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What ingredients make your heart go pitter pat?

If I am reading a menu, and something has artichokes, I almost always have to order it. I'm not talking about a dish (like I HAVE to order soft shell crabs when their on the menu), but some ingredient in a dish that is irresistible. What draws you to a dish in a restaurant or in a cookbook?

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  1. hearts of palm

    wild mushrooms

    streusel - or at least this used to be

    1. Fennel aka the best vegetable ever! Shrimp paste is pretty damn hard to resist, as well.

      1. the term "imperial"....

        arugula
        artichokes
        the term "florentine"
        ginger and garlic
        hearts of palm

        1 Reply
        1. Truffle oil, marrowbone, sourdough, black pudding and capers

          1. smoked salmon - its hard to wreck it!

            1. Depends on the cuisine, but soft shell crabs are one as well as oysters, seafood in general, veal and saltenas!(?)
              Chicharone too!
              Scallops
              Fried clams or oysters
              Duck in any form (feet too).
              Dim Sum
              Summer rolls
              And lamb.

              1. i'm with you on the artichoke, roxlet. also:

                fennel
                hearts of palm
                goat cheese
                wild mushrooms

                2 Replies
                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Not sure if it's exactly the same but a few times we've walked into a restaurant and either on the table or where you can see the stuff is a bottle of sriracha. I'd always turn to Mrs. Sippi and say "This place is good" and so far have always been right.

                  DT

                  1. re: Davwud

                    where does noodles and co fall in the whole "sriracha= good" category?

                2. prime beef
                  dry aged beef
                  king crab
                  stone crab
                  dungeness crab
                  lobster
                  oyster sauce
                  crawfish
                  smoked meat of any kind
                  avocado
                  garlic

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: swsidejim

                    "oyster sauce"

                    Me too. LOVE that stuff.

                    1. re: Catskillgirl

                      I use it as a table condiment at home for beef, chicken, and pork, in addition to wok cooking, and as a part of a marinade.

                      1. re: swsidejim

                        Try to get your hands on thai oyster sauce. Great stuff!

                        1. re: moymoy

                          I will look for the thai oyster sauce. typically we have either Chinese, or Filipino oyster sauce.

                  2. Prosciutto
                    Artichoke
                    and oddly enough I'm presently addicted to scallions though it has not yet carried over to restaurants. This week alone I've made baked crab rangoon, tomato pie, bourbon chicken, and squash rollatini primarily because they all prominently showcase scallions. Weird.

                    1. i forgot to mention fresh rice noodles in any stir-fry. oh. my. goodness......

                      1. morels
                        oysters
                        bleu cheese
                        whole shrimp
                        desserts made with rum

                        1. Calamari
                          Lamb
                          Duck
                          Chili
                          Cheese
                          the words "deep fried"

                          1. shrimp or prawns
                            real crab
                            scallops
                            the word Bordelaise on anything
                            chilis
                            Chinese noodles or wrappers
                            Char siu
                            beans
                            potatoes-gratin....mmmm!
                            lamb and if blackberry is in the same sentence, I'm sooo happy.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: chef chicklet

                              amen on the bordelaise call. id like to give a shout out to chef e. the godfather of food for the bordelaise

                              1. To steal from others and add a few

                                wild mushrooms
                                goat cheese
                                duck
                                calamari
                                octopus
                                olives
                                tarragon
                                dill

                                1. squid
                                  crab
                                  Stilton
                                  garlic
                                  fries
                                  king scallops
                                  whole lemon sole... in fact pretty much any fish served whole
                                  aubergine
                                  walnuts

                                  1. Sooooooo many:

                                    Kabocha squash
                                    Wild mushroom
                                    Kale
                                    Kimchi
                                    Fennel
                                    Blood orange
                                    Figs
                                    Hearts of palm
                                    Hand-pulled noodles
                                    Tofu skin
                                    Gingko nuts
                                    Cilantro
                                    Chestnuts

                                    1. Bearnaise sauce
                                      Avocado
                                      Beets
                                      Goat cheese
                                      Lemon
                                      Pistachio
                                      Cranberry

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. Dang, has no one mentioned chocolate?

