Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Final Status Review of the 1001 - 464/1001 - 46%

Well the pathetic-ness of the situation has hit me like a ton of bricks. Not even 50% of things tasted. I have to say that I am shocked. I thought that it would be different. I thought that I would have been further ahead. It does leave so much opportunity for tasting and fun with family and friends which I am most excited about. I can't wait. It has also been really neat to have people get excited with me. I think that I will now give some thought to how I begin to move this forward in the new year. I am not sure exactly, but feel that over the course of the holidays, I may gain some clarity.

New Fabulous Member of the 1001 Team

I was so overwhelmed to get an e-mail forwarded to me by my little sister from a co-worker of hers, TK, who is on board to help me with a bunch of things that I haven't tried. The lovely new team member is East Indian and has offered to help on so many fronts.

In the e-mail that she sent me, TK is able to get the following easily:

Section 6: Aromatics

10. Fenugreek
21. Curry Leaf
41. Galangal
51. Amchur (green mango powder)
52. Black Lime powder
59. Telicherry Pepper (its my grandmother's town and that's where the pepper is grown, i have some off the climber)
63. Ajwain
77. Asafoetida
87. Panch Phoran

TK, can advice where these are available:

6. Holy Basil (Tulsi, Indian Stores)
29. Pandan Leaf (in Sri Lankan stores)
70. Anardana (dried pomegranate seeds or powder from Indian stores)

Under Section 9 Confections, TK has offered to help on the following ones:

Section 9: Confections

65. Jaggery

Indian Sweets

17. Rasgulla (milk balls, soaked in a sugar syrup)
24. Kaju Katli (made w/ cashew nuts, kinda like marzipan)
26. Pista barfi (made w/ pistachios)

So so so exciting. When I get back from the Christmas holidays, I will contact her and chat with her about all of the above. I assume that I will need some help in how I am going to use some of these ingredients. I brought up the fact that I hadn't tried some of them with friends the other night and I got a huge harassing for not having at least tried the Rasgulla. I am super excited to try them.

Thanks TK!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Le Tour du Chocolat

photo care of the - Rows of chocolate pastries and confections at Jean-Pierre Hevin.

What could be better than spending your time on a velo (bicycle for those of you that are unfamiliar with the term!) exploring the best Chocolatiers in Paris. I am salivating after reading the lovely article in the New York Times Travel section called "Le Tour Du Chocolat". The author visits 8 chocolatiers, many of which I have never heard of, but of course some of which I have, including the master, Jean-Pierre Hevin

The article makes you want to visit Paris immediately, rent a velo and take your life into your own hands cycling around the chocolate shops of Paris. Could anything be more decadent???

Chowhound Vent

I like Chowhound. I use it a lot for restaurant recommendations, to see what other Torontonians are up to, to see what questions people have. It is really interesting and I quite enjoy it. I also enjoy the fact that it is a real resource for the "foodie" community in North America and I sense around the world. The motto on their opening page of the webiste reads:

Welcome to the Chowhound community and its voracious devotion to hyperdeliciousness! Food-lovers worldwide gather here to swap expert tips about restaurants, foods, stores, and bars, as well as cooking, wine, beer, cookware, and more. To get started, browse or search for topics of interest. To post, you'll need to sign up (it's free!) and create a simple profile. Dig in ... and be prepared to get very, very hungry!

Anyway, on to the vent. I posted about this little challenge the following post on Friday:

Subject: 1001 Foods to Taste Before You Die

Ive started a little project that I thought I might need some help with over the last little while from my fellow Chow Hound readers and contributors. I have decided to try and taste all of the things mentioned in the book "1001 Foods to Taste Before You Die" and to Blog about the experience with the help of family and friends. I know that over the next little while I am going to need help in finding some of the ingredients in Toronto. Anyway you can check out the start of the project at the link below and I am sure that I will be hear asking for your help in discovering where I can get the weirder things on the list. i look forward to any thoughts or ideas that you have on my little project.
Happy tasting!

You can track your posts online and see what people think and comment on. I went t0 look yesterday for the post to see if anyone had read it and I couldn't find it. This morning I found this in my inbox from your friends at Chowhoud:

Hi steph, you've been sent the following by a Chowhound moderator:

Sorry, but we've removed your post (below). Chowhound's mission is to be a trove of opinions and information, rather than a nexus of outbound links to opinions and information. We understand that there's a fine line between sincerely asking hounds to give input on info which happens to be elsewhere and plotting to steer our large audience elsewhere for promotion/ self-promotion. The problem is that we have far too many users and far too little time to draw this distinction. We need to stave off the considerable desire to use our loud microphone for promotion. You can see more on our guidelines for bloggers and other journalists, including the appropriate ways to include your blog URL on Chowhound, in our Etiquette: If you have specific questions to pose to Chowhound posters, you're welcome to post them, but please refrain from non specific announcements about your blog. Thanks!

