The Omnivore's 100

Streetfood vendors in Thailand. On the menu? Stir-fried grubs.

I must admit, I can be a bit squeamish about trying new foods....

Happening on a village market in Thailand, I took a pass on grasshoppers and grubs.

And when the Chef called me down to the restaurant with the lure, "I've got something for you to try!" I was less than thrilled to find a plate of bull's testicles (if I remember right, they were poached, then pan fried and sliced.)

Sadly, I turned down the birthday invitation to dine with my friend Shango on whole pigeon--with the emphasis of sucking the brains out.

But I am quite proud of the fact that I tried head cheese...even after I helped make it. (Splitting pig skulls and all....)

So when I spotted the Omnivore's 100 list over at Very Good Taste, I wondered, "How would I fare?" I seldom dine on a dare, but was surprised to see how many dishes I've actually tried. Mind you, there's a big difference between tried and enjoyed.....

How 'bout you? How many have you tried?

From Very Good Taste:
Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I, though I’ll be sure to work on it. Don’t worry if you don’t recognize everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.

Here’s what I want you to do:
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.

Tall Poppy Note: Completing this list took me down memory lane....moments, memories and tastes are in parenthesis.

1. Venison (My dad likes to hunt and we grew up with a constant supply of venison in the freezer. At meal time, my mom made a special effort to conceal its origin. Is it venison or hamburger? She'd never tell...)
2. Nettle tea (Chef makes a fabulous nettle soup, topped with a poached duck egg.)
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare (Union makes the best...topped with raw quail egg yolk and served with hearty, thinly sliced pumpernickel toasts. Mmm...)
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp (I celebrate Christmas every year with a large Polish family. Carp in the U.S. is considered an inferior fish, while for the Polish, it's standard holiday fare.)
9. Borscht (Same as above. Standard food with my Polish friends.)
10. Baba ghanoush

11. Calamari
12. Pho (In Seattle, Pho shops are everywhere. Whenever I'm sick, Pho is total comfort food.)
13. PB&J sandwich (I like mine with extra crunchy peanut butter, and if available, I prefer honey over jam. Bonus points for toasted bread.)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart (Hot dog vendors abound in New York City as a quick and easy snack. Here in Seattle, the hot dog vendors come out after dark...and are situated near popular bars. Big, fat hot dogs with a smear of....cream cheese! Sounds gross, but it's actually quite delicious.)
16. Epoisses (My first and only taste of this cheese that frankly...smells like a barnyard, was dining with Tony Bourdain, filming No Reservations. Tony was absolutely giddy! The chef brought the epoisses out to the table in a pastry bag. I'll never forget Tony tilting his head back and squeezing a long stream of cheese into his mouth. For him, it was manna from heaven!)
17. Black truffle (Uber posh dinner...truffles shaved, tableside, over risotto.)
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns (One of my favorite snacks when visiting the Pike Place Market. I like the curry-filled buns. Dodging tourists and weaving along the vendors, munching on a hum bow. It's one of my quintessential Seattle experiences...)
20. Pistachio ice cream (Busted! Becky, I still haven't made that recipe you sent....)

21. Heirloom tomatoes (Love them, but up to $10 a pound, the price can be quite staggering. Would love to grow my own sometime.)
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras (This stuff is like a badge of honor for foodies. I just had foie gras ice cream at Spur, a new gastro pub in Seattle. Excellent texture but I couldn't really taste the foie....)
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese (Thanks to Noah and the boys at Porcella, I made my own, thank you very much!)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche (Marce from Pip in the City brought me some from Argentina. Raiding the fridge at midnight, I enjoyed dulce de leche by the spoonful....)
28. Oysters (, I don't even want to go there....more on this one later. Let's just say, I've got a history with oysters!)
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda

31. Wasabi peas (One of my favorite snacks, purchased at Asian markets. With my mouth burning from the wasabi, they're addictive little things...)
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float (My favorite treat when I was a kid. Just after ice cream's plopped in a mug of root beer, I especially loved the ice crystals that form on the outside of the scoop.)
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O (Cheap party fare for the college crowd. The ratio of vodka to jell-o is important. My first attempt...we made vodka-jell-0-soup!)
39. Gumbo (In Naw'lins...Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez, baby!)
40. Oxtail (Braised, long and slow...I automatically order this dish whenever it's on the menu at Tavolata.)

41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk (Steve, a local vendor at the farmer's market, raises prized Nubian goats. He sells the most fabulous goat cheese, yogurt, and milk.)
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin (Sea urchin can be quite prolific in the Pacific waters. I'm a certified scuba diver and here, we hunt sea urchins and hand-feed them to wolf eels. Divers also make extra money by hunting urchin for export to Japan. On the surface, I first had urchin roe, served in a sauce.)

51. Prickly pear (in a margarita...yum!)
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine (Steelhead Diner's version made with the Beecher's cheese curds...yum!)
60. Carob chips (My mom loved the idea of carob chips, for some reason. Not that she was a health nut, but even in our small Midwestern town, she was attracted to foods that were a wee-bit exotic.)

61. S’mores (Decadent camping in the San Juan Islands. We enjoy these on chocolate-covered graham crackers with toasted homemade marshmallows. Mmmm...)
62. Sweetbreads (Does it count if I didn’t chew? Eww…swallowed this one whole at the super posh San Francisco restaurant, Boulevard.)
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian (Buying a bunch of odd fruits at a farm stand in Pimai, Thailand, we nearly got thrown out of our guest house for unveiling this stinky fruit on the premises.)
66. Frogs’ legs (Does it count if I don’t remember it? Hint: Mardis Gras. New Orleans. And yes, alcohol was involved!)
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (Elephant ears and funnel cakes are standard American fair/carnival offerings...)
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain (I've got a penchant for traveling through Central America. It seems nearly every meal is accompanied by fried plantains.)
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette

71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe (Foodie friends smuggled it in the their kid’s diaper bag….)
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (A favorite when I was a kid. Now? Ewww…)
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini

81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict (For the low-down on eggs benedict in Seattle, check out this thread on eGullet.)
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef (There's Kobe beef and then there's beef, Kobe-style. A little branding can do wonders...)
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate (I recently had my first bite of this at the Chocolopolis grand opening.)

91. Spam (What's up with Hawaiians and their penchant for Spam? I just don't get it...)
92. Soft shell crab (Plucked fresh from the waters in Baltimore. The shell develops quickly on crabs, so it's key to get them early. How does a crab get a new shell? It exits out the back end of the carapace and hides until the shell develops.)
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish (This freshwater fish is prolific in the waters where I'm from. My dad loves to fish, but was never fond of catfish...Have you ever seen giant catfish? Yowza. As a kid, I had nightmares--dreaming about those giant catfish lurking in my favorite swimming hole.)
95. Mole poblano (Friends and I attended cooking school in the Yucatan...and I've got a fabulous mole recipe from Los Dos Cooking School. This place is my idea of paradise.)
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake