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What's your most exciting food experience?

Mine would have to be when I visited a friend in Italy who is part of a cooperative of land owners that hunts for truffles. We went out with his dog, Asta, and searched for hours, resulting in one small truffle. It was so exciting to be part of the hunt - really felt like searching for buried treasure! Best part was, that night, we sprinkled them over fresh pasta - heavenly!!!

So how bout you??

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  1. Picking blackberries in a field behind my friend's house in Portland. Gallons and gallons--all free!!!

    Going boating around the islands off Belize (gorgeous) and bumping into some conch divers. They always pull off the tongue (?) of the conch as a treat for themselves before selling the rest, and they shared some with us. It's just a thin sliver that looks and tastes almost exactly like a very thick mung bean noodle.

    Dinner at The Ritz Carlton Dining Room in San Francisco.

    Brunch at Galatoire's in pre-Katrina NOLA.

    Any number of trips through a night market in Taiwan, especially if there's a snake sighting.

    1. Lunch at Uglesich's Restaurant in New Orleans.

      I have had allot of other great dining experiences since then but this is the meal that turned me into a foodie. I'm sure of it. When the meal was over I called my friend back home and I described everything in detail. He said it was like hearing food porn.

      SHRIMP AND GRITS - Southern fried grits topped with shrimp in cream sauce.

      FRIED GREEN TOMATOES (Picture Shown Above)- Topped with shrimp and remoulade sauce.

      CRABMEAT AND POTATO PATTIE PLATE - Exactly what it sounds like.

      FRIED SHRIMP POBOY

      SWEET POTATO SOUFFLE

      1. One that I will always remember is a meal I had several years ago.

        My friends own a really nice winery in Virginia.

        I went to stay with them one weekend and I arrived rather late on a Friday night.

        They stayed up and had some stew on the stove and waited to eat until I got there.

        As we sat down and got ready to eat, they told me about a deer that had been causing them fits.

        It was creeping on the property and eating their grapes (obviously a problem).

        But it was not deer season, so they were not permitted to kill it until they got permission from the local game warden.

        When they finally had the paper work lined up, they had someone come in and they shot the deer.

        Nothing goes to waste down there, so that was the stew they were serving that night. The owners are very good cooks and it was the best venison stew I have ever had.

        The funny part was that at the time they had a really nice, big, lovable dog that seemed to like me. A huge Bernese Mountain dog named Bruno.

        Every morning that I woke up that weekend, the dog had found the deer head that was disposed on the property and placed it outside the door of the little apartment I was staying in at the back of the vineyard.

        We would attempt to throw it away in a far part of the property, but he kept bringing it back to my door.

        I don't know if it was an honor or if the dog was trying to send me a more sinister message.

        But the stew was amazing.

        1. I agree with the other poster, lunch at Ugleisch's is pretty high on the list.

          I'll add walking around the outdoor market in Poitiers, France, with a French friend who knew all the goat cheese makers, vegetable sellers, etc. and getting samples from everyone, and then going back to their house to cook up langoustines and mussels from the market. We cooked the mussels outdoors on a bed of pine needles!

          One of my best food memories is from when I was very young -- when I was 17 a girlfriend and I travelled to France together by ourselves. The first night we were starving and found some cafe, probably from "Let's Go Europe." We were intimidated by the meats and just ordered a green salad and an omelette but everything seemed to taste a million times better than it would have in 1970s America and I was hooked for life.

          1. #1 Dinner at Patina (in Los Angeles), with 7 friends and one who was a pastry cook at the restaurant. The chef (Spilchal) oversaw our meal and we tasted just about everything on the menu that night. Each course was at least three different dishes that we would share. There were at least 5 courses. We had so many different animals that I lost count. Everything was excellent and we had the sommelier pair wine with each course as well. The best part, they comped us two of the wine pairings and kept the prices so ridiculously inexpensive that we offended them by over tipping - but didn't care. They treated us like royalty.

            #2 Lunch at French Laundry when I was 6 months pregnant. It was a 17 course meal and I ate almost all of it. If I wasn't pregnant, I would have quit halfway through!

            #3 Dinner at a 3 Michelin star restaurant in Sweden called Petri Poompa (or some such, it's in Lund). I was amazed at the fine glass and ceramic wear used throughout the place. Swedish art glass is used sparingly here in the US because of cost, but the sparkle to the table over there was just beautiful. The food was great too - I'll never forget one dish from that night, puree of chantarelle mushrooms, creamy and rich, just incredible.

            #4 Fish dinner at a tiny little greek restaurant in Berlin, our first dinner alone on our honeymoon. The food was excellent and the company, devine.