Today while visiting Traveler's Lunchbox, one of my favorite blogs, I saw that Melissa had just launched a new and exciting project: a global food guide of sorts. Together with food bloggers worldwide, she sought to come up with the definitive list of food everyone should try at least once before they die.
This was inspired by an article by the BBC of the 50 things you should eat before you die. Of course I had to click over to that article and see what exactly I was missing out on, according to the British. I've tried everything on that list except: Moreton Bay Bugs, alligator, kangaroo, guinea pig, barramundi, reindeer, Australian meat pie, and Haggis. Ok, I could live without trying any of that.
Being that this project involved 2 of the 3 things on my pleasure trinity (travel+books+food), I had to join. Those who want to contribute, must list only 5 food items. Of course this was terribly difficult considering how much I loved food. So I decided to go ahead and list things straight off the top off my head without giving it too much thought. So here goes:
1. Brie de Meaux - I love cheese, the stinkier the better. When I was living in London, I would spend many weekends over at my cousin's house in Wimbledon. It was there that I was first introduced to Brie de Meaux, and it was love at first bite. She then took me to the French deli in her neighborhood where she would buy this cheese of kings, so I could by my own hunks to take home with me. We love to warm it just a little bit before having it with crackers or crusty bread, or even just on its own.
2. Baklava - When I was younger, my dad would bring home boxes of baklava from the middle east whenever he came home from business trips. This was then continued by my sisters who worked as flight attendants. I was a happy camper, always looking foward to their arrivals, excited to see them as well as sink my teeth into those pastries with syrup sliding down my chin.
When I moved to London, right around the corner from my apartment was a little Persian convenience store which to my delight (and to the dismay of whatever diet I was planning to be on) had walls lined with shelves of freshly baked baklava in all shapes and sizes! Needless to say, I became fast friends with the proprietors. :)
3. A Philippine mango - You have not had a real mango until you've had a Philippine mango. It is absolutely the best fruit in the world! I never realized just how wonderful it was until I tried mangoes from other places and they don't come close. I found them to be too fibrous, not as sweet, and just well, not the same! The flesh of the Philippine mango is super soft, succulent and so so sweet and refreshing when ripe. Sometimes I buy them by the basket from a good friend who owns a mango farm just one and a half hours south of Manila. (thank you wanderlustsha for the lovely picture and post)
4. Feijoada - I recently posted about my love of beans and this has to be one of my favorites. I have only had it once at a graduation party hosted by two of my Brazilian friends. It is the Brazilian equivalent of soul food, made with black beans, pork and sausages. Unfortunately I haven't had it since, leaving me longing for this hearty stew. I saved some recipes which I intend to attempt trying someday. Wish me luck!
5. Fig's fritter with Gorgonzola cheese served with serrano ham from The Green Tangerine in Hanoi - On a recent trip to Hanoi, I ordered this from the menu of The Green Tangerine as it quite literally jumped out at me. It contained figs, gorgonzola and serrano ham, how could I resist?! It was to die for! Since discovering such a delight, I've been on a mission to find other ways of marrying these 2 magical ingredients (fig and gorgonzola). If anyone reading this has recipes to share, I will be most grateful! :)
So there you have it. If you haven't tried some of the items on my short list, I urge you to do so soon. You'll see that you're doing yourself a big favor.
Melissa, thank you for thinking up a fun project for us lovers of food. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with.
So what's on your list? Go over to Melissa's site and share them with us. :)