100 Foods To Die For (or not) Before You Die (1-20)

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Absinthe packs a punch

I took The Food List Challenge and scored 61% having tried 61 of the 100 foods (or drinks) listed.  So I’m going through each one, 20 at a time.

Abalone.  I thought of TX at first.  Wait, that’s Abilene.  Never mind.  What is abalone anyway? I don’t think I’ve had it unless it was dressed as tuna in a can.

Absinthe.  I had one in the form of a flaming drink at Dali, a Spanish restaurant in Somerville. It tasted like licorice and made me hallucinate.

Alligator.  Never tried it and don’t think I will, willingly or knowingly.  There is nothing appealing about prehistoric meat, although I hear it tastes like chicken.

Baba Ghanoush.  My first encounter with it was at the Middle East Restaurant and Cafe, now Nightclub in Cambridge.  Loved it then, still do.

Bagel and Lox. My first encounter with it was at the S&S Restaurant and Deli in Inman Square in Cambridge.  Didn’t like it then, still don’t.  The lox that is.  Bagels I like and always have since I tried my first real one at Kupel’s in Brookline.

Baklava. My first experience with this sweet and delicate flaky pastry was at a Greek Pizzeria in Brighton.

Barbecue Ribs.  The best I had came from joints in Arkansas and Texas.  The worst, billed as the best, came from a rib place in Memphis. Honorable mentions to restaurants in Somerville and Allston. A place in Brookline called the Village Smokehouse served me some of the best and some of the most mediocre ribs I’ve ever tasted.

Bellini.  I’ve had prosecco, but never with a peach, although I have eaten a peach and admire the album Eat a Peach.

Bird’s Nest Soup.  Can’t say I have or would, but might, even should, if I could.

Biscuits and Gravy. My grandpa who I called Gagan lived in a little town in Northwest Arkansas and made the best biscuits and white sausage gravy you can imagine.  And I can only imagine and try to remember the taste because I have never been able to replicate it.

Black Pudding.  I’ve had Jello chocolate pudding, does that count?

Black Truffle.  Like the pudding above, I’ve had a chocolate truffle.  And then I had some truffle-parm fries with truffle ketchup, at this place called Grass Fed in JP.  At $600 a pound, the best I can hope for would be some shavings for my beef stew crockpot recipe.

Borscht.  I like the name.  I had a bowl at the Troyka restaurant in Harvard Square, served hot, if memory serves that I was expecting cold. I think my aunt, who was with me, said that I must have mistaken borscht for gazpacho.  I might have just made that up, but I don’t remember.

Bread Pudding.  The best I ever had was at Skipjack’s in Boston.  I was with my sister and her kids.  The fish served was serviceable, but the dessert, warm chocolate bread pudding, was to die for.

Calamari. I had some fried calamari for the first time in a little joint near my apartment on the Allston/Brighton line when I first moved to Boston.  Unlike the warm chocolate bread pudding, it was not to die for.  I am not a fan of fried rubber slices.

Carp.  When I first saw this on the list, I thought it said crap.  I actually have caught and eaten a crappie fish before (it is the actual name of the fish, not an adjective here), but I’ve neither caught nor tried carp.  I once saw a friend try to shoot a buffalo carp with a bow and arrow.

Cavier.  When I found out what I was eating, I lost my appetite for it.

Cheese Fondu.  Yes I have but I don’t like Gruyere cheese.  Velveeta melts better, but the question is, is it real cheeze?

Chicken and Waffles.  No thank you.  I like chicken ok, but not waffles.  Chicken and pancakes? Possibly.

Chicken Tikka Masala.  I had my first bite at Indian Quality restaurant at their original location in Kenmore Square, near Fenway and on the second floor next door to Planet Records.  This began my longtime love for Indian food.

Stay tuned, or not, for the next installment of 20 which will include, cognac, crabs and crickets.

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