My omnivore’s 100

I was surprised how few of these I’ve eaten – only 49 of the 100.  On the other hand, it has a slightly North American in flavour – there’s brands here that aren’t that represented in Europe.  I was therefore surprised to discover the list was created by a Brit.  The discovery’s put me in a slightly better mood about the whole thing.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

1. Venisonyes, mainly in Sweden, well, rude not to
2. Nettle tea – yes, though I prefer tea tea
3. Huevos rancheros – no – I’m a European so that’s through lack of opportunity more than anything else
4. Steak tartare – yes – I do rather like the flavour of raw meat – carpaccio’s a favourite too
5. Crocodile – no – I’ve never been anywhere where crocodile is part of the cuisine and I’m not that fond of novelty meats such as kangaroo and ostrich in places where they aren’t part of the heritage, like the uK
6. Black pudding – yes – an English Breakfast’s not complete without it
7. Cheese fondue – yes

8. Carp – no – I’m not sufficiently fond of fish to try carp in a restaurant, though I’d be happy to eat it if it was served by a friend
9. Borscht – yes
10. Baba ghanoush – yes – I had to look it up, but it turns out I have eaten it – it’s seasoned aubergine dip or spread and I do love Lebanese food
11. Calamari – yes
12. Pho – no, but only through lack of opportunity, I cannot think of a single Vietnamese restaurant that I’ve come across outside London, though I do hope there are some in Manchester and places like that
13. PB&J sandwich – no – Peanut butter and jam sandwiches? – I am not a teenager – I feel no need to eat this
14. Aloo gobi – yes
15. Hot dog from a street cart – yes
, mainly in Sweden
16. Epoissesprobably not, though going from the picture, it’s a ‘maybe’
17. Black truffle – no – not sure if I’ve had truffle flavoured oil or truffle scented something
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes – yes, but not very willingly
19. Steamed pork buns – I’m not sure if I’ve eaten this or not, if I have it would have been in Europe because British chinese restaurants tend not to serve it
20. Pistachio ice cream – yes – I’ll match your pistachio and raise you chili,  black pepper flavoured, and cardomon (though not all at once)
21. Heirloom tomatoes – yes – wasn’t any other kind where I grew up
22. Fresh wild berries – yes – just last week, and am contemplating making rowan jelly if the berries aren’t over when I get back from my hols
23. Foie gras – yes –
indefensible but irresistible
24. Rice and beans – yes

