The Omnivore’s 100—Think You’re an Adventurous Eater?

Feel like taking a test today? Oh, come on–this promises both fun and a learning experience all rolled into one. The original is posted at Very Good Taste, so go there to make a fresh copy.

Here’s what Andrew wants us 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 at Very Good Taste linking to your results.

As Andrews says, if you don’t know what something is, Wikipedia has the answer, for sure. Or you can Google it, at least.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred, my version—as far as I can tell, there are 17 items I’ve not eaten because of a lack of opportunity or knowledge and 9 items I would not eat, even on pain of death (well, maybe then I would). Snake is definitely not ever going to be on the menu. Ran into this guy yesterday walking near my house:

On with the test!!

1. Venison [Not my fave, though we have friends who hunt and make venison sausage. I try to avoid it if I can.]
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros [Best food on the planet if done right.]
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile [Does alligator count? I might have eaten this in Africa unknowingly.]
6. Black pudding [Another unfavorite. I actually ate this at the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris.]
7. Cheese fondue [Yum, yum. Especially with real Gruyère
8. Carp [Hey, catfish is good. See my post on this one at Being Catty.]
9. Borscht [With my arm twisted behind my back, served by a mad Russian related to Rasputin, I swear.]
10. Baba ghanoush [Great with toasted pita breads, first eaten in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, of all places, at a now-defunct Lebanese restaurant.]
11. Calamari [Oh joy, my favorite appetizer, best ever served in beach hotels in Mohammedia, Morocco.]
12. Pho [OK, not my favorite.]
13. PB&J sandwich [Childhood in America, the epitome of.]
14. Aloo gobi [First at this by following a recipe in The New Indian Cooking Course (Kanani and Husain, 1999)]
15. Hot dog from a street cart [Eat these all the time on the Mall in Washington DC. One reason to go to DC, really.]
16. Epoisses [Big yuck. Sorry. A favorite of Burgundians, ordered at an up-scale restaurant in Burgundy, loathed it.]
17. Black truffle [Not yet. Will wait until I win the lottery.]
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes [Peach wine, made in Virginia. OK.]
19. Steamed pork buns [Chinatown, San Francisco, great.]
20. Pistachio ice cream [A favorite from Ben & Jerry’s. I think that’s where I ate it. Not bad, not bad at all]
21. Heirloom tomatoes [Right from my local Kroger, if you can believe it. Also at a huge tomato fest a few years back held in town.]
22. Fresh wild berries [Elderberries, picked when I was a kid. Also fresh wild blackberries grow nearby where I live now.]
23. Foie gras [In Paris, of course.]
24. Rice and beans [The staple of my sojourn in Puerto Rico training for the Peace Corps.]
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper [Yes! In Haitian hot sauces. Best with tostones.]
27. Dulce de leche [On Calle Florida in Buenos Aires, spread on media lunas (crescent roll like croissants). Now it’s an ice cream flavor, too …]
28. Oysters [Not my favorite, even though I wrote about them–see my post here. Patrick O’Connell at The Inn at Little Washington does unbelivable things to oysters, so well that I ate them with gusto.]
29. Baklava [My initial brush with baklava came in Honduras, again thanks to the ministrations of some wonderful Lebanese cooks.]
30. Bagna cauda [I used Marcella Hazan’s classic book on Italian cooking to make this for the first time I ever ate it, at El Zamorano, Honduras.]
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi [I’ve had sweet lassi.]
34. Sauerkraut [Of course, the usual side for brats; marrying into a Wisconsin family of Packer fans guarantees sauerkraut.]
35. Root beer float [American childhood, epitome of.]
36. Cognac with a fat cigar [Hold the cigar, bring on the Cognac.]
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo [I make shrimp and sausage gumbo about twice a year.]
40. Oxtail [Ate this for the first time in an Italian restaurant.]
41. Curried goat [Brings back memories of West Africa and Haiti.]
42. Whole insects [Didn’t eat them as a child at the house of a Chinese colleague of my father’s, nor when the opportunity presented itself in Africa.]
43. Phaal [Sounds great–where’s a recipe?]
44. Goat’s milk [No thanks, though I’ve had my chances.]
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more [My brother gave us this liquid gold a few years back; it’s worth going  into debt for, or worse … .]
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala [The local Indian restaurant does tasty job of this one; I like it a lot.]
48. Eel [This has kissed my lips, but just barely. Not a fave.]
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut [Huh? Who would turn down one of these???]
50. Sea urchin [Texture a bit much, another light kiss, and then rejection.]

