by Carl Dyke

Courtesy of Alexandre Enkerli at Disparate, whose commentary is typically aromatic, here’s a meme.

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.

So here goes. I will remove some suspense by establishing from the outset that I have a thang about slimy textures. It took me the first five years of my adult life just to teach myself to like raw tomatoes. I’ll also choose savory over sweet most every time. And some of these are pretty transparently reaching for snob appeal. I’m not a collector of experiences just for the sake of checking off an item on a list.

1. Venison (Courtesy of hunter friends. Very tasty; a bit dry, which I like in meat.)
2. Nettle tea (No, but I’ve drunk plenty of flower/leaf/stem/root teas and I’m not clear on why this particular one is the issue.)
3. Huevos rancheros (Yum. Just this weekend.)
4. Steak tartare (Near enough to the edge of slimy to discourage my interest.)
5. Crocodile (No opportunity and not clear why I would seek it out.)
6. Black pudding (Hasn’t come up.)
7. Cheese fondue (Make it myself sometimes, with a touch of port or sherry.)
8. Carp (Not a big fish fan, but if it’s put in front of me I’ll bite.)
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush Eggplant is high on slime but I love the Mediterranean flavors.

11. Calamari Especially the tentacles.
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich (Sometimes for weeks on end in the lunchbag, with Mom’s home-made jelly. Which, by the way, seriously degrades its trade value in the dessert market.)
14. Aloo gobi (Yum. Reminding me that I really need to cook more and get out of my Italian rut.)
15. Hot dog from a street cart (The older and dryer the better, same goes for the sauerkraut.)
16. Epoisses (Never heard of it until now. I like ripe gorgonzola and cheese in general so it doesn’t frighten me, but I don’t see a pressing need to rush out and add this feather to my cap.)
17. Black truffle (Not that I know of.)
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (C’mon. Any U.S.American high school student and/or wino has had Boone’s Farm or Mad Dog.)
19. Steamed pork buns (Hard to live in San Francisco and miss these.)
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes (Yes, although in Italy they just call these “tomatoes.”)
22. Fresh wild berries (One of the ways I learned patience, discipline and attention was wading into the wild raspberry thickets near home to get to the ones in the center that hadn’t been picked out.)
23. Foie gras (What a bad idea, but I guess I’d try it.)
24. Rice and beans (If pasta wasn’t my desert island food, this would be.)
25. Brawn or Head Cheese (Nah. Gotta draw the line somewhere.)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (There are two basic ways you get to eating something like this. One is through a gradual progression through degrees of acclimation until you need it to achieve the same level of stimulation a much milder version would have given you at first. I’m not there yet. The other is being the kind of jackass who thinks there’s a point to be proven by gratuitous displays of tolerance to unpleasantness.)
27. Dulce de leche (I’m not much of a dessert guy to start with, but add blandly sweet to the description and I’ll mostly pass.)
28. Oysters (Smoked yes, raw no. Slimy like someone else’s snot.)
29. Baklava (Impressive construct and the nuts are appealing, but I can do without that much sweet all in one place.)
30. Bagna cauda (Never stopped in Piedmont. Sounds good except for the anchovies.)
31. Wasabi peas (Just about anything is better with a little wasabi.)
32. Clam Chowder in Sourdough Bowl (Seems mostly like a gimmick to me. I’d rather have the soup in a regular bowl and dip the sourdough to my exact liking.)
33. Salted Lassi (Not exactly, but I love ayran and concoct myself herbed, salted yogurt drinks every so often.)
34. Sauerkraut (E.g. with that street hot dog.)
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (For cigars I prefer “Toscani,” the kind Eastwood smokes in the spaghetti westerns. But I’m not often in the mood to make myself, my clothes, and the whole environment smell like that.)
37. Clotted Cream Tea
38. Vodka Jelly/Jell-O (Somehow when this was happening all around me I stuck to beer.)
39. Gumbo (I’ll go out of my way for a good gumbo.)
40. Oxtail (Not as such. I can’t say for sure it hasn’t been in a stock I’ve eaten.)
41. Curried goat (I’m pretty sure I’ve had goat at some point, but specifically curried I couldn’t say. Sometimes it’s not quite clear what’s on the buffet.)
42. Whole insects (Anyone who has ridden a bike down a hill in summer.)
43. Phaal (See Scotch Bonnet peppers, above.)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more (“Smooth.” I mean sure, fine, whatever. There’s having it, and then there’s honestly being able to tell the difference.)
46. Fugu (aka pufferfish) (I have never, ever heard anyone say they did this for the taste.)
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (This is one of those micro-nationalisms. I grew up in Dunkin’ Donut country. So to me, Krispy Kremes are an amusing but ultimately insubstantial and unsatisfying novelty.)
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi (Just now learning of these. Sour and salty sounds like a great combo to me.)
53. Abalone
54. Paneer (Sounds fine. The sort of thing you either grow up with or you don’t.)
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (I think I’ve had a Big Mac but never the combo meal.)
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV (Of course the alcohol volume is hardly the point.)
59. Poutine (Funny. In Hawaii they eat their french fries with mayonnaise. I like chili fries myself.)
60. Carob chips (Just. Not. The. Same. And not so exciting as their own thing, either.)
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (I wonder why these are together. They’re quite different.)
68. Haggis (There’s eating guts because you’re enslaved and/or colonized and that’s what’s left after the master has his pick. Then making it remotely palatable is an admirable and impressive accomplishment. Eating guts by choice is an entirely different matter. Guys, you could just say no at this point. And yes, I know guts’re around/in sausage. Their character as guts has been pretty well obliterated by that point, which is after all much of the point of sausage.)
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings (See haggis.)
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost or brunost
75. Roadkill (Not that I know of.)
76. Baijiu (Whatevah. Grain alcohol is grain alcohol. That’s how distilling works.)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snails
79. Lapsang Souchong
80. Bellini (Prosecco’s nice to mix with whatever fruit you’ve got handy.)
81. Tom Yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Michelin 3 Star Tasting Menu
85. Kobe beef (But I do have a friend who amusingly shocked his companions by ordering his $100 kobe filet “well done.”)
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers (Squash, nasturtium, lily, and then all those teas.)
89. Horse (If that’s what’s on the barbie I’m all for it.)
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose Harissa (You get to where it’s not entirely clear what local variants of chili sauce you have or haven’t had. I think not on this one.)
94. Catfish
95. Mole Poblano (But not mole.)
96. Bagel and Lox
97. Lobster Thermidor (Sounds good. Maybe the next time we visit me mum-in-law in Maine we can talk her out of her traditional Newberg and into a Thermidor. Seems like the main difference is cheese and powdered mustard vs. cayenne, and of course the dopey stuffed-tail presentation.)
98. Polenta (Mmmmm, cheese polenta….)
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee (I’ll take Alexandre’s word for it that this is overrated.)
100. Snake