--The Chowhound
For Those Who Live to Eat

I have to say that I was kind of shocked. I'm not sure if I had a right to be, but there you go I was. I felt that I would be asking for help and I think that this will be something that some of their readers will be interested in. So there you go. Banned from Chowhound. Little do they know that this is still going to be my outlet to sourcing many of the things that I need to taste!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bon Appetit's Favourite Food Blog Slideshow

Bon Appetit has put together a list of their favourite food blogs in the form of a slide show that can be found here. What is really neat about the list of 24 blogs is that they highlight a variety of different cooks and chefs from around the world. Other than the fact that I already know and read many of them, I am totally overwhelmed by the thought of their importance to many of the Bon Appetit's staff. Here are some of the top food magazine writers, recipe developers, cooks and editors in North America, who are reading and exploring food through 24 different and interesting writers. I am quite looking forward to revisiting the list and having a look at the 24 more thoroughly as I think that it might be time to expand my reading list a bit!

Section 9: Confections: Items 927 - 1001

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 9: Confections

  1. Crystallized Ginger
  2. Candied Citrus Peel
  3. Ameixas d'Elavas
  4. Titaura
  5. Licorice Drop
  6. Maple Candy
  7. Doncaster Butterscotch
  8. Buttermint
  9. Vichy Mint
  10. Lowzina
  11. Peppermint Rock
  12. Qum Sohan
  13. Turron de Jijona
  14. Montelimar Nougat
  15. Habshi Halwa
  16. Pista Burfi
  17. Cornish Fudge
  18. Soft Caramel
  19. Salt caramel
  20. Dried Fruit in Chocolate
  21. Truffle
  22. Creole Praline
  23. Green Walut Gliko
  24. Black Butter
  25. Amardine
  26. Seville Orange Marmalade
  27. Rowan Jelly
  28. Fig Jam
  29. Sour Cherry Jam
  30. Damson Jam
  31. Plum Slatko
  32. Wild Beach Plum Preserve
  33. Beech Honeydew
  34. Heather Honey
  35. Hymettus Honey
  36. Sidr Honey
  37. Blackstrap Molasses
  38. Lemon Sorbet
  39. Kashta
  40. Salep Ice cream

Confections: 49/73 Tasted - 67%

Yippee!! Over 50%. Feels so ridiculous that I am excited about this, but there you go. Also kind of interesting that the ones that I haven't tried are all primarily from India or the Middle East and are all quite bizarre. I think that I foresee a trip to the local Indian supermarket in my future!

I also just jotted down the honey's on the list as I have just run out and what a better excuse to try one of the new ingredients than an actual need? I think that I'll hit Whole Foods, as they tend to have a ton of honey's and jams. I'll let you know how it goes.

Happy Tasting!


As I get to the last section of the book, I am struggling with what I am going to do after I evaluate it here on this little blog. What are the next steps? Where do I go from here? I am not sure. I am excited about this endeavour, but I am also feeling overwhelmed. I feel overwhelmed by the sense of expectation of this challenge. What have I undertaken? Am I really going to be able to take this on and have fun with it?

I feel as if I should write about some of the more exciting ingredients on the list that I have already tried as a start. I think that that might be the easiest. I then am not sure where I go. Do I move to a model of having a set night a month, where I invite some of my "1001 groupies" over for food and wine and we try some these things? I am seeing this being a bit of a mash of different things over the course of the challenge, but I think that I need some focus around it. I have already had some people indicate that they are excited to help with some of the more exciting ingredients and cooking and I know that I can always get people together for a plate of cheese and a couple of bottles of wine, so I think it will work out.

I guess it is not letting the challenge die or fizzle out that makes me worried also. I'm not sure how I am going to do that. Potentially writing once a week or more. Maybe it is trying to cross some ting off the list at a regular interval. I think that somehow photography will play into this in a way and my ongoing excitement for it. The other and most important key will be "team 1001". "Team 1001" is a group of friends and family who are all foodies who have shown an interest in being involved in this in one way or another. I think that their enthusiasm and willingness to be engaged and excited will also help how this thing evolves and grow.

