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Food Firsts...

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This post prompted me to start this thread.

All of us, at some point in our lives, were virgins of many of the pleasures of the gastronomical world. And, all of us are still virgins of infinitely more eating adventures, discoveries, and pleasures - hopefully to be enjoyed soon!

I'll go first:

1st foie gras: Paris, France, circa age 5*

1st caviar: International First Class service, TWA, circa age 4*

1st black truffle shavings: France, age 5*

1st white truffle shavings: Restaurant Dieter Muller, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, age 27

1st alcohol: TBA**

1st raw oyster: French Quarter restaurant, New Orleans, circa age 8

1st eating something while it's still alive (conch): Beach-side, Nassau, Bahamas, age 7

1st escargot: France, age 5

1st soft-shelled crab: Taiwan, age 5

1st blood sausages: Taiwan, age 5

1st fugu: Morimoto's, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, age 25

1st coconut (cracked open fresh): Beach-side, Bahamas, age 7

1st avocado: circa age 4

1st sushi: age 5

1st sweetbreads: France, age 5

1st beef tongue: circa age 5

1st jelly fish: circ age 7

1st pineapple fresh from the stalk: Hawaii, age 25

1st In-N-Out burger: TBA* despite having lived in L.A. for two years... :shock:

1st Gazelle meat: Montreal, age 23

* I cannot confirm that these were the first times I had the food item, rather it is my first memory of eating it.

** I have certainly consumed alcohol in some form in foods and desserts, but, to date, I have not deliberately sat down and consumed a alcohol straight.

So, when was your first time - and where did it happen? Do tell all! :raz:

Feel free to list whatever you remember!

[edited to: (1) add more items; and (2) change dates to age]

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)


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First escargot - 2002 Groupers Grille Corolla, NC

First raw oyster - 1990's Nags Head NC

First black truffle, white truffle, foie gras, caviar, ox tail, beatle, larva, and some other things that need not say - CIA 2005 Hyde Park NY.

Never ate something still living, have had things that were just killed.

First De- Boning of a hind leg of a deer (venison) in 2005, Wilmington. (just killed)

First whole roasted suckling pig in 2004, KDH NC

First Pomegranate 2003

First Coconut 1995

First Liver, 1994

First souffle, 2000 maybe?

First Hydra Colloid, 2005.

First Foam- TBA

First Beer - Early 90's

First Wine, Zinfandel I suppose - Early 90's

First Coverture piece of chocolate that I am sure of, 2001.

So much more to taste, and so much time to do it.

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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I know I haven't tried everything I want to yet.

First escargot--5th grade. Our teacher wanted us to try something exotic. I was one of the only girls who tried it. I thought it tasted like garlic and rubber.

Earthworms, powdered and added to doughnuts, high school.

Stinging nettles, grade school.

Seaweed, grade school. My mom was an adventurous eater, too.

Halvah, grade school.

Yogurt, grade school--it sounds strange now to think of eating yogurt for the first time, but it was only in the health food stores back then.

Passion fruit--Australia, 1980's.

Lamb, Utah, 1980's.

First clams--that goes too far back to remember, since I'm from Seattle. We used to go dig them. Crab memories go way back, too.

My first blueberry was rotten so I thought blueberries were bad for years.

Foie Gras, just last year in Billings. I liked it.

Raw oysters I try every few years and I still just don't get it. Fried oysters when I was a kid, loved them.

First lobster, Harrahs in Reno when I was 19, married, and with my first child.

First pig baked in a pit (yum) and poi (not yum) when I was 16.

I haven't tried any foams. Haven't eaten at any world class restaurants, but at many really good ones.

Truffles, about five years ago--bottled. No fresh ones yet. I used them to make pizza and they were very good.

Nothing alive, don't plan to try fugu either.

First coffee when I was 12, doctored with a huge amount of creamer and sugar. First taste of beer at 18, didn't like it.

Antelope, that I cut up myself after my husband shot it, when I was in my 20's. Not my favorite. When living in Rock Springs, Wyoming, I also tried venison, sage hen, and elk.

First real hoagie, Philly, in the 80's. I could only eat half of it because it was so big.

