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Like a Birder’s Life List but for Foodies


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Birding is a bit like cooking. You hear about these things, often rare or notorious, you do some research, maybe travel somewhere to achieve your goal and when you do, it’s soooo gratifying you take a picture.

People who love to watch birds often have a list of species that they can check off as they go. You can place as many birds on the list as you like - after 9,000 you start running out of species not to mention the time and resources.

It might be interesting to hear what dishes or ingredients constitute the unrealized fantasies of Society members . . .

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Some of the things I look forward to enjoying for the first time:

1. Fresh foie gras from Quebec

2. Fugu

3. Seal flipper pie

4. Golden Ossetra caviar

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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There are so many things and so little time, but one thing that comes to mind is a chuleta from a 16yo Rubia Gallega ox.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I do keep a life list of all the animals I have eaten..... does that count?

And it includes crickets and mealworms.

Some people think my list is weird.

Yes, your list is weird but fortunately you're in the right place. So how long have been doing this? And how long is your list?

I think it's only a matter of time before insects as food becomes way more mainstream. I've only eaten bugs by accident - but since I don't find them very appealing they're not on my life list. I'm about as interested in eating one of those crispy tarantulas on a stick from Vietnam as I am in anthropophagy.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Interesting question, and oddly, it gave me a chance for reminiscence. I'd like to relive some of the food I've eaten in my life with the same innocence and pleasure as when I first tasted them -- when they were plentiful and my palate was young. My first plate of Malpecques, that petit filet at La Rose de France on the Ile de France when I was nineteen. Restigouche salmon from that enchanted summer when we lived in New Brunswick. The creamy cheese and spring pea pizza at the tiny trattoria in Viareggio.

But nostalgia is mostly negative and sad. I came up with these, and they involve time or distance travel.

A limitless bowl of Beluga or Osetra, blinis, vodka and lots of cloisonné and mother of pearl in St. Petersburg.

A crawdad boil in the Delta.

A Tournedos Rossini prepared by the 'Scoff himself, corsets

and diamonds for me and black tie for my gentleman companion..

This egg sandwich my daughter and son-in-law ate on the sidewalk in Hanoi a month or so ago. It was served on a baguette: "The best damn egg sandwich I've ever eaten."

gallery_6375_3224_58240.jpeg

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Good topic Peter, off the top of my head three on the list would be:

1. Ortolans

2. Mishima Beef from Japan

3. Shark's head - as seen on Bourdain's No Reservations Singapore episode

Probably in that order actually. I think only the Shark's head i would ever have the opportunity to eat. Though this may not be a bad thing as the reality rarely lives up to the fantasy. It's always the least expected that is the most surprising and hence most exciting and memorable.

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It's only been in the last few years that I've had a chance to try veal and foie. Not for a lack of desire; just haven't lived in the right places, I guess. I still haven't had caviar, well not good caviar, anyway, and haven't figured out how to like raw oysters yet. I need to have some of the small ones in Seattle next time. I'm afraid by the time I try things they'll all be gone or illegal.

Most of the other ones involve travel that is becoming increasingly more expensive--baguettes in France, and others too numerous to mention.

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Some nice responses - it's hard not to include context such as place, time and company.

. . . . 1.  Ortolans . . . .
I had to look up this one. I'll assume you are not referring to those ridiculous blue elephant creatures from Star Wars but rather the classic French bird dish. :biggrin: Sounds like you need to catch one yourself to experience the tradition.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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That's why it's top of the fantasy list Peter. I suppose I should've added a little description. Ortolans are wild buntings, tiny migratory birds similar to sparrows. When they are in season, traps are set to catch them. In captivity they are kept in darkness which triggers their feeding instincts and so they gorge themselves on grain. After a few weeks they are very fat and the their livers are massive in comparison to their bodies - like foie ducks and geese. When they are ready to be consumed, they're drowned in armagnac so with their last breath they draw in some of the liquor. They are plucked, head removed and fried/roasted very simply and eaten whole in a one or two mouthfuls. The bones are tiny and crisp, the meat gamey, the liver is fat and rich, all with the rounded deepness of the liquor. Well that's I imagine it to eat like.

Oh and it's absolutely banned in the EU to serve this dish in any restaurant. Though there are ways to get round it I think I will carry on dreaming about this!!!

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That's why it's top of the fantasy list Peter.  I suppose I should've added a little description.  Ortolans are wild buntings, tiny migratory birds similar to sparrows.  When they are in season, traps are set to catch them.  In captivity they are kept in darkness which triggers their feeding instincts and so they gorge themselves on grain.  After a few weeks they are very fat and the their livers are massive in comparison to their bodies - like foie ducks and geese.  When they are ready to be consumed, they're drowned in armagnac so with their last breath they draw in some of the liquor.  They are plucked, head removed and fried/roasted very simply and eaten whole in a one or two mouthfuls.  The bones are tiny and crisp, the meat gamey, the liver is fat and rich, all with the rounded deepness of the liquor.  Well that's I imagine it to eat like.

