Friday, August 25, 2006

things to eat before you die

The Traveler's Lunchbox came up with this brilliant idea. There are lists of things to see before you die, things to do before you die...why not a list of things to eat before you die? Please leave me some comments on what foods you think should be eaten in this lifetime. I would love to hear your list!

Here's mine.

Five Things to Eat Before You Die:

1. 'Squeaky' Wisconsin Cheese Curds from a little rural cheese shop or the Madison farmer's market

I grew up in Wisconsin. I grew up eating cheese curds. They remind me of summer and camping and sitting on the beach and going on picnics and roadtrips. The louder they sqeak against your teeth, the better. They are wonderful. The farmer's market in Madison smells like sunflowers and basil. There are a handful of cheesestands there, scattered around the capitol building and they always offer free samples. Take them up on it.

2. Fresh Figs

Until this last year, figs were...the brown stuff inside Fig Newtons. In Constanta, there was a little fig tree on the side of the street. I didn't eat the fruit, but I stepped on the pink sticky bits that fell onto the sidewalk and were flatteded into the concrete. I didn't give much thought to them then either. It wasn't until this January that I ate a fresh fig. I was in Mossel Bay, South Africa, visiting a friend of mine at 3 Colours Blue Guesthouse (a pretty wonderful place, owned by his very wonderful family). His mum and dad were crazy about figs, and snatched them up wherever they could. There were often freshly picked figs in the house- they taught me how to peel them and eat them and love them. I was so surprised at the taste. It's a bit like honey, but lighter, fresher, fruitier. And the texture...I've never tasted anything like a fresh fig before. They amaze me. I wouldn't want to die without trying one.

3. Gogosi

When I was in Romania, I spent a week in the town of Hunedoara. In Hunedoara, there was a little gogosi stand that my friend Simona used to work at. We stopped by to say hello to her old coworkers, and couldn't resist buying some. We didn't have a gogosi-less day the rest of the trip. A gogoshi is a Romanian doughnut. These particular ones were huge and flat- something like an elephant ear. They were taken hot out of the oil, smeared with a chocolate spread simular to Nutella, and folded in half. The chocolate got extra gooey on the hot pastry and often ended up all over my face. It was delicious.

4. Freshly picked berries swimming in vaniljesaus in Norway

Personally, currants are my favorite. There is something about a sunny summer day and bitter red currants and thick, sweet vanilje saus that makes my heart beat a little bit faster. But I can't limit it to only currants, because that would be unfair to Norway's other berries. The strawberries are more flavorful than any I've tasted, and Norwegain blueberries are an experience of their own. The mossy floor of the old pine forests are full of them. The berries are small and dark and so so lovely- and the forest is even more beautiful. I can't imagine that berries in vaniljesaus would be quite as good anyplace else. Something about the fresh, light taste of the air in Norway makes a big bowl of berries three times as delicious. Don't take my word for it. Try it yourself.

5. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

What can I say? They are just so good.


At 26 August, 2006 21:59, Anonymous Julie said...

I love everything about #4. The picture it creates for me is just lovely.

But I also love the idea of cheese curds being the favorite food of someone from Wisconsin, and that strong regional food preferences remain (sort of like Baltimore and its crabs)despite how homogenized eating habits across the country seem to have become.

At 26 August, 2006 22:37, Blogger Abb-o said...

Doner..or sharawma. And REAL ethnic food from each country. (french bread, german schnitzal, pasta in italy) yummy

At 27 August, 2006 14:17, Anonymous Aunt Gretchen said...

I love your list idea!! I'm going to think a bit on what I would add to it and get back to you....

At 30 August, 2006 14:23, Anonymous Christine said...

I love eating pomegranates! I think everyone should have the experience of bursting the juicy jewel-like pockets in their mouth. Mmmmmm

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