100 Things to Eat Before You Die

Categories: Advice

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I just learned about this list of the Ominivore's Hundred, or 100 Things to Eat Before You Die, created by one of the authors of the blog Very Good Taste (thanks, Mischke). I thought it was a great idea and annotated the list:

The VGT Omnivore's Hundred:

1. Venison
Definitely. Especially if it's been given to you by your yeti-like landlord, who shot it himself and refers to it as "venny."
2. Nettle tea
Curious to try it as soon as foraging season is upon us...
3. Huevos rancheros
Que bueno!
4. Steak tartare
Barbette's is quite good--better than the Wisconsin version, the Cannibal Sandwich," which, according to Wikipedia is also known as "Raw Dog" or "Wild Cats" in other parts of the Midwest.
5. Crocodile
Had it at, of all places, the now-shuttered Shelly's Woodroast, in a pot pie. I kid you not.
6. Black pudding
Also called blood sausage--I've had it a long time ago and think it's okay.
7. Cheese fondue
Tasty and fun! One Midwestern recipe I've tried mixes a can of cream of mushroom soup with the cheese.
8. Carp
Never tried it--but I would.
9. Borscht
Yes! Nick and Eddie's is particularly good. I also like it at Moscow on the Hill.
10. Baba ghanoush
Yes! Holy Land's is a staple.
11. Calamari
I liked the dipping sauce with the calamari I had at Roat Osha recently.
12. Pho
Ngon Bistro is the gold standard, though sometimes I like Pho Quan on Nicollet for its (lack of) atmosphere.
13. PB&J sandwich
Every once in a while, they're delish.
14. Aloo gobi
Like it, but gobi manchurian is my favorite Indian cauliflower dish--Dancing Ganesha's is great.
15. Hot dog from a street cart
I'd scratch this one--unless it's a Thousand Hills dog from Chef Shack. The typical boiled dogs are no match for one that's been campfire grilled.
16. Epoisses
A French cheese--has anyone had this?
17. Black truffle
Tasty but $$$.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
I'm so-so on this one...
19. Steamed pork buns
Yes! I don't have a great local go-to spot for these. Anyone?
20. Pistachio ice cream
Even better if it's gelato.
21. Heirloom tomatoes
Start planning to grow yours now! My fave = green zebra.
22. Fresh wild berries
Can't wait until picking season! Check ag depts' MN Grown for a list of farms.
23. Foie gras
Local producer Au Bon Canard is amazing.
24. Rice and beans
Cheap, filling, and so simple to make.
25. Brawn, or head cheese
Nosh's (Wabasha) is excellent.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
Based on my experience with the scotch bonnet sauce at Smalley's BBQ (Stillwater), I'm not sure if I could handle the heat.
27. Dulce de leche
Everything started coming in dulce de leche flavor since food companies realized the size of the US latino market.
28. Oysters
Love 'em fresh or fried. Sea Salt opens for the 2009 season on April 24 at 11 a.m., btw.
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
Would love to try this--has anyone had it?
31. Wasabi peas
This is another scrach for me. I like them more in theory than in practice.
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
Worth suffering the tourists at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.
33. Salted lassi
I'd put mango lassi before its savory sibling, but not a bad pick.
34. Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut soup is Grandma Hutton's signature dish.
35. Root beer float
With Schell's root beer--but never with soft serve like the ones at Wagner's.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
Can't say I've ever done the combo...is it all it's cracked up to be?
37. Clotted cream tea
Aka British tea service with clotted cream, scones, and jam. I still haven't been to the high tea at the Ivy yet--has anyone checked it out?
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
Seems like a waste of a good bottle of Prairie Organic, but I cant' really remember the last time I had a Jell-O shot.
39. Gumbo
Haven't had gumbo in far too long...does anyone have a favorite local version?
40. Oxtail
Had an amazing version (braised with raisins) at Corner Table this winter.
41. Curried goat
Used to eat this at Jamaican joints in Queens, but I've never been a huge fan of goat.
42. Whole insects
A totally doable dare: They're not bad and eating 'em makes you look like a badass.
43. Phaal
Anyone tried this?
44. Goat's milk
Had it in my coffee this a.m.--not the best use for it, considering it's subtle eau de barnyard.
