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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.

                2. Biltong, sorta a beef jerky.

                  And this Amazing, so creamy, it was almost liquid, intense blue cheese we got at Murrays. And I have NO idea what the name was. BF unpacked it and well, good bye label. :) About the best I ever tasted in cheese.

                  1. Mangosteens. Tasty, but not the life-changing revelation everyone said it would be.

                    Also, black bean chipotle burrito from Gardenburger. Not great - I'd rather spend 5 extra minutes making one from scratch.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: piccola

                      piccola, We bought a can of mangosteens, and they were pretty good; they were like a lychee in texture with a taste of their own. Do you think I got the idea, or do you think I need to try them fresh?

                      1. re: liu

                        I've only tried the fresh, but "like a lychee with a taste of their own" sounds about right.

                        I mean, I'm sure the fresh are better, but I wouldn't go out of my way to look for them unless you absolutely love mangosteens and need to have the best.

                        All you're missing is the prettiness of the fruit, IMO. :-)

                        1. re: piccola

                          Lychees are mine and boy am I glad!

                    2. Persimmon! Vibrant, sweet, delightful. I used one in a salad at Thanksgiving that probably had way too much else going on. Next time, I’ll try persimmon on its own.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: intuitive eggplant

                        Joy of Cooking has a wonderful recipe for Persimmon Pudding.

                        1. re: intuitive eggplant

                          Around Thanksgiving time, one of the local (Phoenix) morning shows had a chef (??) from Whole Foods on to discuss new and different foods for the holidays.

                          He did a dish with persimmons, which I can't remember for the life of me. But, more importantly, he spent the whole segment talking about how great "permissions" are.

                          He mispronouced the word the entire segment. Bless his heart.

                        2. Tried this recently.... Look ---> http://farm1.static.flickr.com/156/33...

                          Details found in this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/350358
                          Some more neat pictures too. Any translations of info would be great too (if you can help).

                          Very delicious !

                          1. Over Christmas my folks took us over to a little Italian town on the north end of Pittsburg, Kansas, called Frontenac. In Frontenac there's a somewhat shabby small-town supermarket called Pallucca & Sons. We got some of their homemade Italian sausage, some prosciutto, meatball meat mixture they make there, locally-baked bread, and some cannellonis that seemed to have the same meatball mixture in them. I'd lived within 60 miles of Frontenac for the first 18 years of my life and never went there till that day.

                            I put them in the freezer when I got home, saving them for an opportune time, which presented itself tonight. I made some nice marinara sauce and poured it over the cannellonis and baked them for an hour. We had them with mushroom caps stuffed with spinach, cheese, and the chopped mushroom stems.

                            1. I fell in love with the Wensleydale Cheese with Cranberries from Whole Foods.

                              I was having dinner guests and served it with red grapes, crakers and a wine as an app.

                              It is so good.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: mcel215

                                I served this cheese as well.. big hit. =)

                              2. cactus fruit for smoothies
                                finally took a chance on the mini pineapples (price kept me away) but they were delicious.

                                1. Edamame. I had never even heard of it until somebody ordered it at a Dim Sum restaurant. It was love at first bite and I couldn't stop eating it.

                                  1. Last night I had the strangest crab dish at a new, and very good, Korean restaurant in Flushing Queens. It was raw, fermented, crab in a soy sauce. The crab was split open and you scraped out the innards and stuffed cooked rice into it to soak up the juices. Then you mixed it up a bit and ate it. The texture of raw crab isn't one of my favorites and in this case it was even more gooey, slimy, and very strange. I liked it better with sweet, sticky, red rice, than plain white rice; and it was sort of good and interesting in a very strange way. I'm not sure I would order it, but it was a gift from the kitchen so I had to eat it.

                                    The thing is that I kept flashing back to the first crab scene in Castaway where Tom Hanks tries eating raw land crabs and this black slime oozes out. That's what it looked like.

                                    A friend said that compared to the odoriferous Japanese fermented squid guts it was pretty good. What a complement. What was even more interesting was that another friend with us was from Ireland and had never tried Korean food, and he liked it. I didn't tell him until afterwards that it was raw and fermented crab.

                                    1. Cara Cara orange -- lovely color, subtle flavor, very low acid.

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                        "Very low acid" made my ears prick up. Do you think they would be OK for an acid reflux diet?