The first time I ever had cheesecake was when I made it myself, after getting married. My mom never made it.

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First Escargot: French Alps Skiing when I was 11. Friends Dad got drunk and wanted to see all of the yougsters reactions when they realised what we were eating.

First Foie Gras: I've had it in mousses & pates, but the first "real experience" was in St. Barths 2 Christmases ago.

First Caviar: This past New Years Eve in Spain.

First (and last) Sea cucumber: Kuala Lumpar about 7 years again....never again.

First Blood Sausage: Puerto Rico (therefore Morcilla) 3 Christmases ago. Now addicted.

First Alcohol: Since I remember, My Grannie used to always give me a sip of her Sherry on Sunday's after church.

First Loster: Maine: about 7 years ago in Philadelphia. Caribbean: about 5 years ago in Anegada in the British Virgin Islands.

First Sushi: 7 years ago in Puerto Rico.

First Sweetbread: Thanksgiving 2004 (aged 25) - Buenos Aires

Edited by Jenny McClure (log)
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First (and last) Sea cucumber: Kuala Lumpar about 7 years again....never again.

:shock: That's too bad! :sad: My first encounter with sea cucumber was circa age 5, and I've loved it ever since!

Here are some others:

1st gold (leaf, or otherwise): Paris, France, age 6

1st steak tartare: Aix-en-Provence, age 21

1st durian: Los Angeles (at a friend's home), age 23 - loved that ever since too!

1st lobster: Paris, France, age 5

1st seaweed: pre-dates childhood memory

1st lamb: Egypt, age 5

1st artichoke: Greece, age 5

ulterior epicure

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)


My flickr account


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1st alcohol - no handouts/sips, my own beer - Age 14

1st sushi - Age 28

1st In-N-Out burger - Age 27 (had to drive 50 minutes to get it)

1st authentic taco shop Carne Asada Burrito - Age 26

1st whole mushroom of any kind - Age 22 (had to be battered and deep fried)

1st escargo - Age 42

1st willingly and knowingly eatin a shrimp - Age 19 (part of shrimp salad inside of a papaya in first class to Hawaii)

1st in the ground baked pig - Age 19

1st Poi - Age 19

1st "cooked" oytser - Age 28 (Oysters Rockefeller)

1st raw oytser - NEVER!!!!

1st lobster - Age 21

1st Tijuana street hot dog wrapped in bacon (mmmm) - Age 26

1st calimari - Age 23 (at Gilroy Garlic Festival)

1st artichoke - Age 8 (back when you could get artichokes the size of your head for 10 cents)

1st beef tongue - age 19

1st anchovy - Age 15 (on a pizza)

1st Buffalo wing - Age 23

1st Buffalo wing in Buffalo NY - Age 42 (at the Anchor Bar)

1st Chicago style deep dish pizza in Chicago - Age 40

There are obviously so many more but who the hell can remember them all or has the time to think and post them all? My first broccolli...hmmm...definately 5 months old.

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography


My music: Coronado Big Band

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How bad is it that I really can't remember most of my firsts? Here are a few that I can date...

Conch fritter - February 1989 (Age 9), Great Harbour Cay, Bahamas

Collard greens - January 1994 (Age 14), Exeter, NH

English tea - March 1995 (Age 15), The Stafford, London

(Truly) French baguette - June 1995 (Age 15), Nice, France

Cafe au lait - Same!

Passionfruit - February 1997 (Age 17), Exeter, NH

Starfruit - Same!

Self-made apple pie - July 2000 (Age 20), Darien, CT

In-N-Out Burger - Summer 2000 (Age 20), Fresno, CA

Sweetbread - September 2001 (Age 21), Pampa, New York, NY

Raw oyster - Christmas Eve 2002 (Age 23), Balthazar, New York, NY

Periwinkle - Same!

Vietnamese food - May 2003 (Age 23), New York, NY

Far Niente Dolce - Fall 2004 (Age 25), New York, NY

Ham biscuit - July 2005 (Age 25), Lynchburg, VA

Sriracha - January 2006 (Age 26), New York, NY

ETA: Just re-arranged things in chronological order and took out the "1st's", since they're ALL firsts!!! :wink:

Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"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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Hmmmn.... I grew up eating some foods that my grandmother cooked (not well, mind you!) that are considered "exotic" by American standards, such as brains and chicken feet.