25. Brawn or Head Cheese – yes – my Ma used to make it when I was a child
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper – no – I like hotter food than most, but I’m not actually stupid
27. Dulce de leche – no – I’ve not eaten it, but only through lack of opportunity
28. Oysters – yes
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda – no, surprisingly
31. Wasabi peas – yes
32. Clam Chowder in Soudough Bowl – no – again this is a North American dish
33. Salted Lassi – yes, and it’s one of the few things I don’t really like, though I do love mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut – yes
35. Root beer float – puhlease.  No.  I’m not saying ‘never’ but my life is rich and full and varied without adding this to my list.
36. Cognac – yes
37. Clotted Cream Tea – yes
38. Vodka Jelly/Jell-O – yes
39. Gumbo – no, but only through lack of access
40. Oxtail – yes, but not since BSE
41. Curried goat – yes
42. Whole insects – no, and I’d only eat them properly cooked
43. Phaal – no – see note on item 26 – mind you, my view on what’s hot was formed in Bradford and Birmingham, so I do have high standards for heat
44. Goat’s milk – yes – raised on it, since you ask
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more – that’s sixty quid or so, isn’t it?  Call it a yes, though I’m not fond of scotch
46. Fugu (aka pufferfish) – no, this strikes me as being stunt food, like crocodile and insects and I’m only ok with stunt-food in the places where it comes from – it always seems like it tries too hard when it’s exported
47. Chicken tikka masala – yes
48. Eel – not sure, but probably not more than once
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut – no
50. Sea urchin
– no, again this strikes me as being a stunt food
51. Prickly pear – no access
52. Umeboshi – very probably
53. Abalone – no, but more through lack of chance than anything else
54. Paneer – yes
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal – yes, actually maybe not the ‘meal’ since I don’t like the drinks
56. Spaetzle – no
57. Dirty gin martini – no, but mainly because I’d never heard of a dirty Martini though I loathe the smell of vermouth
58. Beer above 8% ABV – no, I’m not fond of beer of any description, which suggests that the answer to whether I’ve tasted beer above 8% may in fact ‘yes’
59. Poutine – no, but that would be worth emigrating for
60. Carob chips – probably not
61. S’mores – no, this is a tad culturally specific, doncha think
62. Sweetbreads – probably no
63. kaolin – no, we were a milk of magnesia household
64. Currywurst – yes
65. Durian don’t think so
66. Frogs’ legs – no, but they don’t turn up much in the UK, and there are better things to eat in France
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake – I’m calling this a ‘yes’ because I do eat ring donughts from fairs, and other fairground food, though all the examples given are specific to North America
68. Haggis – yes, love it
69. Fried plantain – yes, though it’s hard to find in northern Europe
70. Chitterlings – not entirely sure, I think I may have had a mouthful once, if it’s what I think it was, then it was one of the few things I didn’t take to
71. Gazpacho – yes
72. Caviar and blini – not the real stuff
73. Louche absinthe – no
74. Gjetost or brunost – yes
75. Roadkill – yes. Well, fox-kill, which I suspect counts.   Carrion, anyway.
76. Baijiu – no, but only because I’ve had very little chance
77. Hostess Fruit Pie – no – they’re not available on this side of the Atlantic and I’m not a great eater of factory-made desserts
78. Snails – yes
79. Lapsang Souchong – yes

80. Bellini – no
81. Tom Yum – yum yum
82. Eggs Benedict – yes

83. Pocky – yes
84. 3 Michelin Star Tasting Menu – no, dammit
85. Kobe beef – no, again, this strikes me as a novelty item
86. Hare – no, and with complete irrationality I consider hares too magical to eat
87. Goulash – yes, it used to be my absolute standby when I had people round for a meal
88. Flowers – yes
89. Horse – not knowingly, though you never really know when you’re in France, do you?  I’ve not avoided it.
90. Criollo chocolate – no, though I do eat boutique chocolate
91. Spam – yes
92. Soft shell crab – no
93. Rose Harissa – no
94. Catfish – no
95. Mole Poblano – no, but it sounds good
96. Bagel and Lox – yes
97. Lobster Thermidor – don’t think so, which slightly surprises me
98. Polenta – yes
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee – no, coffee gives me stomach cramps
100. Snake – no, and again that strikes me as a novelty item away from where it really is food

I’ve only eaten 49 of the 100, but then I’ve not travelled in North America, which is probably shown by the fact that I had to look up 36 items.  Mind you, I’ve eaten 6 of the 36 I had to look up, so I’ll try things even if I don’t know what they are!


9 responses to “My omnivore’s 100

  1. Sea urchin (kina) isn’t a stunt food in New Zealand. It’s a popular traditional Maori food.

    I think it’s vile, but I have watched many people happily downing the stuff with great enjoyment.

  2. I should expand on my definition of “stunt food” – by which I mean food which is either

    (a) only fed to tourists in the places where it’s a natural foodstuff or
    (b) actually used locally as a foodstuff but used to import an entirely spurious exoticism to a rather dire menu in the UK.

    I developed a particular loathing for the sorts of pubs in the 1980s which would offer ostrich or kangaroo steaks, the worst of them let you cook them yourself on a hot stone.

    By this entirely subjective definition, sea urchin risks being stunt food in the UK, but as you rightly say, it isn’t in New Zealand.

    I would consider deep fried mars bar to be a stunt food, though myth has it that it is eaten by locals in Glasgow. Kangaroo or Ostrich in the UK is stunt food.