                                        1. re: chowmeow

                                          I think they might, especially mixed with other fresh fruit in a fruit salad. My husband has a hard time with high-acid foods, but he can eat these. You might try eating a couple of segments a day to see what happens. Good luck!

                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                            Thanks! I haven't been able to eat citrus in a while and I'm beginning to daydream about orange and grapefruit segments bursting open with juice.

                                            1. re: chowmeow

                                              Oooh, me too! Where do you find these oranges?

                                              1. re: LBeff

                                                I spotted them at our co-op. This is one of those specialty items that your grocer should be able to get if he wants to please. Ask.

                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                  They had them at the store where my husband works, and then I started seeing them all over the place! Really mild acidity; I can't say they'd be safe to eat every day, but definitely a worthwhile treat. Thanks so much for that heads up!

                                                2. re: LBeff

                                                  I've spotted them at whole foods.

                                        2. Pane carasau - "music paper bread" from Sicily. I came across it at Guidi Marcello in Santa Monica. E-mailed Saveur to track down a recipe I had seen for pane frattau, and made that a couple of times before my stash of bread got rancid. It comes in an enormous box!

                                          I've got a couple of fragrant pears (aka Kuerle, a variety of Asian pear) sitting on the counter ripening; waiting to try those. I read about them here: http://curiouscook.blogspot.com/2006/... and then found them at 99 Ranch.

                                          1. Sweetbreads. I made them for the first time a couple of months ago, and they just blew me away. I bread and pan fried them, then served them with lemon, and the intense meaty richness of them was just overwhelming.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: AnnaEA

                                              Sweetbreads are one of my all-time favorite foods. Are you lucky enough to get them fresh, or do you have to settle for frozen, as I do? I first had them at The Inn at Little Washington with a sauce of "three mustards" -- absolutely one of the best dishes I've ever eaten!

                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                My butcher carries them frozen, but has offered to have them for me fresh if I want to order them a few days in advance. So far, I've only had the frozen.

                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                  I love sweetbreads too but am content to let someone else prepare them for me. They are really labor intensive. Had a fabulous sweetbread starter down in Louisville at Lily's.

                                                2. re: AnnaEA

                                                  Anna, Try putting some sauted sweetbreads inside a veal chop. Then top with a veal reduction sauce. You'll barely come up for air.

                                                3. a weird young coconut juice drink, had recently at a pho shack as well as a malaysian restaurant. at the latter it was served in a large coconut husk. both versions had large coconut slabs floating around. very odd, completely foreign flavor to me (does NOT taste like coconut in the senses you'd typically think of it - like macaroons or tom kha) but also very refreshing.

                                                  1. For me, this would be some Japanese cuttlefish jerky someone brought into work a couple of weeks back. It seemed just a little too fishy for my liking (particularly the aftertaste), and it wasn't quite as chewy as I would expect something like that to be. Not sure I'd be rushing out to buy a bag of the stuff, although I'd try it again if offered.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Vexorg

                                                      These are often eaten as bar food in Japan...think salty peanuts. Personally, I hate squid, but you might like it better with a cold beer!!

                                                    2. An Armenian beef tartare dish. It had different spicing. Very good.

                                                      1. Rice balls-Arancina I think they are called. Tried them from two different Italian stores, and also an interesting dessert I can't remember the name of. It looked like a big jelly donut, but it was filled with Ricotta cheese and some chocolate chips. Very interesting combination!!

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Leslieville

                                                          Arancini are the rice balls. If the dessert was a long tube that was filled with a ricotta mixture and chocolate chips, those were cannoli.

                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                            I knew Arancini were the rice balls, and no, the dessert was not a long tube, it looked like a jelly donut (round) and was dusted with sugar and some cinnamon. Cannoli I would recognize. The texture of this was also very donut-like, quite tender. I had seen this item before in an Italian bakery, but the outside of that one had a harder crust I think, but the same insides.

                                                        2. Our relatively recent - well in the past six months maybe - was bottarga - dried gray mullet roe - fantastic on pasta. Several threads on HC about it. Just picked up some more this morning.

                                                          1. I have never used it in my kitchen (I am sure I have ate it while out?) but Champagne mustard has become popular since my mother in law used it for a rack of lamb over Thanksgiving weekend.
                                                            (She took 1/3 Champagne mustard, 1/3 Dijon, 1/3 grain mustard mixed and after the racks were 1/2 cooked basted them. Cooked a bit more finished of in the broiler with coating the racks with chopped parsley and panko bread crumbs) it was a great flavor combination.
                                                            I have mixed it with other mustards. Used a bit in marinates, or sauces. It has a milder taste that has worked very well.