I also dined on Chinese food regularly at an early age, and knew how to use chopsticks by the time I was 8.


My first taste of raw broccoli came at age 8. It was a revelation! (My mother always cooked vegetables to mush.)

My first Middle Eastern food, sambousak (semolina flour turnovers filled with farmer cheese), brought to school by a classmate when I was 12.

First Japanese food at age 14. Kushikatsu (breaded pork on skewers) and miso soup, which surprised me because I expected a thick bean chowder!

First sushi at age 22. I instantly became addicted.

First raw oysters, circa age 25.

First escargots, circa age 28.

My other food "firsts" are mixed up in time.


"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Oh, wow.

First lemon: <1 year.

First Avocado: c. 2 years (First word about it: MORE!)

First Milk Bone: c. 6 months (He took my Zwieback, I took his Milk Bone) :laugh:

First Lobster: <8 years

First Beer: c. 2 years (tastes only)

First Alcohol: Christmas 1953 or 4 (got a wee tiny bottle of Creme de Cacao in my stocking. About a tablespoon in a liqueur glass with cream on top) :wub:

First Clam: 21years old

First Raw Oyster: not yet

First Crawfish: 1999

First Venison: Winter 1974

First 'Coon Fall: 1977

I could probably call more esoteric firsts mind, but I'm here to work... :angry:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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U.E., Do you actually remember these trying foods at age 4 and 5? Wow.

Here's my list... Still a lot to try and I few I'm not sure I'll be sampling. :raz:

1st foie gras: Los Gatos, CA, 2004

1st caviar: 1997 or 98, department Russian Christmas party, S. San Francisco, CA

1st black truffle shavings: not yet!

1st white truffle shavings:not yet

1st alcohol of any amount: age 14, a half pint of sealed peppermint Schnapps friends and I found in a paper bag at the corner :blink: Detroit suburbs :cool:

1st raw oyster: Haarlem, Netherlands, 2001, age 30

1st eating something while it's still alive: n/a

1st escargot: Windsor, Canada restaurant, late 80's, with the high school french club

1st soft-shelled crab: Sono Sushi, Mountain View, CA, '95 or so

1st blood sausages: n/a

1st coconut (cracked open fresh): hmm, not sure...

1st avocado: early to mid 80's, Mexicantown, Detroit

1st sushi: see first soft shell crab above

1st sweetbreads: Los Gatos, CA, Manresa, 2005

1st beef tongue: n/a

1st jelly fish: n/a

1st pineapple fresh from the stalk: Hawaii, 1998

1st In-N-Out burger: 2000, California, currently dreaming of my next one

1st Gazelle meat: um, n/a !


To add some of the others:

1st lamb: early 80's at my best friend's house near Detroit, stewed Iraqi style :wub:

1st real baguette and cafe au lait: 1988, Quebec City, french club trip

Edited by kellycolorado (log)
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I forgot a few:

Sushi, at Disneyworld when I was 18. I thought the wasabi was guacamole!

Head cheese, when I was a kid. My dad loved it. The worst part was coming home from school and finding a burlap bag with a pig's head in it. We always had tongue and all the other strange things from butchering cows. But I also had my first porterhouse steak when I was really young, too.

My first real Indian food, not until my 30's. I loved it immediately.

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1st alcohol of any amount:  age 14, a half pint of sealed peppermint Schnapps friends and I found in a paper bag at the corner  :blink: Detroit suburbs  :cool:


"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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First whole food (I've been told):

Periwinkles picked out of their shell with a pin by our Italian friends...cooked in a tomato sauce for days after being soaked clean for days as well.

My parents had left me with their best friends and I hadn't had anything but baby food and milk or whatever; they came home and our friends told my parents that is what they gave me and my eyes lit up!

This was on the Southeast coast in Connecticut. Near New London, probably Stonington or somewhere...