                                        Chocolate
                                        Passion fruit
                                        Marrow bone
                                        Wild mushrooms
                                        soft shell crab
                                        fois gras
                                        jerusalem artichokes
                                        pine nuts
                                        pomegranate
                                        blueberries
                                        lamb
                                        bacon

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: moh

                                          i think chocolate is a given for all of us :) i was thinking more along the lines of savory dishes for mine [yes, chocolate does appear in the occasional mole or other sauce, but i equate it more with dessert].

                                          as far as savory goes, i'l add pistachios & pine nuts to my list. oh, and bacon. definitely.

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            Not for me. If there's chocolate on the dessert list, I'd rather just forgo dessert!

                                            1. re: JungMann

                                              Ditto!

                                              Anything citrus, on the other hand...

                                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                i'll take it all. fruit, chocolate, a combination thereof, with or without nuts...i'm an equal opportunity dessert orderer :)

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  I'm jealous. I'm allergic to nuts and dislike chocolate.

                                                  I can't get enough lemon/lime flavor.

                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                    i've been on a *serious* lemon kick lately. i'm using fresh lemon on everything, squeezing it into my drinks, baking with it...i made a batch of lemon-cranberry muffins the other day and i couldn't believe the way everryone devoured them. there's just something about citrus in the summertime.

                                                    i have to say, i've always felt particularly sorry for people who have nut allergies because they miss out on so many things. plus, you have to be so vigilant about avoiding potential contamination in so many places.

                                                    but hey, at least you can still have lemon bars & key lime pie!

                                                    of course now i'm craving both of those things :)

                                        2. Meyer lemon
                                          truffles
                                          cardamom
                                          pork belly

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                            Ruth L - you're in the SF Bay area right? if you ever venture to Menlo Park, there are unappreciated Meyer Lemon trees everywhere just waiting for surreptious plucking. I like to think of it as milking cows - has to be done or bad for the source. and I wasn't spoiling anyone's crop, these were usu. recently fallen to the ground.

                                            1. re: hill food

                                              It's sad, isn't it? Many people in California have them and don't know what to do with them, and poor people in New York are paying a fortune for them. When people ask where to buy them in the Bay Area, I often tell them to ask around and/or to take a walk around their neighborhood (or the nearest older suburban neighborhood) and find someone who will be happy to have you take them off their hands. Really, there are only two amounts of Meyer lemons: not enough and too many. My little bush hasn't started bearing yet (I can hardly wait!), but I get them from my Mom, and from people around town.

                                              Segueing back on topic, here's one that will make many chowhounds drool: fritto misto of Meyer lemons and artichokes. I could no more not order that than I could stop breathing.

                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                Oh Ruth, the idea of this fritto misto is making me very hungry... I have only tried frying artichokes once, and I am sad to say it wasn't so successful. The thought of ordering this in a resto is indeed "pitter pat".

                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                  Ruth: yum.

                                                  period.

                                                  would the addition of calamari tentacles or well-subdued octopus be an ingredient too far? I say no.

                                                  and don't get me started on how often I kick myself for the overlooked snails in my Western Addition backyard before I knew they are the edible variety.

                                            2. Truffles (the words 'truffle fries' will make me drool)
                                              Bacon, Bacon, Bacon
                                              Fois Gras
                                              Lamb
                                              Marrow
                                              Duck Confit
                                              Curry
                                              Blueberries
                                              Lemon
                                              Chocolate
                                              Coconut

                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: Cookiefiend

                                                Cookiefiend, we need to eat together soon! thanks for reminding me about duck confit, how could I forget that marvelous stuff...

                                                1. re: moh

                                                  Pitter Pat!

                                                  :-)

                                                  One more good reason to make it up to Montreal!

                                                  1. re: Cookiefiend

                                                    We could find you some very nice duck confit in Montreal! and fois! Also, wild chocolate covered blueberry season starts in August! Steal away my friend! We could feed you well...

