Things To Eat Before I Die

I can’t remember what this was. Something unusual in Poland.

There is a meme called 100 Things to Eat Before You Die going around the blogosphere and Facebook with people marking off the items they’ve eaten so far. I saw it on Grace’s blog, and decided that I’d like to start working my way through the list as well. There are some things I won’t try though, and I’m wondering if you guys would be interested in helping me think up replacement items.

I’m going to eliminate:




Dandelion Wine







What food items should I add in to replace these? They don’t have to start with the same letters, I just want 10 unique food items to seek out and try (preferably¬†from a variety of cultures!)


43 thoughts on “Things To Eat Before I Die

  1. Eel and Octopus are Delightful!

    I love BBQ eel on sushi (was afraid of it till 25, now I love it (try it on a dragon roll).

    Also, Grilled Octopus in a citrus type salad or in ceviche is awesome. It doesn’t look like octopus.

    Some of my san francisco favorites: Fresh Dungeness Crab (cook it yourself), fresh sourdough, with cocktail sauce or garlic mayo. Piroshki (from “russian bakery” on 22nd and Geary). The potato ones are good, but my favorite are “meat.”

    Jenna Reply:

    I eliminated both because they are questionable in terms of sustainability. I think I’ve actually had both before?

    Gigi Reply:

    Aha! That makes sense!

    Have fun! What a great challenge!

    Stephanie C Reply:

    Is this true for both fresh water and sea water eels?

    Jenna Reply:

    I’m just going off of what the Monterey Bay site tells me:

    I find navigating the waters and trying to figure out what I should/shouldn’t eat to be very confusing

    Sarah Reply:

    How is foie gras considered sustainable or ethical, places are banning it.

  2. Look up the mopane worm – they are customary in Africa and I ate one while in Zimbabwe :) Not too tasty, but not THAT gross.

  3. You should check out Mighty Girl’s Life List, which includes “Eat 1000 different varieties of fruit.” She’s just finished her first 100, and includes her ten favorites so far. They sound so delicious!

    Jenna Reply:

    Her life list is so inspiring! I love the idea of pursuing different fruit/vegetable varieties.

  4. Or have you had latkes? What about traditional foods from other religions/cultures? :)

    Jenna Reply:

    I definitely love the idea of adding traditional foods to my list! I probably have had latkes, but the rule I set for myself is that I need to have a distinct memory of eating the food in question, otherwise I have to seek it out again.

  5. Poutin from Montreal (haven’t had this, would be on my list)

    Umami Burger in L.A. (the best burger I have ever had)

    Korean BBQ


    I can’t think of anything else right now,but I’ll add if my brin starts working.

    Jenna Reply:

    This list is so fun to make! I’m having so much fun googling all of these things to find out what they are.

    tuesy Reply:

    Poutine is french fries with gravy and cheese curds. Delicious!

  6. Natt?, it’s a fermented soybean dish from Japan I’ve had at a good sushi joint before. It’s quite the experience, and much better than I was expecting, given its texture and aroma.

    Brandi Reply:

    That was supposed to read natto, apparently special characters are disliked.

  7. Jamon Serrano
    Roti Canai (so delicous!)
    A real, authentic, Oaxacan Mole
    Epoisses (super stinky, but yummy cheese)
    Macarons from Laduree

    Love the list and this post!

    Life of a Doctor's Wife Reply:

    Just want to second macarons from LaDuree. SO DELICIOUS.

    Stephanie C Reply:

    I second all of these! Especially Oaxacan Mole and Epoisses – one of my favourite cheeses that you can’t always buy (too expensive!).

  8. One more: Mochi (the dessert kind filled with ice cream; I particularly like the red bean kind)

  9. I’m making a similar list! I had Duck Poutine at Copper Onion in SLC that is on my list of favorites. It’s SO good. Maybe you can go when you’re in Utah?

  10. Have you ever had bone marrow? really tasty.

    tuesy Reply:

    My husband loves soup with tripe and marrow. I try not to look too carefully at his bowl when he orders it, but he assures me it is delicious.

  11. I love this! I enjoy trying new foods. I was just talking to a friend about haggis and how I would want to taste it just to say I did (points for trying, right?) but I just wasn’t raised with that sort of food and I don’t think it would stay down…

    Duck and ostrich are tasty! Buffalo burgers as well.

    I’ve always wondered if I could handle one of those chocolate-covered grasshoppers or ants. Not sure.

  12. Goat brains in Haiti are the weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten. I wouldn’t recommend them, though.

    In Montana, I’ve had elk, antelope salami, and something with rattlesnake in it. I forget what. I’d like to try bear and moose sometime (hunted legally, of course!).

    It’s like…local-xotic. Ha!

  13. You’ve loved having special meals at great restaurants in the past… what about including “house specialties” at some of the restaurants you want to enjoy?

    The macarons at LaDuree (which Erin mentioned in another comment) are sort of along those lines.

    I’d add Champagne truffles from Teuscher and Luxembergli from Sprungli.