                                                            1. I just tried Total yogurt for the first time last week for my pre-boarding airport breakfast. Having grown up in suburbia with pre-sweetened yogurts like Dannon, etc., I was a little afraid to try the "real" yogurts. I got the one with honey, and wow! wow! It was 5AM at grim JFK, and I'd had only 2 hours of sleep, but I was grinning from ear to ear. I only wish that Total would include honey with their fat-free version as well.

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: chowmeow

                                                                "I only wish that Total would include honey with their fat-free version..."

                                                                Hi, chowmeow! I emailed them and had many discussions about this. Actually, I was trying to find out what kind of honey they used so that I could add a little to my 0% Fage. They would not, however, divulge any information. They suggested I try some Greek honey -- which I did, but it was not the same.

                                                                Perhaps if we email them again with the suggestion of adding THEIR honey pack to the 0%, they might consider. In the meantime, I have tried many different honeys to find one that I like so that I can drizzle on my Fage!

                                                                1. re: liu

                                                                  Hi liu! I'd tossed that last line out almost as an after thought, and here I discover that in true houndly fashion, you have been very proactive about the honey issue. I love this site! I will write to Total about this too.

                                                                  1. re: chowmeow

                                                                    "I love this site!" Ditto!!! I love that YOU even noticed the great honey that comes with the Fage yogurt! There is something just perfect about it as a companion to their yogurt.

                                                                    But, if you make it your lifetime search, you will find a honey that you like just as much, perhaps, and then you can use that as your drizzle. There have been some Chowhound posts about honey, and it was fun to chase some of the ones mentioned and explore the world of honey -- something new to me!

                                                                    Also, someone suggested that local honey is a great gift when you travel because each area has its own flavor in the honey world. Now, everywhere I go, and every ethnic market that I visit, I always check their honey section.

                                                                    1. re: liu

                                                                      I missed the threads about honey b/c I'm sort of new here; so would someone share an online source for different kinds of honey?

                                                                      1. re: revsharkie

                                                                        Hello, revsharkie. This is one of my posts from several months ago: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/30759...

                                                                        If you type in "honey" in the search window at the top of this page, however, you will get a lot of additional posts on this subject -- to get you started on your quest!

                                                                        1. re: liu

                                                                          Yes, thanks! I went there, then via that found my way to the national honey board and found what I was looking for.

                                                                      2. re: liu

                                                                        Hi liu,
                                                                        It's funny that you should talk about your great honey search. I had never been interested in the different flavors of honey before, and I was thinking that suddenly, this delicious yogurt is giving me the perfect reason to start exploring honey. And along comes your post to point out a direction to go in; thanks for your honey info!

                                                                        1. re: chowmeow

                                                                          Hello, chowmeow! It was Fage yogurt that began my search, also! It just adds the perfect something to the yogurt. Now, for a snack with just a little more weight, try adding some Grapenuts! (This was yet another delicious idea I found on this site; someone else is due the credit!)

                                                                          I'm glad you're having as much fun as I am!

                                                                2. I just made praline bacon for that appetizer recipe (Maple-glazed bacon on gorgonzola polenta squares) from the last F&W -n oh, ho, ho!

                                                                  1. Cara Cara oranges are very sweet and very hard to find you should try them - not sure how low the acid needs to be to not affect you.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Ljubitca

                                                                      Really? They're everywhere here (in California, so take this "cum grano salis" or whatever)... though with the absolutely hellish cold lately (it was 23 this morning!!) who knows what will happen to the crop.

                                                                    2. Dundgenus crab. Not sure how to spell it but at least I understand what all the fuss is about now! So good my mind is blown.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: hungrydyke

                                                                        It's "Dungeness." I grew up in the area of western Washington known as the Dungeness valley. No seafood beats fresh-caught D crab. The best lobster is a fine substitute, but only when fresh crab is not to be found. I've never purchased the stuff -- is it any good from the grocery store?

                                                                        1. re: maestra

                                                                          I loved it but I'm a newbie to that type and have never met "real" crab I didn't like. Maybe someone who knows more can answer you. ;)

                                                                      2. Rose flavored Turkish Delight. I'm addicted to rose flavor, and this stuff was choice. I love having a Mediterranean grocery nearby!