                                                    1. re: moh

                                                      Wow!!! You GROW wild chocolate-covered blueberries in Montreal? ;-)

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        We do, but I prefer the chocolate covered strawberries. Alas, their season has come and gone.

                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                          " Wow!!! You GROW wild chocolate-covered blueberries in Montreal? ;-)"

                                                          Well, I GROW when there are wild chocolate-covered blueberries in Montreal - sideways... There are meals where all I've eaten are a bunch of these little delights..

                                                          1. re: moh

                                                            LOL! Now that's a good meal. :-)

                                                2. caffeine gives me pitter-pat.

                                                  1. Cheeks (of any variety from any creature)

                                                    Vanilla

                                                    Saffron

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. Lamb
                                                      Duck
                                                      Prosciutto
                                                      Bacon
                                                      Asparagus
                                                      Lemon (in desserts)
                                                      Ginger
                                                      Vanilla
                                                      Salmon
                                                      Goat Cheese
                                                      Mango (not Tommy Atkins kind, however)
                                                      Key Lime Pie (REAL key lime pie!)

                                                      1. Goat Cheese
                                                        Chocolate
                                                        Hazeluts
                                                        Lamb
                                                        Peanut butter
                                                        Ahi Tuna
                                                        Blackberry

                                                        1. Capers
                                                          fennel
                                                          arugula

                                                          and if they are all somehow in the same dish... bonus !

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Lemoncaper

                                                            considering your screen name i'm surprised you wouldn't want lemon in the dish as well ;)

                                                          2. Foie gras.
                                                            Duck.
                                                            Shrimp.
                                                            Québec artisanal and European cheeses.
                                                            Mushrooms.
                                                            Asparagus.
                                                            Potatoes.
                                                            Tomatoes.
                                                            Sour cream.
                                                            Anchovies.
                                                            Garlic.

                                                              1. re: Jme

                                                                Foie gras
                                                                Anchovies (especially fresh marinated ones!)
                                                                Duck confit
                                                                Gorgonzola (and most other blue cheeses)
                                                                Chili peppers
                                                                Butterscotch (in a dessert)

                                                                On the other hand, there are two ingredients whose presence will make me refuse to order a dish: Eggplant and okra, both because of texture issues more than taste.

                                                                1. re: BobB

                                                                  To Bob8: Julie Sahni, in her cookbook "Classic Indian Cooking" (1980), said the way to avoid texture issues (sliminess) with okra is to avoid allowing cut okra to be cooked with water or other liquid. Her methods involved stir-frying cut okra in hot oil (never with water). Southerners avoid it by coating cut okra with cornmeal before frying it in oil or bacon grease in a black cast-iron skillet. And others avoid it by only cooking whole okra pods, thus not exposing them to liquid. If you don't like okra because of texture issues, those might help. If you just don't like it anyway, nothing will help - okra tastes like okra.

                                                                  1. re: Potomac Bob

                                                                    We southerners do that, yes; but most of us don't mind the texture, having been raised on it. Love it.

                                                                    1. re: bayoucook

                                                                      bayoucook, i'll bet bobB is turned off by okra in its gumbo state, rather than fried. those two prep methods produce such vastly different textural results.

                                                                      ok, now i'm craving some fried okra!

                                                                      ~~
                                                                      ps, there's a quickie frozen veggie mix with sliced okra that is great to throw together with some tomatoes and stock to make a little gumbo soup... shrimp, chick, whatever optional. it's just easy and pretty tasty. i get it at harris teeter.

                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                        I can get that here, too, have used it many times.
                                                                        For my gumbo and soups, I precook the okra in a hot skillet with a little oil and some flour until the major stickiness is gone. Use Wondra flour and it works really well. I fried some fresh okra last week that was SO good.
                                                                        Old fashioned way: dipped in seasoned buttermilk, then cornmeal and fried in hot oil in a cast iron skillet. Ok. I want more.