Anyway, those are just some thoughts for now that I wanted to get down. Any thoughts that you had to share on moving forward would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Section 8: Bakery: Items 829 - 926

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 8: Bakery

  1. Cornish Pasty
  2. Samosa
  3. EmpanadaTamale
  4. Kulebiaka
  5. Melton Mowbray Pork Pie
  6. Injera
  7. Tortilla
  8. Pane Carasau
  9. Barbari
  10. Nan
  11. San Fransisco Sourdough
  12. Pain au Levain Naturel
  13. Pane di Altamura
  14. Soda Bread
  15. Challah
  16. Butterzopf
  17. Ciabatta
  18. Focaccia
  19. Hardough
  20. Limpa Bread
  21. Pumpernickel
  22. Roggencollkornbrot
  23. Rugbraud
  24. Pane Siciliano
  25. Kavring
  26. Bammy
  27. Bagel
  28. Bialy
  29. Crumpet
  30. English Muffin
  31. Croissant
  32. Brioche
  33. Pan de Coco
  34. Malt Loaf
  35. Kugelhopf
  36. Bara Brith
  37. Paasiaisleipa
  38. Lussekatter
  39. Birnbrot
  40. Stollen
  41. Panettone
  42. Blini
  43. Scots Pancake
  44. Hopper
  45. Arepa de Choclo
  46. Bath Oliver
  47. Oatcake
  48. Knackebrod
  49. Matzo
  50. Nurnberger Elisenlebkuchen
  51. Basler Leckerli
  52. Amaretto di Saronno
  53. Brandy Snap
  54. Appenzeller Biber
  55. Florentine
  56. Shortbread
  57. Chocolate Chip Cookie
  58. Liege Waffle
  59. Madeleine de Commercy
  60. Scone
  61. Brownie
  62. Berliner Doughnut
  63. Mooncake
  64. Baba
  65. Honey Cake
  66. Maid of Honor
  67. Tarte Tartin
  68. Devil Food Cake
  69. Dobos Torte
  70. Sacher Torte
  71. Baumkuchen
  72. Black Forest Cake
  73. British Fruitcake
  74. Madeira Cake
  75. Potato Apple Cake
  76. Cheesecake
  77. Paska
  78. Pavlova
  79. Linzer Torte
  80. Torta di Castagne
  81. Torta Caprese di Mandorle
  82. Treacle Tart
  83. Tarte aux Fraises
  84. Apple Strudel
  85. Belgian Frangipane Pastry
  86. Eclair
  87. Danish Pastry
  88. Mince Pie
  89. Pasteis de Nata
  90. Gerbet Macaroon
  91. Millefeuille
  92. Gullac
  93. Gaziantep baklava
  94. Sbrisolona
  95. Vatrushka
  96. Struffoli di Napoli
  97. Mochi

Bakery: 71/97

Not that I am being a bitch about the list, but where on earth is the "petit pain au chocolat" on this list??? They have a friggin' chocolate chip cookie, but no "petit pain au chocolat" or "biscotti". This bakery list, although thourough, is totally incomplete. I am going to have to see what else they are missing, but there are already two key things. On a better note, they have included the master pastry chef Pierre Herme and his fabulous Gerbet Macaroon. Two thumbs up to that.

I am also quite interested to see that many of these are European Christmas specialties. As I am heading to France for the holidays and will be spending quite a bit of time in Germany and Switzerland, I am so excited to revisit tasting many of them. Some key ones that I noticed were:

  • Lussekatter
  • Birnbrot (which I haven't tried :-))
  • Stollen
  • Panettone ( a good one is one of my favourites!)
  • Nurnberger Elisenlebkuchen
  • Basler Leckerli (mmmmmmm)
  • Amaretto di Saronno
  • Brandy Snap ( a personal family favourite that has been a part of every Christmas dinner since I was a baby. Very British. You fill them with whipped cream and they are so yummy!!!)
  • Baumkuchen
  • British Fruitcake

So many treats at the holidays. I am very excited. God help my waist line.......

Happy tasting. Steph

Status Update: 344/835 - 41% tasted

Well here we are, 80% through the book and I have barely tasted 40% of the items. I am amazed. I believe it all comes down to the specific nature of the items and how careful I am being on checking them off. Maybe I need a third category called "tasted similar to" item. I don't know, but it would help my percentage.

I am also getting really excited about sourcing some of the items on the list. I can't wait. Such a varied and interesting array of things. It should be fun.