                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                        1. re: demimonde

                                                                          What is rose flavored Turkish delight? Is it a candy?

                                                                          I, too, have recently been "into" Rose water; I add it to my tea for a wonderful aroma. I am not sure it has much flavor, but the fragrance is heavenly!

                                                                          1. re: liu

                                                                            Yep, liu, it's a gel candy (like gummy bears) cut into squares and rolled in confectioner's sugar. There's other flavors besides rose, but I haven't tried them. I'd heard of Turkish Delight, and never knew it was like this!

                                                                            At the same Mediterrenian store I bought Orange Blossom Water, which I put in mimosas at my New Year's party. Everybody loved them. Thanks to you, I'm gonna try it in my tea!

                                                                            I love the Rose and Orange Blossom Waters because not only do they make desserts and cocktails extraordinary, but they also work great as perfume. I put some in a spray bottle and use it like Febreeze.

                                                                            1. re: demimonde

                                                                              Oh, I love that idea of putting the fragrant waters in a spray bottle! Or...how about putting the cocktails in the spray bottle!

                                                                              I rotate Orange Blossom and Rose Water in my tea, and sometimes I even mix them.

                                                                              Thanks, demimonde, for the info about the Turkish Delights; I will shop for them next time I go to our local Mediterranean market for their chickpea cookies.

                                                                            2. re: liu

                                                                              you can get a turkish delight-type confection from Liberty Orchards in Washington. Used to be just "aplets & cotlets," which are apple- and apricot-flavored. But they have other flavors now, including various berry-flavored ones and some tropical flavors, too. You can see for yourself at www.aplets.com. (I don't know how to insert a link, sorry.

                                                                              )

                                                                              Man. Now I've been reminded. I'm going to have to order some of these.

                                                                              1. re: revsharkie

                                                                                Thanks, revsharkie! I have had "Aplets & Cotlets," but I didn't love all their flavors. I am glad to learn that there are now others; I think I might really like the berry ones.

                                                                                1. re: liu

                                                                                  I remember having some of the other flavors and really liking them. But I also notice that they actually have "old world-style" rose- and orange-blossom-flavored ones, too.

                                                                              2. re: liu

                                                                                I'm also a recent rose water fan. Well, kind of recent -- I've used it as a facial spray for years (nothing beats a spritz of rose water on your face and in your hair on a hot day) but only recently used it in food. Last month I flavored a buttercream frosting for my friend's wedding cake with rose water, and it was absolutely lovely. Of course, it was a suggestion I was given on this site...

                                                                                Anyway, I'm gonna try it in my next cup of tea. Thanks for the idea!

                                                                            3. Fuyu-absolutely wonderful and like no fruit I have ever tried. The taste is similiar to a cantelope but 10 times richer, and the texture of a pumpkin. I like them a little soft where they are really sweet. It would not be exagerating to say that I love them.

                                                                              Quinoa-now a staple in our house. Great light grain with high protein content. Super easy to prepare, and ready in 15 minutes.

                                                                              Srirachi chili sauce-(sp?)I first tried it when I had ordered spicy green beans in brown bean sauce and they cam out not spicy. The waiter gave me a jar of this. GREAT STUFF. Like Crystal hot sauce, but with much more flavor. I just bought a bottle today. I tried, and bought, the one with the chicken on the front.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: liu

                                                                                  They had them at my local Whole foods, and I always see them at Asian markets.

                                                                                  1. re: Main Line Tracey

                                                                                    Fuyu is a type of persimmon, it's very common here in California. Hachiya is another popular type of persimmon, more prized but slightly harder to find since it's more delicate.

                                                                                    1. re: PekoePeony

                                                                                      Of course, OF COURSE!!! I have been thinking about this for several days because I knew I had had fuyu-something. I just couldn't get there! Persimmons, of course! They are delicious. I buy several at a time because they keep on the counter for weeks. When they just slightly soften (unlike the Hachiya which needs to be mushy before it is edible), I peel and slice them into a salad, or just eat them plain. They don't have the bitterness of the Hachiya, but if one is patient with the Hachiya, it becomes very sweet and heavenly when fully ripe (and quite squishy)!

                                                                                      1. re: liu

                                                                                        They're even better sliced and eaten with a squeeze of lime.

                                                                                        1. re: sll

                                                                                          I recently tried hoshigaki ... dried, massaged Hachiya persimmons.