                                                              2. seared scallop
                                                                seared foie gras
                                                                muscovy duck
                                                                avocado
                                                                meyer lemon
                                                                leeks
                                                                potato
                                                                bacon
                                                                poached egg
                                                                mangosteen (unfortunately, I don't see this on menus very often)
                                                                artichoke hearts
                                                                crab
                                                                prawn
                                                                black truffle
                                                                valdeon cheese
                                                                salted caramel
                                                                vanilla bean

                                                                So I guess from this list, my ultimate meal would be:

                                                                Crab and prawns with avocado, artichoke hearts and braised leeks chilled in a meyer lemon vinaigrette
                                                                Duo of seared scallops and seared foie served with a black truffle sauce
                                                                Seared muscovy duck breast with mangosteen sauce served with potatoes flavored with bacon and topped with a poched egg (with some bitter greens to add balance to the dish)
                                                                Valdeon cheese with figs
                                                                Ice cream "sandwich" made up of salted caramel macarons and vanilla bean gelato

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                  Where did you see mangosteen on a menu? I have never seen it (am very sad about that). But hopefully that will change, as mangosteens seem to be more common and cheaper now! We've been snacking on some lovely bags of them in the last few months...

                                                                  That is one fine menu you have put together for an ultimate meal!

                                                                  1. re: moh

                                                                    I've seen it at a couple of fine dining restaurants in SEA -- once in Thailand and once in Bali. I've heard that when fresh mangosteens first came to NYC last year that some of the chefs were going to try to do something with it. But the prices were so astronomical that I don't know if they ever did it -- I think it was like $35/lb or something crazy like that. I've never seen it in the states, but I think it's the perfect accompaniment to a rich meat like duck.

                                                                    Oh, lucky you that you've got a great supply of mangosteens in Montreal! Aren't they the absolute best? Moh, I do have to say that if I saw both chocolate and mangosteen on a menu, I think my eyes would be heading for the mangosteen instead of the chocolate.

                                                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                      Mangosteen may be my favorite fruit ever! lately we have been able to find a bag of about 12-15 or them for $10 or so, and they have been very good. They aren't as wonderful as the ones you get in the country of origin, but it has been fun to sit and eat a bunch of them at once! But they haven't yet made it to the dining scene. I bet it would be wonderful with duck. And pork also. Suddenly I feel the need to start branching out with my mangosteen habit!

                                                                      1. re: moh

                                                                        Luckily, we've been starting to get them at a better price in NYC this year. It's hard because some of the stuff has been previously frozen (which makes it really bitter) and you can't tell from just looking at it. I tend to buy them if they're more on the expensive side -- like a bag for 12-15 for $14 or so. I'm pretty sure the cheaper ones are frozen as I've experienced that a couple of times.

                                                                        Yeah, pork and mangosteens would be awesome! Any chefs in NYC and Montreal listening out there? Please put this on your menu, and I'll be there!

                                                                        1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                          Oh, aren't they fabulous? Just bought some lovely mangosteens this week. Yummmmmm! They seriously should be on more menus.

                                                                  2. re: linguafood

                                                                    I'll add some fresh pasta with wild mushrooms and truffles topped off with fried zucchini blossoms just for you! : )

                                                                  3. squash blossoms
                                                                    artichokes
                                                                    asparagus
                                                                    fennel esp. if sliced thin in a salad
                                                                    lemon in desserts
                                                                    chino farms veg
                                                                    baby arugula
                                                                    wild mushrooms (hen of the woods, chanterelles, morels)
                                                                    parm reggiano
                                                                    blood oranges
                                                                    salted caramel esp if sea salt flakes are sprinkled on top
                                                                    hollandaise sauce and its sibling bernaise

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: septocaine_queen

                                                                      definitely a tempura batter on the squash blossoms. stuff it with tartuffi cheese first. and a follow up to the hollandaise, any butter emulsified sauce i have a week spot in my heart for...and consequently there probably is a week spot in my heart.