Oh and it's absolutely banned in the EU to serve this dish in any restaurant.  Though there are ways to get round it I think I will carry on dreaming about this!!!

You forgot to mention the whole eating-them-under-a-napkin thing. It's so sinful that you have to hide your shame from God.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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. . . . they're drowned in armagnac so with their last breath they draw in some of the liquor . . . .

That's it! If I'm ever so unlucky as to have a "do not resuscitate" order it will follow with "drown Peter in armangnac". I used to think being eaten by a great white shark would be the coolest way to go.

. . . . Oh and it's absolutely banned in the EU to serve this dish in any restaurant.  Though there are ways to get round it I think I will carry on dreaming about this!!!

I thought it was illegal to sell but not illegal to eat ortolans. Maybe there's still a way . . .

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I did at one time have such a list and it included the following.

1. an exceptionally fresh black truffle.

2. golden caviar.

3. a real Hyderabadi biryani and Navrattna pilau as described by my grandfather.

4. North Devon squab pie also described by grandpapa.

5. Iced bombe.

6. authentic croissants from Paris.

7. Pastitsatha (from Corfu).

8. Salak fruit from Indonesia.

9. Sugar apple from Malaysia.

10. Pulasan also from Malaysia.

Fortunately I have been able to strike several of these items from my "life list" and hopefully will eventually be able to remove the remainder.

Ah, the wonders of the internet........

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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My list would include...

1. Any kind of truffle dish

2. Foie gras

3. My late beloved grandfather's shark cerviche (which took a day to make)

4. Fugu

5. Soup dumplings in China

6. Beluga caviar

7. Oyster Rockefeller

8. Stinky tofu in Taiwan

That's all I can think of right now.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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1. Grits

2. Cheese biscuits from that place with the famous cheese biscuits - is it Red Lobster?

3. That corn with mayonnaise and lime that you get in Mexico

4. Cheesymite scrolls

5. Scallion pancakes

6. Malaysian parathas

7. Chanas from that place in Lahore where my brother says that girls can't go

8. Pupusas

9. Mozzarepas

10. Key lime pie with real Key limes

11. Meyer lemon pie

12. Truffles

13. A duck/goose egg - but it would have to be from a duck/goose that gave it willingly

14. Collard greens

15. Gooseberries

16. Huckleberries (unless these are the same thing as blueberries)

17. Paw-paws

18. Durian

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Shelby, every time I read Hiroyuki's sushi thread I fairly drool. I've had plenty of sushi here but never anything so beautiful an enticing as that.

That would be #1 on my list followed by a real truffle at #2.

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I do keep a life list of all the animals I have eaten..... does that count?

And it includes crickets and mealworms.

Some people think my list is weird.

Yes, your list is weird but fortunately you're in the right place. So how long have been doing this? And how long is your list?

I think it's only a matter of time before insects as food becomes way more mainstream. I've only eaten bugs by accident - but since I don't find them very appealing they're not on my life list. I'm about as interested in eating one of those crispy tarantulas on a stick from Vietnam as I am in anthropophagy.

I ate the bugs at the Montreal Biodome. They were having a tasting and had stalls set up with chefs preparing the insects.

I beleive I had Ant nachos, Mealworm banana bread and cricket sushi. I wanted to try the stirfried grasshoppers but I just couldnt do it.

Lets see.. My life list.

1. Beef

2. Chicken

3. Pork

4. Duck

5. Lamb

6. Goat

7. Wild Boar

8. Musk ox

9. Moose

10. Venison

11. Ostrich

12. Emu

13. Porcupine

14. Quail

15. Pheasant

16. Alligator

17. Bison

18. Goose

19. Ants

20. Mealworm

21. cricket

22. rabbit

I would love to try Horse some day. I don't incluse seafood yet. That would make the list way too long.

Edited by Pookie (log)
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Lets see.. My life list.

1. Beef

2. Chicken

3. Pork

4. Duck

5. Lamb

6. Goat

7. Wild Boar

8. Musk ox

9. Moose

10. Venison

11. Ostrich

12. Emu

13. Porcupine

14. Quail

15. Pheasant

16. Alligator

17. Bison

18. Goose

19. Ants

20. Mealworm

21. cricket

22. rabbit

I would love to try Horse some day. I don't incluse seafood yet. That would make the list way too long.