Section 7: Grains: Items 785 - 829

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 7: Grains

  1. Wattleseeds
  2. Baobab Seed
  3. Iranian Pistachio
  4. Wild Green Hazelnut
  5. Grenoble Walnut
  6. King Coconut
  7. Puy Lentil
  8. Tolosa Bean
  9. Garbanzos Pedrosillano
  10. Fasolia Gigandes
  11. Carnaroli Rice
  12. Calasparra Bomba Rice
  13. Purple Rice
  14. Fregola Pasta
  15. Tajarin
  16. Durum Wheat Spaghetti
  17. Tortelli di Zucca
  18. Kisoba Noodle
  19. Sanuki Udon Noodle
  20. Laksa Noodle

Grains: 32/44

YEAH!!! Finally over 50% of items tested in a section. Shocking but true in the section of grains. Grains which is a misleading title for this section as many of the items are more what I would classify as carbs - pasta, nuts, lentils.

The one thing that I am dieing to get my hands on is the Coco-de-Mer. The Taste description lists it as:

"The milky jelly inside can be scooped out and eaten as a soft pudding, similar to Turkish Delight. The flesh has a hint of mint and some consider it a powerful aphrodisiac."

So intriguing. I just don't know where to find it. I fear that it might be banned in North America.

I'll have to start looking for it.

Happy Tasting.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Section 6: Aromatics: Items 622 - 785

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 6: Aromatics

  1. Cilantro Leaf
  2. Chevril
  3. Rosemary
  4. Dill
  5. Morroccan Mint
  6. Holy Basil
  7. French Tarragon
  8. Lemon Thyme
  9. Nepitella
  10. Fenugreek
  11. Culantro
  12. Liguraian Basil
  13. Chive
  14. Kinome
  15. Mitsuba
  16. Shiso Lef
  17. Kaffir Lime Leaf
  18. Louvage
  19. Neapolitan Parsley
  20. Rau Ram
  21. Curry Leaf
  22. Boldo Leaf
  23. Smyrna Bay Leaf
  24. Rue
  25. Salam Leaf
  26. savory
  27. Epazote
  28. Lemongrass
  29. Pandan Leaf
  30. Sweet Marjoram
  31. Greek Oregano
  32. Dalmatian Sage
  33. Lemon Myrtle
  34. File
  35. Herbes de Provence
  36. Bird's Nest
  37. Horseradish
  38. Wasabi
  39. Young Ginger
  40. Myoba
  41. Galangal
  42. Turmeric Root
  43. Gilroy Garlic
  44. Borage
  45. Lavender
  46. Bolivian Rainbow Chile
  47. New Mexico Chile
  48. Habanero Chile
  49. Chipotle Chile
  50. Barberry
  51. Amchur
  52. Black Lime
  53. Bush Tomato
  54. Febbel Seed
  55. Fennel Pollen
  56. Hungarian Paprika
  57. Pimenton de La Vera
  58. Fresh Green Peppercorns
  59. Tellicherry Peppercorn
  60. Pink Peppercorn
  61. Szechuan Peppercorn
  62. Sumac
  63. Ajowan
  64. Aleppo Pepper
  65. Caraway
  66. Allspice
  67. Coriander Seed
  68. Guatemalan Cardamom
  69. Cinnamon
  70. Anardana
  71. Juniper
  72. Saffron
  73. Vanilla Bean
  74. Star Anise
  75. Annatto Seed
  76. Mahlab
  77. Asafoetida
  78. Black Cumin
  79. Grains of Paradise
  80. Blade Mace
  81. Cubeb Pepper
  82. Clove
  83. Fleur de Sel de Guerande
  84. Maldon Salt
  85. Smoke Sea Salt
  86. Kala Namak
  87. Panch Phoron
  88. Curry Powder
  89. Chinese Five Spice
  90. Garam Masala
  91. Berbere
  92. Ras-el-Hanout
  93. Shichimi Togarashi
  94. Harissa
  95. Hazelnut Oil
  96. Walnut Oil
  97. Italian Extra Virgin Olive OIl
  98. Spanish Estate Olive Oil
  99. Greek Monastery Olive Oil
  100. Argan Oil
  101. Hemp Oil
  102. Mustard Oil
  103. Avocado Oil
  104. Single Estate Grapeseed Oil
  105. Pumpkin Seed Oil
  106. Cold Pressed Canola Oil
  107. Sesame Oil
  108. Goose Fat
  109. Red Palm OIl
  110. Varietal Red Wine Vinegar
  111. Corinthian Vinegar
  112. Sherry Vinegar
  113. Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale
  114. Tarragon Vinegar
  115. Apple Cider Vinegar
  116. Verjuice
  117. Raspberry Vinegar
  118. Shanxi Extra Aged Vinegar
  119. Mochi Gome Su
  120. Moutarde de Dijon
  121. Moutarde De Meaux
  122. Bavarian Sweet Mustard
  123. Mostarda di Frutta
  124. Kimchi
  125. Cwikla
  126. Piccalilli
  127. Mango Chutney
  128. Gari
  129. Preserved Lemon
  130. Katsuobushi
  131. Shiokara
  132. Doubanjiana
  133. Coconut Milk
  134. Cassareep
  135. Umeboshi
  136. Mayonaisse
  137. Aioli
  138. Tartare Sauce
  139. Banana Ketchup
  140. Mole
  141. Hummus
  142. Tahini
  143. Genoese Pesto
  144. Pate di Carciofi
  145. Tapenade
  146. Ajvar
  147. Baba Ghanoush
  148. Muhammara
  149. Bumbu Kacang
  150. yeast Extract
  151. Yello Bean Sauce
  152. Hoisin Sauce
  153. Oyster Sauce
  154. XO Sauce
  155. Terasi
  156. Sheto
  157. Tamari Shoyu
  158. Shiro Shoyu
  159. Kecap
  160. Nuoc Mam
  161. Chimichurri
  162. Tabasco Sauce
  163. Worcestershire sauce