                                                                    2. Duck
                                                                      Goose
                                                                      Game/exotic meat
                                                                      cheek meat
                                                                      pork belly
                                                                      vinegar (when specifically listed as a featured ingredient)
                                                                      beans
                                                                      morel mushrooms
                                                                      whole grains
                                                                      tamarind

                                                                      1. boquinette entero al mojo de ajo
                                                                        chiles en nogada
                                                                        foie gras
                                                                        lobster fra diavolo
                                                                        osso bucco, with the little marrow fork

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                          sometimes i just order the little marrow fork.

                                                                        2. thai basil
                                                                          orange blossom water
                                                                          rose water
                                                                          fish sauce
                                                                          blue cheese
                                                                          morels
                                                                          crab
                                                                          avocado
                                                                          vanilla bean
                                                                          lavender
                                                                          cardamom
                                                                          coffee

                                                                          1. lobster
                                                                            butter
                                                                            saffron
                                                                            endive
                                                                            radicchio
                                                                            shrimp,cream, and tomatoes in the same dish
                                                                            dumplings-specifically the stuffed kind, but i have a pleasant visceral reaction to just the word
                                                                            veal
                                                                            milanese
                                                                            lentils
                                                                            chick peas
                                                                            fresh fish with a bordelaise or bornaise and capers
                                                                            fried or grilled eggplant
                                                                            chocolate with fruit, particularly pears or raspberries
                                                                            french fries or any fried starch, fish or vegetables
                                                                            plainer broth soups
                                                                            cheese or creamy sauce with vegetables, like a cauliflower and broccoli gratin,mmm.
                                                                            "dips"

                                                                            1. Reading this thread makes me reach for a beta blocker...

                                                                              Others I don't recall seeing:

                                                                              Browned butter
                                                                              Smoked paprika
                                                                              Roasted garlic
                                                                              Roasted asparagus
                                                                              Chanterelle or shitaki mushrooms
                                                                              Real mirin
                                                                              Kasha

                                                                              and lots of the other stuff aleady listed...

                                                                              1. Venison hanging in my garage that smells of pepper as it ages.
                                                                                Fresh picked morels especially those I find on a dark rainy day.
                                                                                Fish so fresh it still smells of the sea.
                                                                                Chocolate
                                                                                Anything I don't have to make on my day off! :)
                                                                                Fresh picked lettuce or maters from my garden.
                                                                                Sausage from Salumi.
                                                                                Smoked bacon
                                                                                Smoked Salmon
                                                                                Chocolate chip cookies
                                                                                Pulled pig

                                                                                1. Good question! I have so many. Where to begin???

                                                                                  Macademia nuts
                                                                                  saffron
                                                                                  vanilla beans
                                                                                  Meyer lemons
                                                                                  pea shoots
                                                                                  pork belly
                                                                                  foie gras
                                                                                  marrow
                                                                                  Bearnaise sauce
                                                                                  fresh wasabi root
                                                                                  sea bass
                                                                                  wild mushrooms
                                                                                  white truffles
                                                                                  bacon and pancetta
                                                                                  great grassy olive oil
                                                                                  duck
                                                                                  lamb
                                                                                  oxtail
                                                                                  braised anything
                                                                                  lavender
                                                                                  duck fat
                                                                                  octopus
                                                                                  the great cheeses - parmesan, ricotta salata, pecorino, triple cream brie...
                                                                                  squash blossoms
                                                                                  game and wild birds - elk, caribou, wild boar, quail, partridge, pheasant...

                                                                                  If all of the above were on a restaraunt menu I would have a very, very hard time choosing! :)

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: chefathome

                                                                                    Oxtail! yes a very good one! Especially braised or in a Caribbean stew...

                                                                                  2. Duck, salmon, lamb, goat, mutton, squid, octopus, trout, chiles, (a number of) cheeses, several fruits. Increase the pitter pat by smoking or drying.