    Thanks for your comment – it’s helped me clarify my thinking, er my prejudices.



  3. I lived in Glasgow for more than twenty years and never saw the mythical deep-fried Mars bar.
    The deep-fried pizza, however, is alive and kicking and being perpetrated in almost every chippie in the country.

  4. 65. Durian – don’t think so

    Oh, believe me, you’d know if you had. It smells like a cross between dirty diapers and feet. The actual taste itself is quite good, though, to the extent that you can ignore the smell.

    This, however, probably counts as a stunt food, seeing as its native habitat is the South Pacific, and even there it would appear that locals try to discourage each other from eating it in confined spaces, on account of the smell.

  5. I scored 71, and awarded myself an extra point for having eaten calamari raw.

    Notable things included:
    1. Venison is common enough that I’m having burgers for tea tonight…
    Black pudding ditto. I wouldn’t consider a cooked breakfast complete without it.
    Chicken tikka masala is like fish and chips or bacon and eggs nowadays – has ANYONE in the UK not had it?
    Fugu was a yes, but I had it in Tokyo and was the only gaijin in there, so it doesn’t count as “stunt”, ditto Kobe beef.
    I had tempura frogs legs in Malta last month – not horrible, but fiddly and not worth the effort.
    Criollo chocolate – had it when I was Willy Wonka, pure for research you understand…
    Lobster thermidor – you simply MUST.
    Blue Mountain – spoils you for other coffees. It’s entirely possible that it won’t give you cramps, even if every other coffee you’ve tried has. Simply unparallelled.
    Quite a lot of things on the list I’d not only not eaten, I’d not even heard of.

    What’s interesting to me is that the UK is in some ways incredibly well integrated, multiculturally – Chinese food and curries, especially the latter, are so common nobody even thinks of chicken tikka masala as exotic. In other ways, we’re quite sheltered – there are so many things to eat out there, good things, and yet we know nothing about them, not even their names.

    For the record, I’ll eat pretty much anything. Some people qualify that statement with phrases like “anything that can’t crawl off my plate”, or “anything that’s not looking me in the eye”, or “anything smaller than my own head”. I, you may note, offer no qualifications.

    I’ve eaten things you wouldn’t step in. I’ve eaten fish so fresh it was twitching on the plate.

    I’m 100% confident that in a survival situation I could and would eat anything, including other people.

    But I’m never, ever eating dill pickles again. Why do McDonalds put those things on their burgers???

  6. Oh, and one thing about ostrich meat: it’s very healthy, low in fat, and can be (and is) farmed almost anywhere. There’s a big farm near Keswick in the Lake District. If the country could be weaned off beef and onto ostrich, we’d all be a lot healthier.

  7. Came here to comment that there is an ostrich farm near me and so the steaks can actually be bought at our local farmer’s market and I don’t see them as a weird food at all – but I see SoRB has beaten me to that kind of comment. I much prefer it to beef.

    I forgot to count on the way through but had eaten loads of these things either through them just not being that special in the uk, or on my various travels (including to north america so covered some of those). I’ve also had home-made versions of some so not sure whether to count them.

    As for the 3 Michelin star taster menu, I live less than ten miles from the Fat Duck and have done for five years. I have been dropping unsubtle hints to husband that I’d like to go for some birthday/anniversay/other occasion dinner (hints even a bloke would understand: “Why don’t you book us a table at the Fat Duck for our anniversary next year?”) and still haven’t managed this. Next year should be the first wedding anniversary we’ll have had when I’ve not been pregnant or wrangling a newborn so I’m going to book the blasted table myself – if I do it soon there might even be a table available for august.

  8. I have finally got around to having a go at this. If you’re interested.

  9. I’ve eaten a fair chunk of stuff on the list, but then most people know I really will eat most things, even if only to find out if it is edible.

    Steak Tartare I’m particularly fond of. It’s unlikely you’ll have tried a beer stronger than 8% though Ben – such beers are rare and usually only surface at beer festivals. I personally can’t stand them.

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