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What's the most recent "new" food item you tried?

What food item have you tried most recently that you've never had before? I realize this is a tough question for many super-experienced 'Hound palates out there, so let's expand the parameters... it can be any food item, whether it's a new preparation of an old favorite, a new brand of whatever, something completely alien to you before you had it, something you've been wanting to try for a while, at home, in a restaurant... anything as long as it was a first.

And, of course, what'd you think of it?

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  1. They were not really new to me but i had not had them in ages. If the stores don't stock something that is highly seasonal, if you don't see them then you tend to put them out of your mind.

    My thing was quinces. I had not seen thm around in a long time. I was in London in Oct. and the window of Ottolonghi was trimmed with quinces and red peppers. Brain wake up, you have not had them in years!

    I did quince and cranberry compote for Thanksgiving and a quince tarte tatin for a Christmastime dinner party. Most of the people there had never tasted them before and were quite taken. I am sure there will be a lot more demand next year for them and they might become a regular staple if we keep requesting them.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      Bella Donna gouda from the Berkeley Bowl was delicious.

      Someone with your handle mentioned a Celery Soup that I'd love to try. Was it you? The post said the recipe was in the New York Times in November of '05 I believe. I searched the Times archives and couldn't find it.

      1. re: BellaCalabrese

        I did post about a 3 celery soup from Waldy Malouf's cookbook, The Husdson River Valley coook book.It used celery, celeriac and celery seed and is delicious

        1. re: Candy

          Thanks, Candy. I went to Amazon, which now has a fabulous feature that lets you search insides all the books that you can look in, and I was able to get the recipe from Malouf's book. Looks yummy!

          1. re: BellaCalabrese

            There is lots of yummy in that book. It is worth owning.

    2. Crosnes

      Apparently foodies know about these little things but I had never seen them before until a few weeks ago in Paris.

      They're available in CA as a local crop too.

      Kinda like a mini bland radish, a bit sweet. Just the funniest looking little things.

      5 Replies
      1. re: orangewasabi

        I recently tried crosnes too! They're incredibly funny looking. My friends were kind of grossed out, but liked them too. They're sort of like jicama in flavor, or radish like you say.

          1. re: operagirl

            pronounced "crones" like the old lady.

        1. re: orangewasabi

          Choyote ... raw they are like cucumbers ... cooked somewhere between summer & winter squash
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/335827

          Where did you buy the crosnes? Do they have a season? Are they just eaten raw?

          1. re: rworange

            I bought them in Paris. But from googling, apparently they are also grown in CA. They're kinda salad like and kinda starch like. I have never eaten them cooked, though it seems they can be used as where a potato or parsnip would be used. They're quite small, and due to their shape, I can see them being fun & easy to toss into a pot of stew. I have never seen them in Toronto where I live though, so it may be a while before I experiment with them again.
            http://www.theproducehunter.com/produ...

        2. I had a complete wedge of mimolette leftover from our Christmas Eve cheese platter. I'd always dismissed it as relatively uninteresting compared to other French cheeses (and apparently so did everyone else at the dinner). The cheese itself is pretty tasty, chewy and nutty. But a little bit of research and it turns out that the strange powdery gray crust consists of the excrement and carcasses of cheese mites! And also plenty of live ones. It's not as extreme as Milbenkäse or that Corsican/Sardinian stuff, but still surprising.

          1 Reply
          1. I tried making short ribs for the first time. I had never ordered them in a restaurant either, just had tastes in appetizers and such. I braised them and they came out great, although not spoon soft like the ones in restaurants.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Chowpatty

              I've always had really great results if I braise them for a longer period of time on a lower heat setting in the oven. I use this trick with all tough cuts like osso buco, oxtails, even 7-bone chuck for pot roasts, and it always seems to work. They always come out meltingly tender. Maybe that's something to consider.

              1. re: adroit_minx

                I guess this is getting into Home Cooking, and they aren't a new taste for me, but I just made braised short ribs using a recipe I got from Epicurious:

                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                as you can see, the recipe calls for oven braising at 250 for four or five hours. A great recipe to warm the kitchen on a cold day, and it came out perfectly after four hours....delicious, much easier than it seems at first glance (though that demi-glace is expensive!

                )

                Actually, come to think of it, I think this was the first time I made a recipe with Demi-Glace Gold concentrate....

                In any event, I do recommend the recipe for excellent, meltingly tender results.

                1. re: susancinsf

                  Fabulous recipe, thanks for posting it. And you could use the proportions and cooking times/temps and do variations on it depending on the mood and desired flavor.

            2. I don't remember having Goat Humboldt Fog cheese, and my cheese search is over! In texture, it is like biting into a cloud, and the taste is surprisingly rich for the texture. The cheese was at perfect ripeness so that the part closest to the rind had begun to liquefy...oh, my! Now I understand why so many 'Hounds posted this cheese in a recent General Boards post entitled something like "Favorite Cheeses."

              2 Replies
              1. re: liu

                Humboldt fog is pretty darn good.....

                1. re: liu

                  Humboldt Fog cheese is a divine taste. I had it for the first time last Feb in Sonoma at "The Girl and The Fig" (a warm orange essence olives came with the cheese plate and I order extra for the next days snack). Since I have been seeing the cheese in many spots, which is great.