Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Gifted Gourmet

That magic mouthful: a taste I will never forget

Recommended Posts

the first time i made pesto myself. the taste was just so fresh, it was an absolute revelation.

another great is my dad's fried oysters. he lightly batters them and fries them up. so GOOD! i prefer oysters raw now, but i appreciate that first introduction to oysters. i feel sorry for people who refuse to try oysters, clams, and other shellfish out of a fear of the unknown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mango. I never tasted a mango until I was in my late twenties. A friend of mine (who was from Hawaii) thought this was unacceptable. He made dinner, and fresh mango was the dessert. I absolutely couldn't believe that anything, anything could taste that good. In truth, I still can't believe it.

And also, my first taste of pesto. I was with a friend at an Italian restaurant and I saw it on the menu. I had absolutely no idea what it was, but I ordered it. I remember when it was served I was disappointed. I mean, it was green! I always expected red stuff on my spaghetti. But the first forkful knocked me out. I had never tasted anything like it before, and I still love pesto, and basil, tremendously.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lobster tomolley. give me your animal heads!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wow creamy, complex, rich and hidden. F eating the rest of the beasts, just give me their heads!!!!!!!


does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was about seven, my family and I moved to Mexico so that my mother could work on her dissertation. My first summer there, I was playing with new friends and they pulled a strange red thing off the tree in their backyard. I know now it was a pomegranate, but then I only knew the small red seeds as the most delicious thing I'd ever had in my mouth. My mother, who vigorously boiled all vegetables so as to avoid Montezuma's Curse, was horrified that I'd so casually eaten something off of a tree. I did end up with the dreaded illness that summer, but I suspect it was probably from all of the other things I'd tried without telling her - such as pan dulce, tamales, hard candies, and more.

To this day I am disappointed by pomegranates in this country. None of them can measure up to the memory of that first taste.


The Kitchn

Nina Callaway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you had one mouthful of some dish which you could never forget, what would that taste be?

A childhood food which you can recall perfectly and conjure up as totally sublime ...

I thought my grandmother's stuffed cabbage was wonderful at the time, but whenever my mother or I have cooked her recipe, it hasn't been as good as I remember. I think my memory is skewed, so I'll start my list of sublime food memories next, in more or less chronological order.

From my childhood:

Maple candy from Vermont (I must have been 3 when I first tasted that).

My mother's apple pie, which I first helped her make when I was 4.

The first time I had mostaccioli rigati with my mother's tomato/mushroom sauce with meatballs, based on Ada Boni's Talismano della Felicita', with hand-grated real Italian Parmigiano. What a revelation that was after years of pre-grated stuff that came in a jar!

My mother's Neapolitan-style lasagna al forno, also based on the Ada Boni cookbook.

My father's calf's kidneys flambeed in brandy.

"Ironside"(?) Beef with pineapple slices and cherries on top at Foo Joy, a Hokkienese/Fukienese/Fujianese restaurant (depending on your dialect) on Division St. in Chinatown.

The first time I had carrot halwa, believe it or not in a great Indian restaurant in Akasaka, Tokyo! (1975) The restaurant turned out to be associated with the Indian Embassy, and I don't think I've ever had equally good carrot halwa. The meal was a great one in all aspects.

Firey liver curry at Alim, a Northern Indian Muslim (aka Mamak) restaurant near the Pasar Chow Kit in Kuala Lumpur (1975).

Kueh bakar (wood-baked coconut/palm sugar-batter cakes) that were served in the little canteen of my elementary school in rural Malaysia. I had them every school day in 5th and 6th grades and have never forgotten their wonderful taste.

Buah kemunting (little red berries that I picked from bushes by the graveyard in the mukim [township] of Merchang, Terengganu; I suppose I first coincided with their season in 1976).

Pista kulfi at a neigborhood restaurant on -- was it the Janpath? -- in Delhi. It was frozen solid in a cylindar shape, and we had to wait for it to thaw before taking little slices with our spoons. It was icy, nutty, milky, and rich, with a texture just about nothing like ice cream, and I don't think I've ever had its equal. (1975)

From later (only memories that are at least a year old count):

Eating fresh Chinese lychees for the first time (Hong Kong, 1987).