Philly Francophiles

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Heh. At the risk of major embarrassment amongst my eGullet peers, here is my list of culinary firsts (and not-yets):

1st foie gras: erm ... would you believe not yet? :blush:

1st caviar: well, I'd had other types of fish roe for years beforehand in various dishes (like taramasalata, and on sushi), but my first memory of eating sturgeon roe dates from only three years ago.

1st black truffle shavings: Not yet! :blush:

1st white truffle shavings: Not yet! :blush:

1st alcohol: junior-high age (a glass of crappy Andre blush champagne doled out by my parents on New Year's Eve)

1st raw oyster: high-school age (Haymarket in Boston)

1st eating something while it's still alive: Not yet (whew!)

1st escargot: High school (as one of a group of students my favorite English teacher took to a French cafe after he'd treated us to a dress rehearsal of Elektra at the Metropolitan Opera featuring Maria Callas. Also the night of my first martini. Make that my first couple of martinis. It was a memorable evening. Also a more innocent time, as my teacher never got in trouble, that I heard of anyway, for plying six underage persons with booze. :laugh: )

1st soft-shelled crab: not sure. First I remember was in Baltimore about 12 years ago, but there might have been earlier run-ins at Chinese restaurants or such.

1st blood sausages: Not yet!

1st fugu: Not yet!

1st coconut (cracked open fresh): Sometime in my teen years (I have no idea why my folks bought a fresh coconut, but I clearly remember my parents taking turns doing battle with it to get it open. :laugh: )

1st avocado: Sometime in my teens.

1st sushi: 1980 or so.

1st sweetbreads: Not yet.

1st beef tongue: sometime in childhood (stewed tongue was a special but regular treat in my Jewish-American family)

1st jelly fish: Not yet!

1st pineapple fresh from the stalk: Not yet!

1st In-N-Out burger: 2003. (This may be heretical, but I like Carl's Jr. better.)

1st Gazelle meat: Not yet!

Lessee, other firsts that made a major impression on my still-impressionable mind:

First spinach eaten raw as a salad: High school, at a friend's house. It really blew my mind as I had no idea that spinach could even be used as a salad green.

First remembered restaurant experience, first ethnic dining experience: <2 years of age, at a local (Americanized) Chinese restaurant.

First Indian taco/frybread: late 1990s, at a powwow at Daybreak Star Center, Seattle.

First uni/sea urchin: 2002 or so.

First lobster: as a kid, on vacation with family on Cape Cod.

First bourbon: college (Wild Turkey 101, in honor of Hunter S. Thompson)

First dim sum: mid-1980s, Boston

First "gourmet" coffee: mid-1970s, in Cambridge MA, French-press Vienna roast at the old Coffee Connection (have they all been absorbed by Starbucks?)

First sea cucumber: 2004--at an Asian buffet restaurant, yet!

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Foie Gras - 2006

Oyster - 2005

Mussel - 2005

Prawn - 2005

Bird Spit - 2005

Paua (abelone?) - 2005

Caviar - around age 12?

snail - age 20

black pudding (blood sausage) - right from eating solids

Liver/Kidney - right from solids

Sweetbreads - right from solids

Tongue - 2005

Crab - 2004

Truffles - from around 25 I think (when I started going to better restaurants)

Wine - from early childhood

Spirits - 14?

Crocodile - 2005

Emu - 2001 (or was it ostrich?)

Pigs trotters and pigs head - from solids

Macaroons - 2006 (La Duree!! Yum yum!)

Things I am still waiting for:

Brains, seas bass, tripe

Funny, Cool, Scary, Weird Top 10 Lists


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The most memorable:

Sweet corn (picked after the water was boiling): 1961 (I was 4)

Raw pork larb: 1966

Squid: 1967

Sushi: 1966

Steak tartare: 1965

These opened my taste buds such that the other revalations merely blended into each other.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Artichokes -- pre-natal -- My mother claimed this was all she ate when she was pregnant for me. Today, this is my favorite food.

