Sunday, November 30, 2008

Status Update: 159/368 - 43% tasted

So, I'm about a third of the way into my evaluation of the 1001 ingredients and I have only tried 43% of them. I am quite shocked. As an adventurous eater and a self proclaimed armature foodie since I was a child it is a bit odd. I can't imagine what Meat and Potato eaters would be scoring.

I grew up in a family where food was and is key to our social and family life. We were never expected to eat everything on our plate, but we were expected to try everything. My mother is an excellent cook, one of the best anyone's standards, and is very adventuresome in her cooking. She's apparently on a Moroccan kick right now after my father bought her the Le Creuset Tangier for her birthday. Not only that I am a fan of all sorts of foods - sushi, Ethiopian, Thai, Chinese, you name it, I'll try it.

Anyway, I am wondering if part of the challenge of the list is that it is so restrictive in its ingredients. Under dairy for example, I adore "Clotted Cream" yet have I had "Cornish Clotted Cream"??? I don't think so, so I have not indicated it as a yes. I am sure that I have had "Devon Clotted Cream". I like the challenge of trying to find the Cornish variety though.

All in all I am happy to be failing the list so far. Means more culinary adventures!!!

Section 3: Dairy: Items 263 - 366

Please note that I have linked as many of the 1001 to links on the web, such as wikipedia (those that have links are underlined). I have also indicated in italics and bold, the ones that I have tried. I anticipate over the course of the year, writing about each ingredient, but for the purpose of these lists, I felt that a general list was probably the best. If you have any links that I can add, let me know. I'd love to.