Uborkasalata (cucumber salad) at a restaurant on Realtanoda Utca, Budapest (1994).

Austrian-style goose leg with shredded cabbage and caraway seeds at a restaurant in another part of Budapest (1994).

Somloi galuska (a dessert -- too complicated to explain here) at the outdoor cafe of a bakery on the main drag a block from the aforementioned street in Budapest (1994).

Gestenygolyu (chestnut balls) from the same bakery.

Meggyes retes (sour cherry strudel) from a different bakery, in the Jewish Quarter of Budapest (1994).

Comte' and Roquefort cheeses at Grand Vefour in Paris (2002).

Pates de fruit from some boulangerie/patisserie on a crossroads in a small town in Burgundy (2002).

Ayam percik (broiled chicken combined with a peanut sauce and fragrant herbs) from the pasar malam (night market) of Kota Bharu (2003).

Pastrami at Katz's (OK, I've had it more recently than a year ago, but it's the same taste, except for the fact that every slab is somewhat different).

Mild Spicy Chicken at Spicy & Tasty in Flushing.

This was a very fun exercise, because I remembered things I hadn't been thinking about, kind of like Proust's madeleines triggering all kinds of memories. What's a bit surprising is that I can't remember the exact tastes of some of my very best meals, even though I remember the experiences as fantastic. I also find it interesting and revealing how many of the sublime tastes I remember are sweets.


Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 things:

As a child (and still today): my grandmother's southern-style macaroni and cheese. No, not that stuff from a box with cheese powder. It is effectionately known around my house as "crack 'n cheese" because of its addictive qualities. I make it for friends now; my wife can eat a whole casserole of it. Then she tells me never to make it again. Elegant simplicity in a pyrex dish...

As an adult, I had this chocolate dessert at an Italian restaurant in Evanston, IL (near Chicago). The restaurant was called Va Pensiero; the dessert was called a chocolate budino cake. This was over 10 years ago, before everyone was doing a chocolate cake with a warm, gooey center. But like they say, you never forget your first...

I managed to get the recipe from the chef there (by asking nicely and telling her how much I loved this dessert), so I've made it a number of times at home. I still love it - now, I just pay a higher price (guilt & exercise) for eating it -


________________

Stu Fisher - Owner

Tastee Cheese

www.tasteecheese.com

stu@tasteecheese.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first taste of pasta in brown butter sauce. I'd taken my date to an Italian restaurant just to impress her. Didn't care about food in the least, ordered the cheapest thing on the menu. Had to resist ordering a second course of the ethereal stuffed pasta in that gorgeous, brown, garlicky sauce. Bought my first cookbook the next day. Can hardly remember the girl.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 things:

As a child (and still today): my grandmother's southern-style macaroni and cheese. No, not that stuff from a box with cheese powder. It is effectionately known around my house as "crack 'n cheese" because of its addictive qualities. I make it for friends now; my wife can eat a whole casserole of it. Then she tells me never to make it again. Elegant simplicity in a pyrex dish...

Stu~

What is your secret for the BEST mac-n-cheese? :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Easter Sunday in Palermo, Sicily and these tiny wild strawberries macerated with blood orange juice over vanilla gelato. Just heavenly. Totally overshadowed a wonderful in its own right Cassata alla Siciliana.

A second, and equally lasting, moment of cullinary bliss--though a bit more gauche, was a spicy grilled chicken with chared roasted peppers over the polenta/corn cake thing. I ordered it at 10--the dish being the only thing on the menu I could recognize, and it quickly became one of my favorite things in the world. The restaurant took it off the menu a few years later, and I haven't been able to let go :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first raw oyster plucked straight out of the water in Cape Cod

Gray Kunz's short ribs at Lespinasse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first mouthful of rosemary ice cream with a reduced balsamic vinegar syrup is the most memorable. Absolutely, a taste of heaven! :wub: I've learned not to tell people what this is - otherwise I get, "Ewww, rosemary in ice cream? With VINEGAR?!" So I just say, "Here, have some ice cream" and watch them as they totally bliss out. Then I tell them what it is. After that, they trust me to feed 'em anything!

