August 22, 2006

Things to eat before you die

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. :)


Unknown said...

Hi Nens. Brie de Meaux is excellent. Did you know that I used the be able to get that in Manila? I think I used to get it at Santi's or at Teri's. I can't remember which one. I used to buy it, supposedly for a party, but would secretly not bring it out so I could eat it all myself... Eeeeeh! Selfish No.!

Take care!

Anonymous said...

If I were only allowed ONE thing to eat before I die, it would be --absolutely no contest here -- a philippine mango. There's nothing else like it in the whole, wide world.

christine said...

Hi Mieke! How funny, I do the same! I justify the expense with the pretense of serving it to guests, but it rarely ever makes it to anyone else's plate. hehe But I do share it with my dad, who's a cheese lover like me. :) I can get it at Santi's, haven't checked if Terry's has it too, that would be more convenient for me.

Hi cabanagirl, it's just heaven isn't it? I missed it so much while I was living abroad that I had like 5 on my first day back. Thanks for dropping by. :)

Travelin' Tracy said...

I really like this post. I think I will have to make my own list of foods. Thanks for the links too!

Ana said...

from all the varieties of philippine mangoes, the carabao? mango is on the top of my list. it's the small rounded one that's never too maasim.

christine said...

Tracy, I can't wait to see your list,pease do! :)

Ana, yup carabao mangoes I think are best varieties. :) One of my favorite (secret) ways to eat a mango is to stab a knife in one end (the fatter tip), stand over a sink, peel the skin off as I suck the flesh into my mouth while the juice oozes down my arms. THAT is one of life's sweetest pleasures. :)

Anonymous said...

Christine, i totally agree - Philippine Mango's the best!

Delicious list you have there - the mere thought got me drooling! I'm yet to come up with my list...

Watergirl said...

Is the post a list of food to eat that you've never eaten before? Or more like your list of food that you think people should eat that they may not know about?

Maria Obrowski said...

hi...silly me...i was asking you if you're in metro manila. then, i saw your blog. you're indeed in metro manila.

come to our club on sept5 (it's the 2nd invite)...:) please confirm at least 2 days before.


travel plaza said...

Oh, you've got me absolutely drooling. Have to make my own list now.

christine said...

Mae & TP, I can't wait to see your lists. I bet they'll have me drooling as well! :)

Mila, it's your top 5 picks of food items which you think everyone should try at least once in their lives. Would love to see your choices. :)

Ria, thank you so much! It's funny, I heard about it first from Mila, but had also read about it in your blog sometime ago. I never put 2 and 2 together. I'd love to be there. Will definitely let you know ahead of time. :)

Anonymous said...

Great list! I agree, Philippine mangoes are the best!!!

I also remember my first brush with Brie de Meaux. I was buying cheese at this cheese shop in Amsterdam and I told the proprietor that I wanted something runny and creamy like a brie or camembert...he slapped a parcel in my hand and said, "that's Brie de Meaux"...I said, "Is it good?"...he looked at me square in the eye and said, "It's the best." So there you go! :)

I'm trying #4 for the very first time this weekend!!!

Anonymous said...

Mmm, I'm so glad someone said Baklava - it was one of my last-minute exclusions. As for those Philippine mangoes, if they're really as good as you say they are I REALLY MUST get my hands on one!

Great list!

christine said...

Mieke, I have just confirmed that you can get Brie de Meaux from Terry's , YAY! It's so near my place and more convenient to get to than Santi's. :) Thanks for letting me know, I didn't bother to check before because I was sure they didn't have it, stupid me.

Jo, I'm so jealous! But at the same time so happy you're trying it. I'm curious to know how you like it, and if they make it well. And also, so you can help me tweak the recipes I have once I get around to attempting it. :) I really wish there was a place that offers feijoada on their menu here.

Hi Melissa! Yes, these testimonies to our mangoes are no exaggeration, I promise you! :) And about the baklava, how could I not include it?! It was the best thing ever invented hehe. Thanks again for this genius of an idea. I'm really enjoying it. :)

Jen said...