Section 3: Dairy
  1. Cornish Clotted Cream

  2. Creme Fraiche d'Isigny

  3. Smetana

  4. Cottage Cheese

  5. Labneh

  6. Sheep's Milk Yogurt

  7. Skyr

  8. Cuajada

  9. Beurre d'Echire

  10. Goat's Butter

  11. Vologda Butter

  12. Cadi Butter

  13. Obatzda

  14. Mascarpone

  15. Ricotta Romana

  16. Brocciu

  17. Mozzarella di Bufala Campana

  18. Crowdie

  19. Brillat-Savarin

  20. Sakura Cheese

  21. Epoisse

  22. Vacherin

  23. Langres

  24. Limburger

  25. Herve

  26. Camembert Fermier

  27. Brie de Meaux

  28. Harzer Roller

  29. Crottin de Chavignol

  30. Rocamadour

  31. Picodon

  32. Cabichou

  33. Triler Grakase

  34. Stinking Bishop

  35. Torta del Casar

  36. Serra de Estrela

  37. Reblochon

  38. Munster

  39. Postel

  40. Azeitao

  41. Maroilles

  42. Taleggio

  43. Tilsiter

  44. Feta

  45. Ardrahan

  46. Tomme de Savoie

  47. Olomouchke Tvaruzky

  48. Hoch Ybrig

  49. Selles-sur-Cher

  50. Fleur de Maquis

  51. Afuega'l Pitu

  52. Casu Marzu

  53. Yarg

  54. Caerphilly

  55. Schabziger

  56. Gjetost

  57. Tete de Moine

  58. Halloumi

  59. Raclette du Valais

  60. Appenzeller

  61. Emmentaler

  62. Gruyer

  63. Mimolette Vieille

  64. Aged Gouda

  65. Cheshire

  66. Cheddar

  67. Idiazabal

  68. Ossau-Iraty

  69. Paski Sir

  70. Sao Jorge

  71. Boulette d'Avesnes

  72. Tartous Shanklish

  73. Churpi

  74. Moose Cheese

  75. Arzua-Ulloa

  76. Ubriaco

  77. Dry Jack

  78. Provolone Valpadana

  79. Karak Jameed

  80. Xynotyro

  81. Fiore Sardo

  82. Parmigiano-Reggiano

  83. Manchego

  84. Pecorino Romano

  85. Pecorino di Fossa

  86. Leidsekaas

  87. Roquefort

  88. Bleu d'Auvergne

  89. Stilton

  90. Smokey Blue

  91. Cashel Blue

  92. Gorgonzola

  93. Cabrales

  94. Fynsk Rygeost

  95. Leipajuusto

  96. Oscypek

  97. Parenica

  98. Quail Egg

  99. Gull Egg

  100. Pheasant Egg

  101. Goose Egg

  102. Burford Brown Egg

  103. Pei Dan

38/103 Dairy Tasted

I'm surprised that I am so low on this section but, this is the one section where I am most excited to start tasting. In the last year a plethora of excellent cheese shops have opened in and around Toronto with them importing some really neat cheeses. I can't wait to start talking to some of the cheese mongers and asking them to help me get some of the harder cheeses on the list. It is also going to be the easiest section to involve friends in. So fun to buy 3-4 cheeses and invite some friends around on a Friday night with some wine for a tasting. I can't wait.

I also have found one of my items to taste by accident - Beurre d'Echire. I came across it at Pusateri's on Friday when I stopped in for some fresh squeezed orange juice. Good to know that they have it!

I am not at all surprised to see my lack of tasting in the egg department. I am not such a huge fan of eggs. I am surprised to see that there aren't more varieties of eggs on the list. I can tell you that I am least looking forward to tasting Pei Dan. Even the thought of preserved Chinese eggs repulse me. I can't imagine tasting them.

Happy Tasting

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Missing things from the list

The one thing that I forgot to think about which I think is a really valuable question with all these lists is: Is there anything missing from the list? What would I add? In the vegetable department, I'm shocked to not see a happy head of broccoli (my fave veggie) or a really good heirloom tomato or what about the lovely fingerling potato??? All of these would be at the top of my list. I think that the challenge with the list of ingredients is that they are really varied and focused in the east. I think that I will keep a list on the side of this blog with suggestions of things that I get in the comments or elsewhere of missing items.

I have yet to look at where the book was published and I am not going to look until I have completed transcribing the lists. I want to guess. Currently I think the publisher and list creators are British. There is too much Indian and Eastern Asian food for them to be North American. I'm sure that a Macintosh Apple would have made the fruit list if they had lived anywhere near where you could eat one right off the tree........

Section 2: Vegetables: Items 113 - 263

Please note that I have linked as many of the 1001 to links on the web, such as wikipedia (those that have links are underlined). I have also indicated in italics and bold, the ones that I have tried. I anticipate over the course of the year, writing about each ingredient, but for the purpose of these lists, I felt that a general list was probably the best.