Also memorable - and NOT in a heavenly way - a big old lick of garlic ice cream, years ago at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. It was the first thing I ate (it was about 100 degrees that day) and I couldn't get that taste out of my mouth for days. :wacko: Totally overpowered everything else there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gosh guys - not so sure that I can keep this to just one!

As far back as I can remember I loved my mothers tacos...I can make really good ones, but my mom still keeps me in her dust. Quite simple - ground beef (the good stuff, not the dry lower fat versions), browned to perfection and seasoned to taste with salt, peper, garlic, onions, and some others (sesasoning salt, etc...). Taco shells (corn, hard shells), baked in oven until crispy, with a golden brown tint. Freshly shredded sharp cheddar, colby jack, and mild cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, black olives, sour cream, refried beans, fresh salsa, guac. if we were lucky....essemble yourself, with each ingredient having its own bowl. Taco nights were the best!

My moms pizza steak on the grill then under the broiler...this is her spin off of great steak with pizza toppings on top (sounds weird, but its great!). Steaks are grilled to a little under rare, then topped with fresh tomatoes in thier juices, garlic, onions (minced), and shredded mozzerela and provolne cheeses. Place under the broiler until steaks are rare or medium rare(whatever you prefer) and the cheeses are bubbley and ozzing, browned on the top. SO good!

My mom's famous casserole. I make this all the time, and my fiance loves it too. Better heated up as leftovers even! Very simple. Take egg noodles and cook till al-dente (or a little under al-dente actually!). Then drain and season with salt, and mix in a large bowl with sour cream and cottage cheese...I dont know measurements as I do this so often I just know when its right by now. Then brown ground meat (again, not the super lean kind) season with salt, pepper, seasoning salt, garlic. and...once done, drain excess grease and place back on stove, add a can of tomato scauce (maybe not whole can..you need to eyeball this too). stir until combined and moist but not dripping wet with scauce. Now in a casserale dish (one about 6-8 inches wide by 5 or so inches deep...this can be off because you can do as many layers as you would like). Now, layer in this exact order: first a layer of the noodle/sour cream/cottage cheese mixture, then a layer of the ground meat/tomatoe scauce, then a layer of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and repeat. Sometimes I do one layer of each if my dish is not very deep, and others times I use a deep dish and do 2 layers of each. Make sure you start with the noodles, and on the very top end up with the shredded cheese. Now, in the oven (at about 350 degrees), bake the dish until the cheese is melted and a little browned around the edges. This is the ebst dish ever. If you are interested in this recipe, and want to make it let me know, I can get the measurements of each ingredient from my mom so you can make it...but after you taste this you will love it as will any picky eater out there, and after you make this a few times you will ditch the measurements as you will be able to tell by the look/moistness of each component of this dish...as I have!!! This was always my birthday dish!!!


"One Hundred Years From Now It Will Not Matter What My Bank Account Was, What Kind of House I lived in, or What Kind of Car I Drove, But the World May Be A Better Place Because I Was Important in the Life of A Child."

LIFES PHILOSOPHY: Love, Live, Laugh

hmmm - as it appears if you are eating good food with the ones you love you will be living life to its fullest, surely laughing and smiling throughout!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The very first time I had fresh black truffles.

Not bottled, tinned, frozen, vacuum-packed or infused into oil.

In fact, it was from one of the first few crops from a new truffle farm south of my city (down in Manjimup) and had been dug up less than a day before.

It had been shaved gently over scrambled duck eggs, into which had been folded more tiny dice of truffle.

It was a physical shock as overwhelming as being plunged into a bath of sunshine.

I blissed out so far that my father, who had failed to get my attention when speaking directly into my ear (it was a Father's Day dinner), had to resort to shaking me bodily to bring me back to earth.