Aromatics: 79/163

What a crazy list of random things. I haven't heard of a third of them and I haven't tried half of them. There is nothing that I can think of to add to the list. I am intrigued to see how different some fo the names are for somethings that I eat regularly that are listed differently.

Only three more sections to go through: Grains, Bakery and Confections. I think that the last two will be quite interesting and also where I will discover the least amount of new ingredients. We will see I guess.

Happy Tasting.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Section 5: Meat: Items 494 - 622

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 5: Meat

  1. Akita Hinai-jidori Chicken
  2. Volaille de Bresse
  3. Challans Duck
  4. Kelly Bronze Turkey
  5. Gadwell
  6. Paca
  7. Rex du Pioitou
  8. Tuscan Wild Boar
  9. Gloucester Old Spot Pork
  10. Aveyron Lamb
  11. Gower Salt Marsh Lamb
  12. Vilsau Mutton
  13. Isard
  14. Piedmont Veal
  15. Bee Larve
  16. Giant Water Beetle
  17. Lamb's Kidney
  18. Bull's Testicle
  19. Lamb's Brain
  20. Calf's Liver
  21. Ox Cheek
  22. Pig's Feet
  23. Bone Marrow
  24. Sheep's Head
  25. Hungarian Goose Liver
  26. Qalaya
  27. Pate de Campagne
  28. Chorizo Iberico de Bellota
  29. Chorizo Riojano
  30. Salchichon de Vic
  31. Felino Salami
  32. Chinese Sausage
  33. Saucisson d'Arles
  34. Soppressa del Pasubio
  35. Soppressata di Calabria
  36. Finocchionia Salami
  37. Salami di Cinghiale
  38. Thuringer Leberwurst
  39. Alheiras de Mirandela
  40. Jesus de Morteau
  41. Andouille de Vire
  42. Zampone di Modena
  43. St Gallen Bratwurst
  44. Figatellu
  45. Morcilla de Burgos
  46. Oak-Smoked Back Bacon
  47. Yunnan ham
  48. Bradenham Ham
  49. Culatello di Zibello
  50. Coppa Piacentina
  51. Jamon Iberico de Bellota
  52. Lomo Iberico de Bellota
  53. Spalla Cotta di San Secondo
  54. Lountza
  55. Wedzonka Krotoszunska
  56. Lardo di Colonnata
  57. Westphalian Ham
  58. Bresaola dell'Ossola
  59. Bundnerfleisch
  60. Mocetta
  61. Smoked Ox Tongue
  62. Zebra Biltong
  63. Llama Charqui
  64. Sovas

Meat: 31/128

Random, sketchy meat abound on the meat front, and I fear that I have not done myself justice by being so strict on the rules. For example, on the over 15 types of salami or cured sausages, I just cannot indicate that I have eaten any of them as I am not sure that I have eaten that variety.

Just like the dairy section, I am looking forward to going and meeting some of the butchers at the local markets around Toronto and some of the organic farmers and forming relationships to get advice on some of the harder and more obsqure things. We are so fortunated to have some of the best in the country doing some really interesting things close to us and already I thoroughly enjoy going to Cambrae's and the Healthy Butcher. There are also some really good individuals selling game, wild birds and all variety of sausages and cold cuts at the St. Lawrence Market.

The other thing that my friend LR has made me realize is going to be very exciting about this whole endeavour is going to be the new recipie side of things. How are you going to cook a Woodcock to make it taste lovely? What exactly do you serve Woodcock with other than good friends and a great Red? This is getting more and more exciting.

I was surprised to not see elk and boar on the list. Two game staples that I just assumed would make an appearance.