An omnivore’s 100

As well you know, because I am supposed to be working on the Novel, I am drawn irressistably to memes. This is a humdinger of a foody meme I found on Aphra’s blog a while back, and promised myself I’d do when [If - Ed] when I resurrected Out of Ideas. So. Here it is. With all the [peculiar] glimpses it may give you of my upbringing [also peculiar] and Food Issues [deeply peculiar]. Enjoy.

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 www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

1. Venison – Lots and lots and lots and lots of times. My step-father has a deer-shoot on his land every year.
2. Nettle tea – I have some in my cupboard here. Purifies the blood, allegedly. Also, tastes like nettles.
3. Huevos rancheros – I make a mean Hueveos Rancheros.
4. Steak tartare – Yes, but, really, what’s the point? The taste may be good but the texture is disgusting. Must be the raw egg they add. Do not like bracing myself against the gag reflex during dinner.
5. Crocodile – Nope.
6. Black pudding – Mmmmm, black pudding. So very nearly horrible, yet so yummy.
7. Cheese fondue – I am the unfortunate twerp (there’s always one) who burnt her tongue so badly on cheese fondue she couldn’t eat anything at all for two days afterwards.
8. Carp – but not gefilte fish! How have I reached the grand age of tumpty-three and no gefilte fish? My Jewish blood is turning watery and pink in disapproval.
9. Borscht – yes.
10. Baba ghanoush – yes. And I know how to make it. Mine never quite as good as the restaurant version. Hmmm.
11. Calamari – goodness, yes.
12. Pho – yes, me likey. We used have the most fantabulous (friendly, cheap, peculiar linoleum) Vietnamese round the corner from our first horrible little flat.
13. PB&J sandwich – Had an American step-mother. Ate these by the metric ton in adolescence. But as I have bread issues (it’s a texture thing. Again) I prefer PB&J on toast.
14. Aloo gobi - This is exotic? To whom is it exotic? My Mum used to make this as a side dish all the time when I was a kid. In No-Running-Water, Illiterate Peasantville, Up Medieval Mountain on the Med.
15. Hot dog from a street cart – not always to my subsequent distress.
16. Epoisses – ooh, ooh, I have a good story about this. One of my many, many, aunts brought some back from France. We were staying with Section Zero-Zed-Alpha (as opposed to Section Zero-Zed-Bumpkin (aka Dad in Brigadoon), or the In-Laws) of the Parental Units, and the cheese was brought out in triumph after a somewhat boozy dinner, and we all scooped foul-smelling, eye-watering, pungent, creamy, fabulous lumps of it onto out-cakes and nommed away, and then staggered off to bed, leaving the detritus all over the table. Next morning, clearing up with a mild headache and a peculiarly horrible taste in the mouth, one of us lifted up the empty box the cheese had come in and… the cheese fumes had burnt a perfectly circular black mark on the wooden table. It’s still there. Faded, but still there.
17. Black truffle – oh yes. Oh my. *swoon*
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes – yes. Aunt known as ‘Mad, Baskety,’ makes elderberry wine that tastes like a yummy innocuous little cordial and has you lying on the floor and clinging on to table-legs for dear life after two glasses. She unforgivably once did this to the vicar during a village fete.
19. Steamed pork buns – I love these.
20. Pistachio ice cream – yes, the proper ‘kulfi’ kind and all, moulded into a dear little cone-shape.
21. Heirloom tomatoes – What the hey is an ‘heirloom’ tomato? *google google*. Oh, well, yes, then, OBVIOUSLY. We used to grow them on the farm, on account of that being, you know, tomatoes. The irradiated genetically fucked-about-with poly-tunnel supermarket versions did not enter my universe until I was well into double-digits.
22. Fresh wild berries – It makes me sad that this needs to be asked. Are there that few people who’ve gone blackberrying? And, in my case, because I seem to have been, unbeknownst to me, spoilt rotten, elderberrying, wild-strawberrying, wild cherrying, and mulberrying.
23. Foie gras – Oh, golly, but this is yummy. I haven’t eaten it for years for Moral Reasons, but oh, golly. I still dream about it.
24. Rice and beans – yes, both the Venetian version and the Caribbean version.
25. Brawn or Head Cheese – yes. Also, brain fritters, which were disgusting beyond very nearly all other things I have put in my mouth.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper – once. Because Mad Basketty Uncle thought it’s be a laugh to make me nibble one, under the impression it was sweet like a bell pepper. Bastard.
27. Dulce de leche – oh God I love this. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I haven’t made it for ages. Oh, now there’s a thought…
28. Oysters – yes, and frankly, you can keep ‘em.
29. Baklava – yes. But I have nothing amusing to say about baklava.
30. Bagna cauda – yes, often.
31. Wasabi peas – yes *cough*, yes I ha *cough cough* have. *Splutter*
32. Clam Chowder in Soudough Bowl – yes, once. Fab.
33. Salted Lassi – yes. I actually prefer it to the sweet version.