Roquefort -- age 2, I loved it! This is my first food memory

Tongue -- 3, at home

Bear -- 13, in Vienna

Smoked Eel -- 13, Amsterdam street vendor

Kirshwasser -- 13, Freiburg, Germany

Pesto -- 14, Genoa, Italy

Brains -- 14, on boat crossing Atlantic

Squirrel -- 18, boyfriend's house

Indian food -- 19, London

Squab -- 19, Paris

Chevre -- picnic in France

Sweetbreads -- 22, NYC

Foie Gras -- 35, at my employer, it was part of my job :smile:

That's about all I can remember. I've eaten almost everything edible, at least once.

I can count on one hand the foods I don't like.

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abalone: my parents tell me they made abalone and chicken congee for me as baby food, so this is probably one of the first solid things I ate as a child

tongue: ditto

bird's nest soup (aka bird spit?): same

raw oysters: maybe 12?

foie gras: 18

foie gras with Sauternes: 19

sashimi: 10

uni: 17

black truffles: 18

sweetbreads: 21

escargot: 17

stilton: 20

venison: 10?

alligator: 22

horse: 22

polenta: 21

monkfish liver: 22

sevruga caviar: 22

bottles of wine with 3 digit price-tags :raz: : 22

1995 Dom: 22

brussel sprouts: 21

Hamburger Helper: 21 (my bf at the time made it for me :laugh: )

raw quail egg: 17

Edited by Ling (log)
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wine - 9 or 10 (Manischewitz at Passover)

raw oyster - 17 in France

pain au chocolat - 17 in France, watershed pastry moment for me

tripe - 11 at dim sum

eel - 17

liver and kidney (together in noodle soup, first time for both) - 19

natto - 19

durian - 18

sushi - 12

caviar - 15

truffles - 17

foie gras - not yet :sad:

really good Mexican food - 18, La Super Rica in Santa Barbara

raw milk cheese - 17 in France

goat - 18

fish maw - 18

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Oh so random and I'll try to do it by year...

1956 - breast milk - which I immediately rejected much to my mom's disappointment

1962 - Strawberry Quik (I still remember how disgusting it was)

1966 - Incredible Edibles

1967 - tacos and hot sauce

1968 - gefilte fish and red wine (Manischewitz)

1970 - Chinese food (just short ribs and fried rice), beer and vodka etc.

1971 - bagel with cream cheese (first time for both)

1973 - peanut butter, chocolate and walnut omelet

1974 - cheesecake

1976 - espresso and caviar

1978 - French Onion Soup, raw clams and oysters, French champagne, and chicken liver mousse

1979 - 1988 - things got very blurry during this time period but I'm certain that I tried both a pickled hard boiled egg and also pickled pigs feet in some skanky bar late at night

1989 - lots-o-soul food - collard greens, cornbread, downhome style mac 'n cheese, sweeet potato pie, banana pudding, ham hocks, black eyed peas etc.

I'll have to get back to this to cover the 90's and beyond. Now I'm tired AND hungry!

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1st foie gras: Culinary School, circa 2004

1st caviar: A party with my father, probably age 9 or so.

1st black truffle shavings: A restaurant in Tokyo, can't remember the name, aged 12.

1st white truffle shavings: same

1st alcohol: Age 12, a party with my father.

1st raw oyster: Probably around age 6 or 7. I do remember always liking them.

1st eating something while it's still alive (conch): Do raw oysters count?

1st escargot: The now defunct Jean Luc's Bistro in Austin, TX. Was with my aunt, age 13 or 14.

1st soft-shelled crab: Somewhere in Japan, aged 13.

1st blood sausages: not yet, really want to!

1st fugu: Kyoto, Japan, age 14

1st coconut (cracked open fresh): On the beach in Thailand, age 14.

1st avocado: Don't remember. Avocados are a staple of my family's diet.

1st sushi: Some place in Dallas, TX. Age 10. Loved it the first time.

1st sweetbreads: Culinary school, circa 2004

1st beef tongue: Grandmother's kitchen, aged 4 or 5.

1st jelly fish: Nanjing, China, aged 12.

1st pineapple fresh from the stalk: Honolulu, Hawaii, aged 15.

1st In-N-Out burger: San Jose, CA, circa 1999. It had been hyped up so much I was actually really disappointed. The fries sucked!

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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