once!

moyrad said...

I scored 62! 37 more to try and 1 I'll avoid.
There are definitely certain foods on the list I have never heard of but the only one I would definitely avoid is FUGU, I don't want my food to kill me.
I haven't tried crocodile, but have had alligator - like a fishy chicken.
I did once buy a durian for a treasure hunt but have never eaten one.
A few of these items will have to feature in our challenge 100 in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura,
Gumbo is fantastic. Ask Meg to find a recipe in her Southern Cooking cookbook that I gave her. Use fresh shrimp and fresh okra.
Spam--ugh, don't bother, such garbage.
Carob chips--go to a store that sells health food for these. They are not chips in the classic sense.
Snails--you must try garlicky snails in France of course.
Snake--rattlesnake tastes like fishy chicken also so fly to Texas and have some. Very good.
Some of the things on the list are gross, but then I think black pudding and haggis would be on my list after dirty mud.