To this day I swear I must have ovulated with that one mouthful.:> :biggrin:


" ..Is simplicity the best

Or simply the easiest

The narrowest path

Is always the holiest.. "

--Depeche Mode - Judas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was 15 I had surgery to remove my wisdom teeth, and went on a (forced) all-popsicle-and-yogurt diet for about 4 days. After about 3 meals I was incredibly sick of sweet food. On the fifth day I was finally able to open my mouth wide enough to slip something more substantial in, and my mother cooked up a pot of heavenly chicken stew.

I've ranted about my mother's inability to cook in a couple of threads here, but she really got it right that day. Nothing I've eaten since has tasted nearly as good as that stew. I raved about how good it was and I know I ate at least two bowls.

It was one of the best things she ever cooked, but for some reason she's never cooked it again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you had one mouthful of some dish which you could never forget, what would that taste be?

A childhood food which you can recall perfectly and conjure up as totally sublime ...

My favourite taste would be my grandmother's perogies. The dough was incredibly tender (unlike most perogy doughs), and the potato inside was nice and soft, mixed with cottage cheese. Best potato preparation ever. Was also lucky that we got to eat the best produce ever while on my grandparents' farm. Even vegetables from the farmers' market don't quite have the same taste. Unfortunately, we only got to visit my grandparents a couple times per year.

Anyhow, as a kid I grew up in a lower-class family (as far as income goes), so when I moved out at 18, I ended up living in a dirt poor housing complex - working in fine dining restaurants pays terribly, I could barely afford to feed myself. One night dinner was boiled spaghetti, with 'spice' (you know, the mass produced garbage spice) and hot sauce, washed down with terrible garbage beer. It tasted awful, but at the time it was the best thing ever, just because we were sooo hungry and it was food (if I didn't steal food from work then for sure I would have been starving). Wasn't exactly a high point in my life, also had some troubles with the law (ie. cops hassling us, threatening us but never being charged with anything), but I'm glad I went through it - I'm a much stronger person for the troubles I've been through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have read through this thread, and decided that my “magic mouthfuls” were flavorings rather than specific dishes. Our food growing up was lovingly prepared and healthy, but tended to be somewhat under-spiced (in the sense that the Marianas Trench is somewhat underwater). As a teen, I had a series of taste revelations. I can’t remember the sequence, so I’ll declare a three-way tie for first place.

Garlic: Mom disliked the smell of raw garlic, so she never cooked with it. For some reason, one day I sautéed garlic in butter. Oh, my. To this day I consider garlic one of the basic food groups. Mom quickly warmed up to the aroma of cooking garlic.

Black pepper: I used to liberally coat nearly all foods with stale, pre-ground black pepper. I also dumped the stuff into soups until they were gritty. A frequently-heard comment during school lunch was “You gonna have some meat loaf with that pepper?” Discovering freshly-ground black pepper was a true paradigm shift, equivalent to the world changing from black and white to glorious Technicolor in the Wizard of Oz (apologies if this analogy has been used before).

Chilies: A can of green chilies once found its way into Mom’s kitchen cabinets (probably by mistake). It sat there for years. One day, I was making a frozen pizza and decided to add the chilies. Cue the violins and hallelujah chorus. Chilies provided the taste sensation that I had been seeking (but never finding) through black pepper. This gave me an appreciation for how cooks in India, Thailand, China, etc. must have reacted when chilies first arrived from the Americas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had lots of really good food, but two distinct bites stand out for me.

1. One Halloween night - I would have had to have been somewhere between 6 and 8, based on where we lived at the time - my mother made chicken dumpling soup. I still remember how wonderful that first bite was. (And I was glad to have warm soup in my belly - it was quite cold out that year.)

2. After having been vegetarian for quite some time, I "broke" for my mother's homemade chicken noodle soup (made with egg noodles). Amazing.

Most of my other food experiences have not been so much about the bite, but the dish. These two... the first bite made a wonderful impression.


Misa

Sweet Misa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...