Section 2: Vegetables
  1. Nasturtium
  2. Zucchini Blossom
  3. Palm Heart
  4. Cardoon
  5. Pacaya
  6. Flor de Izote
  7. Banana Flower
  8. Roman Artichoke
  9. Lumignano Pea
  10. Snow Pea
  11. French Pea
  12. Green Flageolet
  13. Edamame
  14. Broad Bean
  15. Petai Bean
  16. Horseradish Pod
  17. Silver Queen Corn
  18. Ackee
  19. Tomatillo
  20. Green Tomato
  21. Cherry Tomato
  22. San Marzano Tomato
  23. Water Chestnut
  24. Asian Eggplant
  25. Eggplant
  26. Hass Avocado
  27. Plantain
  28. Okra
  29. Cucumber
  30. Bitter Melon
  31. Silk Squash
  32. Butternut Squash
  33. Spaghetti Squash
  34. Pumpkin
  35. Winter Melon
  36. Amaranth
  37. Microgreen
  38. Wild Arugula
  39. Corn Salad/Mache
  40. Watercress
  41. Pea Shoot
  42. Purslane
  43. Sorrel
  44. Romaine Lettuce
  45. Frisee
  46. Tudela Lettuce Heart
  47. Belgian endive
  48. Arrowhead Spinach
  49. Swiss Chard
  50. Shungiku
  51. Uzouza Leaf
  52. Bok Choy
  53. Celtuce
  54. Melokhia
  55. Turnip Green
  56. Rock Samphire
  57. Marsh Samphire
  58. Dandelion
  59. Nettle
  60. Wild Garlic Leaf
  61. Fiddlehead
  62. Beansprout
  63. Wild Rice Stem
  64. Hop Shoot
  65. Bamboo Shoot
  66. Vaucluse Green Asparagus
  67. Bassano White Asparagus
  68. Angelica
  69. Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  70. Brussels Sprout
  71. Kohlrabi
  72. Red Cabbage
  73. Braganza Cabbage
  74. Elephant Garlic
  75. Jersey Shallot
  76. Rose de Roscoff Onion
  77. Maui Onion
  78. Scallion
  79. Calcot
  80. Ramp
  81. Bleu de Solaise Leek
  82. Celery Heart
  83. Florence Fennel
  84. Beauty Heart Radish
  85. Chioggia Beet
  86. Turnip
  87. Jicama
  88. Celeriac
  89. Arracacha
  90. Chantenay Carrot
  91. Parsnip
  92. Hamburg Parsnip
  93. Mooli/Daikon
  94. Salsify
  95. Golden Needle
  96. Bellflower Root
  97. Lotus Root
  98. Gobo
  99. Sweet Potato
  100. Jerusalem Artichoke
  101. Crosnes
  102. Japanese Yam
  103. Taro
  104. Jersey Royal Potato
  105. Ratte Potato
  106. Pink Fir Potato
  107. Peruvian Purple Potato
  108. Black Perigord Truffle
  109. White Alba Truffle
  110. Huitlacoche
  111. Iwatake
  112. Enokitake
  113. Matsutake
  114. Maitake
  115. Oyster Mushroom
  116. Oronge Mushroom
  117. Saffron Milk Cap
  118. Chanterelle
  119. Cep
  120. Shiitake
  121. Morel
  122. Kalamata Olive
  123. Nyons Olive
  124. Bella di Cerignola Olive
  125. Moroccan-style Olive
  126. Frozen Pea
  127. Pickled Silverskin Onion
  128. Lampascioni Onion
  129. Pantelleria Caper
  130. Caper Berry
  131. Pickled Gherkin
  132. Cornichon
  133. Sun-Dried Tomato
  134. Navarra Piquillo Pepper
  135. Piquante Pepper
  136. Chuno
  137. Ja Choy
  138. Mui Choy
  139. Wakame
  140. Hijiki
  141. Nori
  142. Sauerkraut
  143. Natto
  144. Silken Bean Curd
  145. Stinky Tofu
  146. Goma Dofu
  147. Yuba
  148. Iru
  149. Tempeh Murni
  150. Saikyo Miso
  151. Hatcho Miso

83/151 Veggies Tasted

I am really surprised at how many of the vegetables I have eaten. I am intrigued to see Tofu and Miso on the list. I guess that they are derivatives of the lovely soy bean, but I never really assosciate them with the lovely veggies. On the not so excited to try list, please add Stinky Tofu and Huitlacoche (which includes the Aztec word for dung).

Happy Tasting!

Section 1: Fruit: Items 1-113

Please note that I have linked as many of the 1001 to links on the web, such as wikipedia (those that have links are underlined). I have also indicated in italics and bold, the ones that I have tried. I anticipate over the course of the year, writing about each ingredient, but for the purpose of these lists, I felt that a general list was probably the best.