For followup on responses to the meme at Very Good Taste, see here.

4 Comments to “Omnivorosity”

  1. I might be a doll but look at your Sphere-selected “possibly related post.” 😀
    Though we haven’t met face-to-face, I now imagine you with a large silk scarf.

  2. Awesome. That image works nicely in my favor, since I’m basically a slob and clean up only when I hazzta. Although I do confuse and occasionally delight my students with my tie-dyed orange socks, aloha-wear, and various Rachel-original t-shirts, not to mention the “Dyke University” tee I was offered through the mail and couldn’t resist.

  3. Check out the website I was shocked to learn that several individuals die each year from the consumption of raw oysters that are contaminated with naturally occurring Vibrio bacteria. Some gulf states have chosen to not take action in order to make raw oysters safe for ALL consumers.

    Several years ago, the state of California made a requirement that all imported raw oysters must be pasteurized and since that requirement was put into place there have been NO FURTHER DEATHS in that state.

    In order to affect change, consumers need to only accept oysters that are SAFE through post harvest processing or through being cooked. Consumer demand drives the market and the industry would be forced to provide oysters that did not lead to unnecessary deaths.

    The website has a wealth of information available and also explains how you can help in making the consumption of oysters safe for everyone.

  4. There you have it. Raw oysters and fugu, the bungee jumping of food.

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