That's an impressive list. Bugs aside, it' musk ox and porcupine I've not tried. I've been around porcupines almost my whole life - I found a dead one on my lawn last week, poor guy must've been clipped by a car and crawled of to die. I think there's a porcupine recipe in the Joy of Cooking, how did you experience yours? Were you up north in musk ox country?

I had horse meat in Cuba when I was a kid, I didn't leave any impression on me unfortunately.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I do keep a life list of all the animals I have eaten..... does that count?

And it includes crickets and mealworms.

Some people think my list is weird.

Yes, your list is weird but fortunately you're in the right place. So how long have been doing this? And how long is your list?

I think it's only a matter of time before insects as food becomes way more mainstream. I've only eaten bugs by accident - but since I don't find them very appealing they're not on my life list. I'm about as interested in eating one of those crispy tarantulas on a stick from Vietnam as I am in anthropophagy.

I ate the bugs at the Montreal Biodome. They were having a tasting and had stalls set up with chefs preparing the insects.

I beleive I had Ant nachos, Mealworm banana bread and cricket sushi. I wanted to try the stirfried grasshoppers but I just couldnt do it.

Lets see.. My life list.

1. Beef

2. Chicken

3. Pork

4. Duck

5. Lamb

6. Goat

7. Wild Boar

8. Musk ox

9. Moose

10. Venison

11. Ostrich

12. Emu

13. Porcupine

14. Quail

15. Pheasant

16. Alligator

17. Bison

18. Goose

19. Ants

20. Mealworm

21. cricket

22. rabbit

I would love to try Horse some day. I don't incluse seafood yet. That would make the list way too long.

Never touch seafood do you?

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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I do keep a life list of all the animals I have eaten..... does that count?

And it includes crickets and mealworms.

Some people think my list is weird.

Yes, your list is weird but fortunately you're in the right place. So how long have been doing this? And how long is your list?

I think it's only a matter of time before insects as food becomes way more mainstream. I've only eaten bugs by accident - but since I don't find them very appealing they're not on my life list. I'm about as interested in eating one of those crispy tarantulas on a stick from Vietnam as I am in anthropophagy.

I ate the bugs at the Montreal Biodome. They were having a tasting and had stalls set up with chefs preparing the insects.

I beleive I had Ant nachos, Mealworm banana bread and cricket sushi. I wanted to try the stirfried grasshoppers but I just couldnt do it.

Lets see.. My life list.

1. Beef

2. Chicken

3. Pork

4. Duck

5. Lamb

6. Goat

7. Wild Boar

8. Musk ox

9. Moose

10. Venison

11. Ostrich

12. Emu

13. Porcupine

14. Quail

15. Pheasant

16. Alligator

17. Bison

18. Goose

19. Ants

20. Mealworm

21. cricket

22. rabbit

I would love to try Horse some day. I don't incluse seafood yet. That would make the list way too long.

Never touch seafood do you?

Oh I touch it alright, it's just difficult to be sure of the type of fish you are eating and it would make my list 10x longer. sticking to O2 breathers for now.

I had the porcupine on a trip to northern Quebec and the Muskox was in a sausage purchased from a butcher in Ottawa.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What a great thread. :)

Lots of unusual fruit on my list, but mostly they are ones I haven't heard of yet. So I can't list them. :raz: But naranjilla, jaboticaba, langsat and red durian come to mind.

Meats I want to try:

Rattlesnake

Horse

N. California Wild Pig

Porcupine (hunted here and said to be delicious)

Alligator

Other items:

Truffles

Foie gras

Deep-fried scorpions (do they taste like seafood?)

Tarantula

Real wasabi (most wasabi in the US is colored horseradish)

Garo, a paste made from salted kolios (a type of mackerel) once made on Marmara Island where my Grandfather was from.

Baklava, muhammara and zaater in Aleppo

One item I recently did check off my list but which wasn't really high priority was real beluga caviar. A couple of friends were visiting Istanbul from Spain, and had been instructed to get 200 gr of caviar for a rather wealthy friend back home. I can't remember how much it cost now, around 200 Euros seems about right. The salesman gave us each a taste - I guess we ate about 5 Euros worth just then. It didn't make me do back flips. It was good, but worth endangering sturgeons over?

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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. . . . Garo, a paste made from salted kolios (a type of mackerel) once made on Marmara Island where my Grandfather was from.

That sounds very promising - can you say anything more about garo? What does it look like and how is it used?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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7. Pastitsatha (from Corfu).

Thank you for mentioning this. I was in Corfu, from a cruise ship, no time to eat and did not know about it anyway. But now I've looked it up, and made a version that sounded good. I love the spices....nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves etc. I don't know how authentic the recipe was but it was very tasty.

I like the idea of listing "prepared" dishes.....I would second soup dumplings in China and many kinds of dim sum.....names of which I do not know. Just bring them by and I'll point.

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