Section 1: Fruits
  1. Elderberry Flower

  2. Rose Petal

  3. Black Currant

  4. Mountain Hucklberry

  5. Cranberry

  6. Cloudberry

  7. Wild Raspberry

  8. Black Mulberry

  9. Boysenberry

  10. Marionberry

  11. Alpine Strawberry

  12. Mara des Bois Strawberry

  13. Casseille

  14. Gooseberry

  15. Miracle Berry

  16. Sea Buckthorn

  17. Acai

  18. Riberry

  19. Marula

  20. Mazhanje

  21. Barhi Date

  22. Mamoncillo

  23. Rainier Cherry

  24. Griotte

  25. Acerola

  26. Pitanga

  27. Davidson's Plum

  28. Jamun

  29. Illawarra Plum

  30. Cashew Apple

  31. Lucuma

  32. Red Mombin

  33. Ambarella

  34. Wampee

  35. Mirabelle

  36. Greengage

  37. Blenheim Apricot

  38. Nectarine

  39. Peche de Vigne

  40. Green Mango

  41. Alphonso Mango

  42. Salak

  43. Longan

  44. Lychee

  45. Rambutan

  46. Passion Fruit

  47. Pomegranate

  48. Mangosteen

  49. Pequi

  50. Feijoa

  51. Golden Kiwifruit

  52. Strawberry Guava

  53. Carambola

  54. Date Plum

  55. Loquat

  56. Cape Gooseberry

  57. Agbalumo

  58. Bael

  59. Cherimoya

  60. Cupuacu

  61. Duku

  62. Sapodilla

  63. Mamee

  64. Smyrna Fig

  65. Medlar

  66. Tamarillo

  67. Naranjilla

  68. Comice Pear

  69. Nahi Pear

  70. Cox's Orange Pippin

  71. Reine de Reinettes

  72. Quince

  73. Babaco

  74. Crabapple

  75. Ber

  76. Jabuticaba

  77. Kyoho Grape

  78. Muscat Grape

  79. Muscadine

  80. Honey Jack

  81. Durian

  82. Charentais Melon

  83. Shizuoka Melon

  84. Cassabanana

  85. Watermelon

  86. Lacatan Banana

  87. Red Banana

  88. Abacaxi Pineapple

  89. Azores Pineapple

  90. Kumquat

  91. Yuzu

  92. Clementine

  93. Sorrento Lemon

  94. Key Lime

  95. Finger Lime

  96. Calamansi

  97. Citron

  98. Jaffa Orange

  99. Blood Orange

  100. Pink Grapefruit

  101. Pomelo

  102. Champagne Rhubarb

  103. Sugarcane

  104. Moscatel Raisin

  105. Prune d'Agen

  106. Hachiya Persimmon

  107. Pala Manis

  108. Hunza Apricot

  109. Quandong

  110. Guarana

  111. Tamarind

  112. Honeyed Jujube

  113. Khalasah Date

38/114 is worse than I thought I would do on one of the easier sections of the book. Fruit seems like a relatively easy section to do well on. I was quite surprised at how specific the selection of ingredients was. For instance the Cantaloupe melon, #82 and #83 are listed as Charentais Melon and Shizuoka Melon. Have I eaten and enjoyed Cantaloupe Melon? Yes, it's one of my favourites, but I am just not sure if it is the Charentais Melon that I have enjoyed. I also have noticed that some of these I am really excited to try, especially the Honey Jack. Can't wait.

So how did you do? I know others that have published these types of lists on other blogs, they have had people copy and bold their own in the comments section. Whatever works. Even a count of how many you have tried would be interesting. Also, have you found links to any of the ones that I didn't find on wikipedia? I'd love to have them so I could link them in.

Thanks and happy tasting.

Friday, November 28, 2008

An evaluation of the Book

1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die is very smartly set out on so many levels. It is divided up into 9 sections:

  1. Fruit

  2. Vegetables

  3. Dairy

  4. Fish

  5. Meats

  6. Aromatics

  7. Grain

  8. Bakery

  9. Aromatics

I like the division of the sections and the way that it is all laid out. The photography is fabulous and the writing is fun, but I have to say that I am disappointed that the foods listed under the sections are not listed alphabetically. I know that it is a little thing, but it is an annoying thing. I am not sure how I am going to sort them well, but I would have preferred that they were alphabetical.