                                                                                    1. Love the question!
                                                                                      These are the words that make me do a double-take:
                                                                                      porcini
                                                                                      foie gras
                                                                                      croquette
                                                                                      pilaf
                                                                                      agnolotti
                                                                                      crab zucchini
                                                                                      tempura, or batter-dipped
                                                                                      reduction (fish particularly)
                                                                                      marsala
                                                                                      masala
                                                                                      creole

                                                                                      1. Ahi
                                                                                        Lobster
                                                                                        Kumoto oysters
                                                                                        avocado
                                                                                        citrus hollandaise
                                                                                        Iranian Cavier
                                                                                        garlic
                                                                                        brie
                                                                                        stilton
                                                                                        King Crab legs
                                                                                        soft shell crab
                                                                                        saffron
                                                                                        garam masala
                                                                                        truffles
                                                                                        barramundi
                                                                                        fleur de sel
                                                                                        watermelon
                                                                                        Tahitian vanilla bean
                                                                                        asparagus
                                                                                        portabella mushrooms
                                                                                        shallots
                                                                                        nectarines

                                                                                        1. If I DON'T see chocolate on the dessert menu, the place takes a dive off my favorite list. Brick oven pizza has not been mentioned-I can't pass up anything cooked in a brick oven. (Sorry, I live in a too small town and feel very deprived of many good things). Sniff, sniff

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: chocchipcookie

                                                                                            If there's no cheese course as an alternative to desert, I am very disappointed.
                                                                                            I really don't 'get' chocolate.

                                                                                            1. re: Peg

                                                                                              I echo MANY...Just a few that come to mind having just read this list include

                                                                                              cilantro
                                                                                              chocolate
                                                                                              bone marrow
                                                                                              mint
                                                                                              lemon
                                                                                              roasted eggplant & roasted marshmallows
                                                                                              garlic

                                                                                              And I have to add CINNAMON and AVOCADO
                                                                                              (I do not remember seeing these on the list.)

                                                                                              GREAT QUESTION. THANKS!

                                                                                          2. sheep's milk ricotta
                                                                                            crispy pancetta
                                                                                            caramelized onion
                                                                                            caramelized banana
                                                                                            "fried in duck fat"
                                                                                            fresh porcini, blue oyster, chanterelle or morel mushrooms
                                                                                            Sicilian lemon and/or pistachio
                                                                                            carnitas
                                                                                            thai chili and/or peanut sauce
                                                                                            white truffle anything
                                                                                            "hot buttered"... anything
                                                                                            VINDALOO!

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                              It may be up there but I haven't seen Pheasant...God I love pheasant and a few years ago I was in the " lounge" area of Daniel in NYC alone and the menu had Grouse with which I was not familiar... I asked the wonderful waiter to compare it to pheasant for me and he said" Non.... too gamey but let me check with Chef to see if we have a pheasant" They did and I was cooked a pheasant, the only diner to have one that evening. Daniel himself came out to be sure it met my approval...what a great memory for one of my favorite birds ....

                                                                                            2. Working in a restaurant, some of the favorites listed on this post are some that I don't want to taste again until next season! That being said:

                                                                                              Rabbit
                                                                                              Bacon
                                                                                              "Head to Tail" paired with charcuterie
                                                                                              Heirloom tomatoes
                                                                                              Heirloom anything, basically
                                                                                              burrata
                                                                                              grass-fed
                                                                                              kurobuta
                                                                                              Wagyu
                                                                                              Artisanal breads
                                                                                              house-made pasta

                                                                                              Yoroshiku,
                                                                                              Andy

                                                                                              1. Mushrooms (one of those things that will immediately draw my eye on a menu - mushroom content of a dish)
                                                                                                Chocolate
                                                                                                Oysters (raw preferably, but I'm learning to like cooked ones, thanks to kaki fry)
                                                                                                Duck
                                                                                                Artichokes

                                                                                                1. Beets..beets, beets, BEETS!! If I see this on the menu, especially in a salad, I'm ordering it. I just love them :P

                                                                                                  Others things:
                                                                                                  feta
                                                                                                  almost any fish or seafood
                                                                                                  olives
                                                                                                  mushrooms, especially wild

                                                                                                  Dessert:
                                                                                                  anything with pecans
                                                                                                  creamcheese

                                                                                                  1. namasake
                                                                                                    saba
                                                                                                    o-toro
                                                                                                    hamachi
                                                                                                    uni
                                                                                                    I think you get the drift with those...

