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Oct 30, 2006 01:58 PM

What Would You Try For The First Time????

If I had the courage I would say the one thing I'd try would probably be...Fogu(japanese puffer fish).I've always been curious but just the thought makes me a little nervous.Other than that I've never had Ethopian cuisine and I've heard many good things about it, so its a toss up.Anyone else ever been curious to try something a little different?

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  1. Eating fogu feels like "stunt eating" to me. It's all about the adrenaline and the risk, not the taste. From what I'm told, the actual fish is not particularly good and you're so distracted be the fear of death, that you can barely concentrate on the taste of the food itself. That's all secondhand, of course...

    I would like to try Georgian food. My russian friends tell me it is spectacular, but I cannot find a Georgian restaurant.

    9 Replies
    1. re: glutton

      Hav you tried looking for southern restaurants????georgian cuisine is primarily ol' fashioned southern cooking.

      1. re: FAB

        I believe the reference was to the eastern European country as opposed to our US state. Glutton, just curious -- what is unique about their cuisine?

        1. re: ob_chris

          I honestly don't know what is special about it. I have just heard repeatedly from my Russian friends (I've got a few) how much they love Georgian food and before I can ask further questions, they return to drinking vodka. (Yes, my Russian friends fulfill all the stereotypes, much to my entertainment.)

      2. re: glutton

        That's probably as far from the truth as you can get about fugu.

        1. re: glutton

          Georgian food is awesome! When visited the then-USSR, the best food by far was in Tblisi. That may, however, be more a commentary on russian food!

          1. re: glutton

            i've actually had fugu a couple of times and this is the biggest nonsense that I've ever heard.

            1. re: glutton

              Many Russian restaurants serve quite a bit of Georgian food. I see your native board is LA. It shouldn't be too hard to find at least some Georgian food in the "Russian" enclaves there. When you see items like kharcho (a lamb or beef with rice soup and a spicy broth), khachapuri (cheese-filled bread), lobio (a bean dish), satsivi (a cold chicken-walnut dip), or kebabs served with tkemali (sour prune) sauce, that's Georgian food. Indeed, some restaurants outsiders regard as Russian, because that's what the staff and most customers speak, are actually Georgian, Armenian or something else.

              Very roughly speaking (and I'm sure a Georgian will be upset by this analogy -- ბოდშით!), Georgian and other cuisines of the Caucasus occupy a similar place in the cooking of Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union as, say, Italian cooking in the US. It's the comforting "ethnic" cuisine they turn to when they want a lot of garlic, herbs and red wine.

              1. re: hatless

                Hatless, the Georgians would be outraged by your analogy! I can still remember bringing the dinner conversation to a screeching halt when I made the mistake of thanking our hosts in Russian! Do NOT make the mistake of describing it as a subset of Russian cuisine in front of Georgians...

                1. re: a_and_w

                  No, no. It's not a subset of Russian cooking any more than Italian is a subset of American. Which is to say, not at all. But some Italian dishes are part of the basic American repetoire, and Georgian food burrowed its way into Russian cooking much the same way.

            2. For whatever reason, I'm still holding off on trying uni, though I'm sure I would love it. Maybe one too many negative comments from friends.

              1. whoops...that would make more sense.

                1. There's really no need to be intimidated by "fugu". There's a sort of "oriental mystification" thing going on there perhaps. It's not really such a big deal. There are fugu shops all over Japan and it's not considered stunt eating or anything like that. You just need a special license to prepare it. You usually get a fugu set, with the fish prepared in various ways. You're right that it doesn't taste great. It's really rather plain and takes up the flavor of whatever broth it is in for the soups. What it's most reknowned for is the consistency of the sashimi, which gives it a sort of snap when you eat it. The serving style is a big plate of thin slices with some spring onion. You wrap some fish and onion around your chopstick and dip it in some soy sauce or ponzu. Because of the mild poison still in the flesh, your lips can tingle slightly sometimes. For Americans who are interested in flavorful foods, the appeal of fugu can be hard to understand. I've had it a few times, but I guess I've never thought of it as exotic. If you like fish, I recommend trying it- though best on someone else's dime. It's expensive.

                  1. Fugu's pretty boring for the price.

                    "Mountain vegetable" is more of a challenge.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      By mountain vegetable, do you mean those scary, wrinkly, bulbous, warty, outer space creature things you see in boxes in Chinese produce stores in Chinatown? I don't mean the dried sea cucumbers, which look just as bad. I bought one of those once, and I got a lot of mileage scaring unsuspecting naieve friends with it. The mountain vegetable, if we're on the same wavelength is very tasty minced and added to soup or a stir fry. The sea cucumber I never did figure out what to do with, and actually think it might be inhabiting the nether reaches of an upper kitchen cabinet at this very moment. Maybe there's a question there for the home cooking board....
                      Oh, something else I would like to try once - maybe have to get likkered up in order to take the plunge: a "ripe" durian.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        why are mountain vegetables more of a challenge?

                        1. re: choctastic

                          Some of them are strong-flavored and weird.