                                                                                          They are very labor intensive. While they are drying, they are massaged to keep them soft and to force the sugar to the surface. So the end product winds up with an outer coating like powdered sugar.

                                                                                          I was surprised that for the brand I bought that the persimmon flavor didn't intensify from being dried. They were pleasant, sort of like a mild date without the stickiness. Then again, fresh persimmons have a background flavor of date to my taste.
                                                                                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                                                                          On a totally different item, I tried bat nuts this year. They were more cool looking than super-delicious. Tried them ... moving on.
                                                                                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/332254

                                                                              1. Recently, I made carnitas myself - from spareribs - for the first time. It was a greasy affair! However, served with salsa verde (or tomatillo sauce) and crema as well, of course, with refried beans and good corn tortillas it was DELISIOUS. I would never had thought it would taste that good, but it was yummy! And definitely worth all the work, which I doubted before I started...

                                                                                1. I forgot to mention chayote. A wonderful squash that has a fresh, cucumber-like taste, without the slight bitterness. It is pretty neutral and is great for salads where celery taste would be too much but you want crunch. They are also great to snack on. Very low in calories. I haven't cooked with them yet, but I heard that you can.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Main Line Tracey

                                                                                    Thanks, I never thought to eat them raw. Do you peel them first?

                                                                                    1. re: chowmeow

                                                                                      Yep, peel them ... tho it is like a cucumber, the skin won't kill you, but I prefer my chayote & cukes peeled.
                                                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/335827

                                                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                                                        Thanks for the info, and the link. Reading about your fascinating explorations of the chayote made me want to run out to the local bodega and get one. (Unfortunately they're not so local anymore, having been squeezed out of their businesses by super high real estate prices.) I'm looking forward to trying them in the different ways you describe.

                                                                                  2. And while we're talking about produce that begins with "ch," I'll offer CHERIMOYAS to the list. This is a wonderful dessert fruit that I have only recently been "into." They are widely available now through about May. It is a tropical fruit whose flavor is a combination of pineapple, papaya, mango, banana, and vanilla. Its texture is creamy, almost like a custard.

                                                                                    1. I'd never had a vastedda before last year. And I'll never have one again ;-)

                                                                                      But spleen isn't a "new" item.

                                                                                      My favorite "new" food was probably Midnight Moon cheese. While it's been around since 2002 or so, it's only offered in one place here in Pgh - and that place only opened last year.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. Dried white mulberries. They were mentioned in the "Saveur 100," but I never thought I'd get a chance to try them. Two days later, I spot a bag next to the sultanas at my local Arab market. Quite good. Not too special at first, but the more you eat, the more interesting the flavor gets.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: maestra

                                                                                          Hey, me too! Bought some in a Turkish dried fruit and nut shop in Berlin a couple of weeks ago, because they looked so funny.

                                                                                        2. Not super new since I tried it in the fall, but bings were a big revelation for me.

                                                                                          1. Japanese Mountain Peach - a cleanser after my Kumamoto oyster at Nobu. Yum.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: jenniebnyc

                                                                                              You eat way too well... ;) can i hang out with you next time I go to NYC? Seriously, I had those peaches in Japan like 6 years ago and they've stuck in the back of my mind... thanks for reminding me.

                                                                                            2. Tamed Pickled Jalepenos. I practically ate a whole jar after I had my first one.

                                                                                              1. I bought some green chickpeas at TJ's yesterday - they taste a bit like edamame, but less sweet.

                                                                                                Also tried Morningstar Farms veggie bacon (it was on sale). Not horrible, but I wouldn't buy it full price.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: piccola

                                                                                                  Oh, I just looooove that Morningstar bacon. TJ has it cheaper than anywhere else I've seen. In every other store here it's more than $4/ box.

                                                                                                  1. re: marmite

                                                                                                    Don't get me wrong - it's pretty good, and I don't regret buying it. In fact, I had a PB and veggie bacon sammie for lunch, a combo I'd never been able to try since I heard of it after becoming veg.

                                                                                                    But I don't think it'll be a regular purchase, since there's only so much I can do with fake bacon. Thanks for the TJ's tip, though.

                                                                                                2. Spega low fat yogurt imported from Italy. I found it at Trader Joe's and Bristol Farms. It is delicious plus I save the glass containers for mini vases!

                                                                                                  1. Jack fruit...was very good.Lychee's...Excellent!