I just learned about this list of the Ominivore's Hundred, or 100 Things to Eat Before You Die, created by one of the authors of the blog Very Good Taste (thanks, Mischke). I thought it was a great idea and annotated the list:
The VGT Omnivore's Hundred:
1. Venison Definitely. Especially if it's been given to you by your yeti-like landlord, who shot it himself and refers to it as "venny." 2. Nettle tea Curious to try it as soon as foraging season is upon us... 3. Huevos rancheros Que bueno! 4. Steak tartare Barbette's is quite good--better than the Wisconsin version, the Cannibal Sandwich," which, according to Wikipedia is also known as "Raw Dog" or "Wild Cats" in other parts of the Midwest. 5. Crocodile Had it at, of all places, the now-shuttered Shelly's Woodroast, in a pot pie. I kid you not. 6. Black pudding Also called blood sausage--I've had it a long time ago and think it's okay. 7. Cheese fondue Tasty and fun! One Midwestern recipe I've tried mixes a can of cream of mushroom soup with the cheese. 8. Carp Never tried it--but I would. 9. Borscht Yes! Nick and Eddie's is particularly good. I also like it at Moscow on the Hill. 10. Baba ghanoush Yes! Holy Land's is a staple. 11. Calamari I liked the dipping sauce with the calamari I had at Roat Osha recently. 12. Pho Ngon Bistro is the gold standard, though sometimes I like Pho Quan on Nicollet for its (lack of) atmosphere. 13. PB&J sandwich Every once in a while, they're delish. 14. Aloo gobi Like it, but gobi manchurian is my favorite Indian cauliflower dish--Dancing Ganesha's is great. 15. Hot dog from a street cart I'd scratch this one--unless it's a Thousand Hills dog from Chef Shack. The typical boiled dogs are no match for one that's been campfire grilled. 16. Epoisses A French cheese--has anyone had this? 17. Black truffle Tasty but $$$. 18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes I'm so-so on this one... 19. Steamed pork buns Yes! I don't have a great local go-to spot for these. Anyone? 20. Pistachio ice cream Even better if it's gelato. 21. Heirloom tomatoes Start planning to grow yours now! My fave = green zebra. 22. Fresh wild berries Can't wait until picking season! Check ag depts' MN Grown for a list of farms. 23. Foie gras Local producer Au Bon Canard is amazing. 24. Rice and beans Cheap, filling, and so simple to make. 25. Brawn, or head cheese Nosh's (Wabasha) is excellent. 26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper Based on my experience with the scotch bonnet sauce at Smalley's BBQ (Stillwater), I'm not sure if I could handle the heat. 27. Dulce de leche Everything started coming in dulce de leche flavor since food companies realized the size of the US latino market. 28. Oysters Love 'em fresh or fried. Sea Salt opens for the 2009 season on April 24 at 11 a.m., btw. 29. Baklava Yum! 30. Bagna cauda Would love to try this--has anyone had it? 31. Wasabi peas This is another scrach for me. I like them more in theory than in practice. 32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl Worth suffering the tourists at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. 33. Salted lassi I'd put mango lassi before its savory sibling, but not a bad pick. 34. Sauerkraut Sauerkraut soup is Grandma Hutton's signature dish. 35. Root beer float With Schell's root beer--but never with soft serve like the ones at Wagner's. 36. Cognac with a fat cigar Can't say I've ever done the combo...is it all it's cracked up to be? 37. Clotted cream tea Aka British tea service with clotted cream, scones, and jam. I still haven't been to the high tea at the Ivy yet--has anyone checked it out? 38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O Seems like a waste of a good bottle of Prairie Organic, but I cant' really remember the last time I had a Jell-O shot. 39. Gumbo Haven't had gumbo in far too long...does anyone have a favorite local version? 40. Oxtail Had an amazing version (braised with raisins) at Corner Table this winter. 41. Curried goat Used to eat this at Jamaican joints in Queens, but I've never been a huge fan of goat. 42. Whole insects A totally doable dare: They're not bad and eating 'em makes you look like a badass. 43. Phaal Anyone tried this? 44. Goat's milk Had it in my coffee this a.m.--not the best use for it, considering it's subtle eau de barnyard. 