I totally agree with you 100% concerning the mangoes. I grew up in the Philippines until I was 6, I miss the mangoes from there terribly as that as you said, there is nothing like the ones from the Philippines.

Anonymous said...

Great list and I am most envious of you having had the opportunity to visit Hanoi. I love Vietnamese food, and I have always wanted to visit Viet Nam. In the meantime I'll have to live vicariously by reading about your trip.

I'm completely unfamiliar with Phillipine mangoes. The mango selection where I am (Baltimore) is not good.

christine said...

Hi Jenjen, nope there is nothing like it. The closest I found while living in London were mangoes from Jamaica, and yet they weren't nearly as good.

Hi Julie! Vietnam was indeed a delight to all the senses! There wasn't enough time to try all the food there was to try. Just enough reason to go back again some day. :) I'll trade you some mangoes for your Vietnamese chicken salad. :)

Anonymous said...

I can't remember (alcohol has addled my bran) if I've told you about the Fig, Prosciutto & Gorgonzola Pizza at Trio. I'm sure you'll love it! :-)

Anonymous said...

I mean BRAIN, not bran...I guess alcohol's done more damage than even I had thought! ;-)

Julia said...

Hi Christine,
Nice blog + great list!
Really, really want a Philippine mango NOW. You’ve made me all hungry =)
Have you checked my list yet?
Greetings, Julia - TastingLife

christine said...

Hi Katrina! Joey has actually told me about that and I'm so tempted to try it. After a horrible experience in Trio a couple of years ago, I had sworn never to go back. But this might just be the deal breaker. :)

Hi Julia, thank you! I really wish more people could try our mangoes here, they're really as good as everyone claims. I've bookmarked your blog, I love the recipes and the pictures you've posted so far. I will definitely be visiting often. :)

SeƱor Enrique said...

What a lovely and informative site you have!

Okay, items 2 and 4 I'm quite familiar with having lived in NYC for many years. Hmmmm, now I remember an old friend who was good in making baklava. Had a number of Brazilian friends, too, so that explains my eating their national dish quite frequently then.

Of course, now that I'm over in Manila, mangoes are all over ... yum! Used to love eating mangoes with "suman" (rice cake wrapped in palm leaf), but these days, with fruit juice stalls at the mall, love, love, love mango and banana smoothie :)

Christine, I'll be coming back as one of your regular visitors from now on :)

christine said...

Hello Senor!

Thank you for the nice words! You just made my day. :) How nice that you had friends feeding you yummy feijoada in NY. All this talk about it is seriously making me drool. I really have to make some soon. I agree with you on the smoothies, I love them, and mango/banana is a great combination!

Thanks for dropping by! :)

Anonymous said...

You know, you're the first person I've heard say they had a bad experience at Trio; I've been there countless times with different people, and they all love it. If you do decide to break your vow, make sure to also try the Grilled Prawn Risotto. That's one dish I have recommended many times, always with glowing reviews. (Though that doesn't mean you can't be the exception. ;-)

christine said...

Same here Katrina, I don't know anyone else who had a bad experience there. And what happened, didn't happen directly to me but to a friend who was with me. I'll tell you all about it when we see each other next. It had nothing to do with bad food, in fact the food was excellent.

That risotto sounds excellent! I'll have to go back for those 2 things. It was nice seeing you again last weekend! Even nicer that it was among so much sugar! :)

Watergirl said...

Hay, took me time to think this list out, but I finally posted it on her site. Good mental exercise (and led to hunger pangs lol).

Where is Trio? That prawn risotto sounds interesting.

Anonymous said...

Mila, Trio is at the Fort, above Pasto (same owner), same area as Cafe Puccini, Zong, etc. It's one of the default restaurants that two different groups of my friends go to, since everybody enjoys it.

christine said...

Mila, what a mouthwatering list! Ohh the humboldt fog! I'm loving your idea of eating it with a tart pear and fresh walnut bread. Mmmm.