34. Sauerkraut – yes.
35. Root beer float – No. Because, well, no.
36. Cognac – yes.
37. Clotted Cream Tea – yes.
38. Vodka Jelly/Jell-O – alas, yes.
39. Gumbo – yes.
40. Oxtail – yes, was practically brought up on things made out of boiled extremities, what with the self-sufficient farming hippy up-bringing thing.
41. Curried goat – yes. We bred goats. I’ve eaten them curried and roasted and stir-fried and boiled and stewed and made into soup. Sorry.
42. Whole insects – only by mistake. The very idea gives me the yips.
43. Phaal – no. Do not wish to die in coughing, gagging, choking, bright purple, blinded with own tears and streaming snot accident.
44. Goat’s milk – yes. Raised on it, when we weren’t stewing the buggers. Then, as an adult, worked out cow’s milk gives me eczema, so back on goats milk, now handily sold in all good supermarkets for, ooh, only twice the price of cows.
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more – *Does monetary exchange in head* yes, once or twice. Wasted on me, as I only like whisky diluted with ginger ale, or ginger wine, or soda water, so I may as well stick to Famous Grouse.
46. Fugu (aka pufferfish) – no.
47. Chicken tikka masala – This is supposed to be exotic? WTF? It’s practically replaced fish and chips as Friday Night Carry-Out in Britain. Oh, right, yes, of course.
48. Eel – yes. I find it acceptable smoked. I find it unacceptable jellied.
49. Kispy Kreme original glazed donut – yes. I’m not proud.
50. Sea urchin – yes. I like Japanese Raw Things What Lived In Oceans. The only one I don’t really care for is the large orange fish-eggs.
51. Prickly pear – I’m sure I’ve had this candied at some point or another.
52. Umeboshi – yes, lots.
53. Abalone – yes, see point about Japanese Raw Things.
54. Paneer – yes. I even had a go at making it once (abject failure).
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal – yes. Please don’t hate me. I was young, I was foolish, I suffered agonies of self-disgust.
56. Spaetzle – yes. Also, we used to make these in Italy for New Year. We called them ‘orechiette’ because we’d squish them between finger and thumb with a sort of pinch-and-slide movement that would make them into little curled shapes very like ears. Took bloody hours.
57. Dirty gin martini – yes, once. I like olives, I thought it would be nice. Turns out I prefer vermouth to olive brine.
58. Beer above 8% ABV – yes. Jeez. Ugh. Never again.
59. Poutine – no. Not yet. I will go to Canada one day, and then by GOD I will eat poutine.
60. Carob chips – When I first stopped eating cow’s milk products, my family went through a phase of raiding health-food stores to buy me dairy-free treats. Bless their little hearts, they were alas also flavour-free treats. Carob is now on the Absolutely Verboten list.
61. S’mores – I went to an American International school for a couple of years. S’mores are, actually, kinda dull.
62. Sweetbreads - these are not, contrary to popular belief, the knackers of an animal. They are the thymus glands, which even humans have, but which wither away in adolescence. They are part of the immune system. Thymus glands, therefore, are from young animals, calves, lambs, piglets. They are quite nice for the first bite or two, then cloying, then hideous. Incidentally, I have also eaten pan-fried testicle. Not my husbands, whatever my family like to believe about my virago stridency. They were a very-nearly-a-ram’s. And they were… quite nice until I asked what, exactly they were.
63. kaolin – This is medication, not food. But considering the amount of toothpaste, paper scraps (I used to chew paper. Sue me) and organic fruit (permitted spray to protect apples from excess sun) I have eaten in my life, I have probably ingested enough for a good-sized tea-cup.
64. Currywurst – no. Absolutely not. You must be joking. Curried wurst? Sheesh.
65. Durian – yes, once, while in Australia. It smells exactly like over-excited brie, and tastes like vanilla ice-cream. Splendid stuff. Hold nose tight while inserting mouthful.
66. Frogs’ legs – yes, often, they were a local specialty in the valley I grew up above. They are the most pointless thing to eat I have ever eaten. Taste of nothing, texture of very tired chicken, very little meat on them.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake - I think I’ve eaten all of these. I think we Europeans call Elephant Ears, Palmiers. If I’m wrong, then I haven’t eaten Elephant Ears.
68. Haggis – ooh, yes, and we do get one for Burns night, and I do shout ‘Proud Chieftan o’ the puddin’ race!’ at it. Sorry. And then we drink Whisky Macs and I get sentimental and sing ‘Green Grow the Rushes’.
69. Fried plantain – yes. Not keen. Too starchy. S likes it.
70. Chitterlings – yes, and never ever ever ever again. Also tripe. Never never never never again. The texture – erk – I think I’m going to retch…
71. Gazpacho – yes
72. Caviar and blini – yes. I made the blinis! Underwhelmed by the shockingly expensive caviar though. It’s, fishy and salty and bobbly. Ho hum. I prefer smoked salmon.