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
Trying to remember the priciest malt whisky I've tried and do the £ conversion...
46. Fugu
Japanese pufferfish--is it really tasty enough to be worth risking death?
47. Chicken tikka masala
Always a fave...
48. Eel
One of my top sushi picks. Buy it frozen at United Noodle for home use.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
Haven't had one in *ages* and, oddly, someone just suggested going to get one to me about an hour ago. Before they came to MN, I once ate 3 hot ones in a row--definitely one too many--though I do love watching them go on the conveyor through the glaze waterfall.
50. Sea urchin
The reproductive parts, right? Not a fan--though I've heard it's much different when it's ultra fresh.
51. Prickly pear
Cactus--also known as nopales.
52. Umeboshi
Sometimes called Japanese pickled plum--I like 'em in sushi.
53. Abalone
I've never had it, but would like to. Anyone want to weigh in?
54. Paneer
It's really easy to make at home, too.
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
Meh...I'd rather have an egg McMuffin, though I just re-read Fast Food Nation, so I'd probably pass.
56. Spaetzle
Like it, but prefer noodles or gnocchi
57. Dirty gin martini
But never more than one!
58. Beer above 8% ABV
Especially Belgian Trappist brews.
59. Poutine
Loved it at Forepaugh's, *hated* it at Triple Rock--the curds were blah and supersalty gravy ruined the whole thing.
60. Carob chips
Not compared to semisweet chocolate...
61. S'mores
Still dreaming of Joan Ida's S'mores dessert at the Lake House--now that she's at Porter & Frye, where will I find it?
62. Sweetbreads
Like 'em, but don't love 'em.
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
I've had good ones from Kramarczuk's
65. Durian
Like the taste--loathe the smell. I think I want to like durian better than I actually do. Try buying a whole one from an Asian market and cracking it open sometime!
66. Frogs' legs
I like the ones at Cave Vin.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
Best beignets @ Good Day Cafe. Best churros @ Barrio.
68. Haggis
Eh...I have some concerns about this one, but I'm part Scottish, so I think I'm duty-bound to at least try it.
69. Fried plantain
Definitely--it's great at Victor's.
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
I've never been a huge fan, and since Mama Taught Me How to Cook closed, I'm not ever sure where to get chitterlings...
71. Gazpacho
Is it summer yet?
72. Caviar and blini
I like Lake Superior caviar, too.
73. Louche absinthe
Is the ritual better than the spirit?
74. Gjetost, or brunost
I haven't had it in ages--I think I like the name better than the flavor.
75. Roadkill
Never had it, though my dad hit a pheasant with the car last year, picked it up, brought it home, and my mom cooked it for dinner. He did the same with a raccoon before I was born, too. How come I keep missing out?
76. Baijiu
Never tried it, but I'd like to...
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
Eh...really? I'd much rather have homemade fruit pie.
78. Snail
Like 'em, but I have them so rarely...last time may have been at Meritage, if I'm not mistaken.
79. Lapsang souchong
Smoky black tea--yes!
80. Bellini
I'm a sucker for sparkling drinks.
81. Tom yum
So sour, so delicious...
82. Eggs Benedict
Landon's Reuben version at P&F may have been the best I've ever tried.
83. Pocky
Like wasabi peas, like the concept more than the flavor.
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
Who's going to say no to that?
85. Kobe beef
Tasty, but oh so pricey.
86. Hare
Like chicken...but better.
87. Goulash
A top stick-to-your ribs dinner.
88. Flowers
Nasturtium are easy to grow, too.
89. Horse
Anyone tried it?
90. Criollo chocolate
Of course!
91. Spam
Of course--esp. honey, just not garlic!
92. Soft shell crab
I've had good ones at Fuji Ya.
93. Rose harissa
Never had the rose petal version, but plain harissa is amazing.
94. Catfish
Not sure if it's top 100, but I like it.
95. Mole poblano
Mmmm mole...
96. Bagel and lox
Provided it's a Common Roots bagel if dining locally.
97. Lobster Thermidor
I'd probably rather just have it with butter, but...
98. Polenta
So easy, versatile--I just had it on a cobbler topping--delish!
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
How would it stack up against some of Paradise Roasters?
100. Snake
Had it once in Vietnam--it really does taste kind of like chicken.

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