51. Prickly pear [I know this as nopales, and it first in Puebla, Mexico.]
52. Umeboshi [A friend of our son worked in Japanese restaurant and brought us some of these one day. OK.]
53. Abalone [I’m the daughter of two Californians from San Diego; eating this was like taking communion when I was a kid. A ritual.]
54. Paneer [Yes, with peas.]
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal [Of course.]
56. Spaetzle [Munich isn’t Munich without a big plate of buttery spaetzle.]
57. Dirty gin martini [What other kind is there??]
58. Beer above 8% ABV [Not yet.]
59. Poutine [Yes, near Montréal.]
60. Carob chips [From a health food store–yuck. Give me the real thing, please.]
61. S’mores [Dessert  at Campfire Girls Camp, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.]
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst [In Germany somewhere.]
65. Durian [I’d try it if I could get near it.]
66. Frogs’ legs [In Florida, not France, for the first time.]
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake [Spain does these well–churros–great for breakfast.]
68. Haggis [Sorry, don’t think I could do it; BUT, maybe just a nibble, as long as some of that Scotch is on hand!]
69. Fried plantain [Delicious when cooked into chips, not so good when cooked ripe in cream and white cheese as is done in Honduras.]
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette [Yes, a little gamey for my taste. There’s a reason for that, I guess.]
71. Gazpacho [Of course.]
72. Caviar and blini [Yes, in an up-scale restaurant.]
73. Louche absinthe [Would like to taste it.]
74. Gjetost, or brunost [A Norwegian friend loved this; I think it tastes like sour caramel.]
75. Roadkill [You have to be a fan of Carl Hiassen’s to even think about this one.]
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail [In France. Pretty good with lots of garlic. That’s the point.]
79. Lapsang souchong [Back when I could drink caffeine with impunity.]
80. Bellini [Sure, where’s my refill?]
81. Tom yum [I’ve had the version with coconut milk.]
82. Eggs Benedict [Love this, but watch out—the eggs need to be cooked enough so you don’t get food poisoning like I did in St. Helena, California.]
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. [Marc Menau’s in Vezelay, France. See my post on Chef Meneau.]
85. Kobe beef [Would if I could afford it.]
86. Hare [Does rabbit count? My grandparents raised rabbits and we ate them.]
87. Goulash
88. Flowers [Candied violets, nasturtiums.]
89. Horse {Many chances, but no desire.]
90. Criollo chocolate [Don’t know.]
91. Spam [Don’t forget the pineapple ring on top.]
92. Soft shell crab [I’m from Virginia; of course!]
93. Rose harissa [Don’t know–we lived in Morocco for a while, so maybe.]
94. Catfish [See “Carp” above.]
95. Mole poblano [The staple of Puebla, Mexico.]
96. Bagel and lox [The snack-bar at university served this, a first for me at age 18. Good.]
97. Lobster Thermidor [A dish I first ate in La Ceiba, Honduras, can you believe it?]
98. Polenta [Cornmeal mush with a fancy suit of clothes on.]
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee [Not yet. See “Black Truffle” above.]
100. Snake

© 2008 C. Bertelsen

2 thoughts on “The Omnivore’s 100—Think You’re an Adventurous Eater?

  1. Well, I sorta did, you know. The slight pucker, bringing the offending object close in to the mouth and a quick pecking, pretending to eat a bite.

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