73. Louche absinthe – yes. And I liked it rather a lot. (Louche is when you add water and it goes milky and pearly). (You have to add water or you die). (Joking.) (Or am I?). (In any case, always shake the bottle so you don’t get a concentration of wormwood in the first shot poured). (What? I’m serious. Someone murders someone like this in a short story by Dorothy L. Sayers whose name I can’t for the life of me remember).
74. Gjetost or brunost – yes. Very very nice.
75. Roadkill – no. Yes. No. Well. It was a pheasant, and my Dad hit it, and it was wounded and fluttering about in hysterics, and so we wrung its neck to put it out of its misery. And then, well. What else could we do? So not exactly road-kill. Also, I strongly suspect it was illegal of us to take it home and so we technically poached it. In wine! Haha!
76. Baijiu – no, and I hadn’t a clue what it was. I think if I tried it my stomach lining would burst into flames. I’m not much cop with strong liquor.
77. Hostess Fruit Pie – I really can’t be arsed with American diabetes-in-a-carton when Britain, France and Italy between them purvey the best fruit-based desserts in the known Universe. Now if the American pie was made from scratch by a real live person out of actual fruit, I’d eat it and nomnomnom it and exclaim over it and everything. But being proud of a thing in a box? Made by the people who brought you Twinkies (also known as Die Now As Your Corn-Syrup Clagged Arteries Clang Shut)?
78. Snails - yes. Kinda chewy.
79. Lapsang Souchong – oh, look, I’m drinking a cup of Lapsang right now this very minute.
80. Bellini – yes. Also, we make them ourselves for birthdays. One of the few ways I can take sparkling white wine/ champagne (it SHOULD be Prosecco, but, oh well), without my entire digestive tract from lips to ileum screaming in protest.
81. Tom Yum – oh yes, lots.
82. Eggs Benedict – yup.
83. Pocky – Is this the long stick of biscuit dipped in chocolate? Then yes. If not, what the hey is it?
84. 3 Michelin Star Tasting Menu – nooooooo alas wail wail sob longing face pout.
85. Kobe beef - once. Crikey, it’s expensive. And exactly like beef-flavoured butter.
86. Hare – yep. I jugged one once. It wasn’t brilliant. Poor hare. Sorry.
87. Goulash – oh, come now, this is silly. Who the heck hasn’t eaten Goulash?
88. Flowers – yes. Namely, roses, lavender, violets, nasturtiums, thyme flowers, borage. Candied, sugared, in cakes, in salads, in soup, in chocolates, in trifles. All very lovely. Oh, and geranium, but that’s the perfumed essence of the leaf, not the actual flower, no matter how floral it smells.
89. Horse – not that I know of, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I had. My parents made me eat astonishing things. What’s a little horsey?
90. Criollo chocolate – yes, made me high. You have been warned.
91. Spam - yes, but only so I can sing the Spam Song.
92. Soft shell crab – yes. See Japanese thing above. Though this one was deep-fried.
93. Rose Harissa – I love this stuff. Love love love.
94. Catfish – yes. Tasted like mud. Bah.
95. Mole Poblano – yup. On chicken. Nummy.
96. Bagel and Lox – yes
97. Lobster Thermidor – was mildly disappointed. Too much thermidor, not enough lobster. Also, sheesh, but it’s rich. Felt slightly sick afterwards.
98. Polenta – yes, I grew up on it. Unfortunately, the One I Cook For hates it, and I don’t like the pre-prepared brands and I can’t be arsed to make it from scratch just for me. *sigh*. I miss it. Maybe I should be arsed.
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee – I love coffee, and this is the coffee of the Gods, and I can’t really afford it, but I once gave some to my step-Dad (who understands these things) for Christmas, and he and I sat down and drank coffee together in perfect, reverential silence. It really is really good. But not quite as good as the price-tag says it is.
100. Snake – no.

I agree with Aphra that it’s a bit USA-ean – hence rant about Hostess pies up above [Oh, God, we're going to get sued], but I am startled, startled I tell you, by the sheer amount of weird stuff I’ve managed to eat [I'm not]. Out of 100 items, I have eaten 93. Some of those were admittedly hideous mistakes, and some were one-offs and unlikely to be repeated, but, yea, verily, I will try everything once, except incest and folk dancing (with thanks to Thomas Beecham, who said it first).

[I hate to disturb and upset the masses, but you have done folk-dancing].

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3 Responses to An omnivore’s 100

  1. Helen says:

    Oh dear, if I did this, I would bold about three food items and cross out the remaining 97 because I’m a fussy teetotal vegetarian who can’t drink coffee and basically I’m just fussy. Ooh – you’ve just reminded me there’s carob in the cupboard! I knew I’d forgotten something! (Kiko calls them “monies” because they’re in the form of chocolate buttons, I have conned the poor child into thinking they’re a delicious treat).

    Heh, I’ve eaten pocky and that other one called “colon”.

  2. Nene says:

    Thank you for purporting this entertaining meme. I had good laughs reading yours and good laughs writing my own.

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