    Jenna Reply:

    I have a feeling this list is going to be twice as long by the time I’m done with it :)

  14. If you wanted to be really daring, you could do fried grass hopper tacos. My husband loves these, but I can’t get myself to eat it. The weirdest thing I’ve eaten is bone marrow, and I actually loved it.

  15. The “strangest” (in quotes because “strangeness” is relative, of course) thing I’ve eaten was crickets. It was in Thailand, so if you’re interested, you can try it during your trip :)

    Another suggestion: fried ice cream. But not the “easy” version with cornflakes or anything like that! You MUST try it with filo pastry.

  16. I thought of two more! Sorry for spamming your post.

    Do you regulary eat cow brains in the US? Because they are delicious. Try them.

    Also, I suggested bagna cauda through Formspring when you were in Italy. If you haven’t tried it, do it! It’s my favorite food in the world.

    Jenna Reply:

    Not spam at all! I’ve had so much fun adding your suggestions. (and googling them when I didn’t know what they were)

  17. You could substitute the dandelion wine for a British soft drink called dandelion and burdock.

    I don’t think shark deserves a spot on the list in the first place… it scarcely tastes any different to more commonly consumed fish.

    Virginia Reply:

    I agree with your second point. I think shark was included in the list because it sounds exotic. I’ve had it and it was very good, but it was hardly memorable.

  18. I bet you could make a non-alcoholic mimosa pretty easily. I am a big fan and the fizzy-orange or fizzy-mango combo is the best part, the champagne taste isn’t really important (to me). I knew a French girl who disliked the thought of mixing champagne with anything, anyway ;) so I think it’s okay to take it out. Try sparkling white grape juice (the drier the better) and OJ or if you’re feeling indulgent, any tropical juice with an emphasis on acidic fruits.

    There are some great Guatemalan foods I would recommend: Chuchitos, real Guatemalan tortillas, and potato paches. Christmas tamales made with chocolate are amazing. Also, ‘rellenitos’ (a plantain stuffed with black beans).

    It’s also crazy fake, but Guatemalans love corn on the cob with ketchup, mayo, mustard, and chili sauce and I have to admit it’s delicious. Maybe I only think that because I lived in Guatemala for two years and the regular food routine (rice/beans/veggies) needed a little red #40 now and then.

  19. Isn’t it fun to plan future meals based on that list? My big lacks are in Southern food and seafood, so now I know what I should try next!

    My suggestions:
    –xiao long bao (a kind of pork dumpling): you MUST eat these, they are absolutely incredible. Of course the best are in Asia, but there’s a pretty good/authentic version in SF at Shanghai Dumpling King on Balboa (the Lion’s Head meatballs are good too).
    –Peking duck, with pancakes, onions and sauce. This is absolutely a must-eat dish.
    –Oaxacan mole: black is the best. This is another MUST EAT food.
    –marrow. I’ve actually never eaten this but my husband has and enjoyed it (or spinal cord? he ate this too. Tastes like butter apparently)
    –cendol. This is my new favorite dessert: ice, coconut milk, palm sugar, green jelly, and attap seeds. Lots of similar ice-based desserts in SE Asia. Delicious!
    –masala dosa. Sourdough-flavored pancake stuffed w. potato curry, plus vegetable gravy and coconut curry on the side. It’s really good.

    Lauren Reply:

    I second Cendol and/or ABC — I had this for the first time in Malaysia and it was so weird, but suprisingly delicious!

  20. Since you asked for foods from other countries, my vegetarian Korean food musts would be
    - hoddeok/hotteok – street food ‘pancakes’ filled with brown sugar, honey, and peanuts.
    - yujacha – Sort of like marmalade tea – and the best cure for a sore throat
    - as many varieties of kimchi as you can find to eat (fun to make too!)
    -bibim naengmyeon – spicy cold noodles – awesome summer food

    (and if you want to know more about Korean food, I highly suggest The Kimchi Chronicles series!)

    And as a Canadian, I second the poutine suggestion. And when I lived in Montreal, I used to go to a place with a vegetarian version made with tomato sauce.

  21. Jenna I am so glad to see you choosing to forgo shark and otherwise following “The Guidelines.” I love that Monterey Bay app and recommend it to everyone I know.

  22. Have you ever seen that show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”? Love it. It’s also kind of like porn for dieters though. I’d love to eat just about anything ever mentioned on there. This one guy swears by fried fish heads from his favorite sushi place, he said something like “all the goodness in the shrimp is concentrated in the head”. I’m kind of a baby though and scared to try something like that. It has little tentacles and eyeballs!

    Jenna Reply:

    I sucked the head out of a shrimp once! I admit I was so overwhelmed with the eyeballs and tentacles that I wasn’t really relishing the taste though.

  23. I have a few to add to the list…
    Cuy (guinea pig)- very common in Andean highlands (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador). Very delicious when slow roasted on a spit. All the tiny little bones are annoying, though.
    Platanos con queso-mature plantains fried a nice golden brown, then topped with fresh, white cheese (and sometimes crushed peanuts) OMG SO GOOD!!!
    Other exotic meats like llamas and solace are good too

    Megan Reply:

    Err, llamas and alpacas, haha, autocorrect fail

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