45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more Trying to remember the priciest malt whisky I've tried and do the £ conversion... 46. Fugu Japanese pufferfish--is it really tasty enough to be worth risking death? 47. Chicken tikka masala Always a fave... 48. Eel One of my top sushi picks. Buy it frozen at United Noodle for home use. 49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut Haven't had one in *ages* and, oddly, someone just suggested going to get one to me about an hour ago. Before they came to MN, I once ate 3 hot ones in a row--definitely one too many--though I do love watching them go on the conveyor through the glaze waterfall. 50. Sea urchin The reproductive parts, right? Not a fan--though I've heard it's much different when it's ultra fresh. 51. Prickly pear Cactus--also known as nopales. 52. Umeboshi Sometimes called Japanese pickled plum--I like 'em in sushi. 53. Abalone I've never had it, but would like to. Anyone want to weigh in? 54. Paneer It's really easy to make at home, too. 55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal Meh...I'd rather have an egg McMuffin, though I just re-read Fast Food Nation, so I'd probably pass. 56. Spaetzle Like it, but prefer noodles or gnocchi 57. Dirty gin martini But never more than one! 58. Beer above 8% ABV Especially Belgian Trappist brews. 59. Poutine Loved it at Forepaugh's, *hated* it at Triple Rock--the curds were blah and supersalty gravy ruined the whole thing. 60. Carob chips Not compared to semisweet chocolate... 61. S'mores Still dreaming of Joan Ida's S'mores dessert at the Lake House--now that she's at Porter & Frye, where will I find it? 62. Sweetbreads Like 'em, but don't love 'em. 63. Kaolin Anyone?? 64. Currywurst I've had good ones from Kramarczuk's 65. Durian Like the taste--loathe the smell. I think I want to like durian better than I actually do. Try buying a whole one from an Asian market and cracking it open sometime! 66. Frogs' legs I like the ones at Cave Vin. 67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake Best beignets @ Good Day Cafe. Best churros @ Barrio. 68. Haggis Eh...I have some concerns about this one, but I'm part Scottish, so I think I'm duty-bound to at least try it. 69. Fried plantain Definitely--it's great at Victor's. 70. Chitterlings, or andouillette I've never been a huge fan, and since Mama Taught Me How to Cook closed, I'm not ever sure where to get chitterlings... 71. Gazpacho Is it summer yet? 72. Caviar and blini I like Lake Superior caviar, too. 73. Louche absinthe Is the ritual better than the spirit? 74. Gjetost, or brunost I haven't had it in ages--I think I like the name better than the flavor. 75. Roadkill Never had it, though my dad hit a pheasant with the car last year, picked it up, brought it home, and my mom cooked it for dinner. He did the same with a raccoon before I was born, too. How come I keep missing out? 76. Baijiu Never tried it, but I'd like to... 77. Hostess Fruit Pie Eh...really? I'd much rather have homemade fruit pie. 78. Snail Like 'em, but I have them so rarely...last time may have been at Meritage, if I'm not mistaken. 79. Lapsang souchong Smoky black tea--yes! 80. Bellini I'm a sucker for sparkling drinks. 81. Tom yum So sour, so delicious... 82. Eggs Benedict Landon's Reuben version at P&F may have been the best I've ever tried. 83. Pocky Like wasabi peas, like the concept more than the flavor. 84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. Who's going to say no to that? 85. Kobe beef Tasty, but oh so pricey. 86. Hare Like chicken...but better. 87. Goulash A top stick-to-your ribs dinner. 88. Flowers Nasturtium are easy to grow, too. 89. Horse Anyone tried it? 90. Criollo chocolate Of course! 91. Spam Of course--esp. honey, just not garlic! 92. Soft shell crab I've had good ones at Fuji Ya. 93. Rose harissa Never had the rose petal version, but plain harissa is amazing. 94. Catfish Not sure if it's top 100, but I like it. 95. Mole poblano Mmmm mole... 96. Bagel and lox Provided it's a Common Roots bagel if dining locally. 97. Lobster Thermidor I'd probably rather just have it with butter, but... 98. Polenta So easy, versatile--I just had it on a cobbler topping--delish! 99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee How would it stack up against some of Paradise Roasters? 100. Snake Had it once in Vietnam--it really does taste kind of like chicken.