The best part is the Taste ideas at the bottom of each ingredient. I have thouroughly enjoyed reading the ones for the ingredients that I have no ideas what they are. It'll be neat to see how our tasting compares to the tastes outlined in the book.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

An Ode to the Challenge Bible

The Rules of the Game

As I have been reading the Book, or shall I say bible, my guide for the challenge, I am aware of the fact that their have to be some guidelines and rules around what constitutes "tasting". Do I have to actually have to have eaten the ingredient in the raw? Is it OK to have had something that is flavoured by the ingredient? This problem came to light with the very first ingredient in the book - Elderberry Flower. Does it count that I have had Elderberry Flower jam? I think that it does. I have taken an informal poll of some foodie friends and we agree that it would count.

So some informal guidelines for The 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die Challenge:
  1. The variety of food indicated in the book, must be the variety tasted. For example eating a kipper, although an endearing food adventure, would not qualify towards the 1001 unless it was the "Isle of Man Kipper" as indicated on page 404.
  2. Food flavoured by as the primary ingredient, or as the main source of an ingredient, will count towards the tasting of one of the 1001 if indicated in the description of the ingredient in the book. For example Elderberry Flower Jam would qualify, as it is mentioned in the description on page 22. I will however, endeavour to eat the 1001 in their truest and purest form.
  3. Foods on the 1001 list can be eaten anywhere in the world and extra points will be given for foods eaten in their place of origin.

I think that those three seem easy enough, don't you? I also have committed to try and do the following things:

  1. I will try and list sources and origins for the ingredients that I find in Toronto and elsewhere
  2. I will try and take as many pictures as possible of the adventures
  3. I will endeavour to try new recipes and post them when possible
  4. I promise to include family and friends in this crazy challenge

So here we are at the beginning of this little adventure. I wonder how it will all turn out.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The birth of a challenge

I have been searching out a personal challenge for 2009. The Challenge has to meet a few criteria:

1. It has to be something fun and lighthearted
2. It has to be something challenging
3. It has to be something that will help me to explore the city where I live and allow me to explore the places where I travel
4. It has to be something I can engage friends and family in, whether they now it or not
5. It has to be something that I can take lots of pictures of (as I have a secret love of photography!)

So where did my 5 objectives leave me??? Looking at my personal interests; volunteer work, art, reading, shopping, food..... aha food. As a relatively big foodie living in Toronto, I love to eat and share food and drink with friends and family. It is the basis for most social interaction and I enjoy that. I enjoy spoiling people by cooking for them and entertaining. There is nothing like enjoying a good meal, great wine and fantastic conversation with new and old friends.

It wasn't a week before I was in my local super Bookstore, Chapters, and I came across the book 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die. Can you imagine a book with 1001 different foods that are recommended for everyone to taste. How many had I tried? How many had I liked? Were they exotic enough to be interesting and challenging to be a good challenge?

The first page that I opened the book to listed the Corryvreckan Langoustine and the Audresselles Lobster. Intrigued to see two very specific types of fish, a picture of each, a description and most intriguingly a two-three sentence description on the "Taste" of the item that has been described. I think that I am in love. I also really loved the fact that I didn't know if I had eaten either of them and that it would be a real search to find them in the Toronto.

I think that this book might be the source and birth of my challenge. I could commit to tasting all of the items in the book that I hadn't tried. I could engage family and friends in the search. If I was looking for Portuguese cheese, I could call my friend RC and ask her to help me source it. I could also see having a bi-weekly or monthly gathering of friends or family to join me in a "tasting" to try the newest things on the list. It would also let me use many of the cookbooks that I have and collect and really expand my cooking repertoire.

I've now been thinking about it for two weeks and I am committed to doing it. The book has been on my coffee table for the two weeks and I have chatting to many foodie friends about their willingness to help. Everyone I talk to loves the idea and wants to be engaged and a part of it. I am so excited to get started. I can't wait. I guess that this post is the first step. Wish me luck!