                                                                                                    Fresh Mussels. I MUST get them if they are in a dish on the menu, and sorry, I will send them back, if they are frozen. Far too easy to tell when they have been frozen.

                                                                                                    Escarole (not in soup)

                                                                                                    Hollandaise

                                                                                                    Habanero Chile

                                                                                                    Scapes

                                                                                                    1. passion fruit
                                                                                                      uni
                                                                                                      foie gras

                                                                                                      1. Some restaurateur should complile these, pick the dozen most common, and come up with the world's most irresistible menu.

                                                                                                        1. abalone
                                                                                                          geoduck
                                                                                                          kobe beef
                                                                                                          green papaya
                                                                                                          green mango
                                                                                                          chicken wings
                                                                                                          sticky rice

                                                                                                          1. Reading all the posts here I realize many are items I would absolutely avoid. Some are items I like, but do not make me go pitter patter, and some are items I've never had. But there were some I agree with:
                                                                                                            Meyer lemons
                                                                                                            the great cheeses, parmesan, ricotta, salata, pecornio
                                                                                                            roasted garlic
                                                                                                            roasted asparagus
                                                                                                            fried, grilled, or baked eggplant ~~ but NO flour or bread crumb coating please
                                                                                                            avocado
                                                                                                            artichokes
                                                                                                            shrimp
                                                                                                            Bacon, Bacon, Bacon
                                                                                                            coconut
                                                                                                            Roasted Beets (but NOT pickled or Harvard)
                                                                                                            cream cheese
                                                                                                            Brick oven thin crust pizza
                                                                                                            king crab legs
                                                                                                            figs
                                                                                                            prime or dry aged beef
                                                                                                            dungeness crab
                                                                                                            dim sum

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: laliz

                                                                                                              My list would be VERY similar to yours, minus the bacon, beets, pizza, crab and beef (don't dislike any of them, they just have no pitter-patter effect on my heart).

                                                                                                              And add:

                                                                                                              BASIL
                                                                                                              lime (probably more so than Meyer lemon)
                                                                                                              maple
                                                                                                              wild salmon

                                                                                                              On the dessert menu: caramel, toffee, malt, pistachios

                                                                                                              1. re: Olallieberry

                                                                                                                dessert I agree with the caramel and the toffee, but although I like both malt and pistachios they don't do pitter patter for me as much as creme brulee or boston creme pie

                                                                                                              2. re: laliz

                                                                                                                aint nothin wrong with a pickled beet.
                                                                                                                specially ricks picks phat beets.

                                                                                                              3. Good question, having fun reading all others responses. For me, it's:

                                                                                                                cardamom
                                                                                                                bacon
                                                                                                                asparagus
                                                                                                                coconut
                                                                                                                REAL maple anything. Be it syrup, sugar, and creme. If real maple is involved, I think I would eat dirt, nasty bugs and chrome car bumpers. I'm absolutely ADDICTED to maple.

                                                                                                                1. Caponata
                                                                                                                  Vitello Tonnato
                                                                                                                  Truffles/Porcini
                                                                                                                  Seared foie gras
                                                                                                                  wild-caught any fish
                                                                                                                  Lobster
                                                                                                                  Scallops
                                                                                                                  Fresh pasta w/wild mushrooms (though I tend to make it better than any resto)
                                                                                                                  Stuffed zucchini blossoms

                                                                                                                      1. Basil
                                                                                                                        Tamarind
                                                                                                                        Chilies (preferably hot ones)
                                                                                                                        Parmigiana cheese

                                                                                                                        1. wild mushrooms
                                                                                                                          savoury dishes with nuts (I think these are never used enough)
                                                                                                                          calamari
                                                                                                                          prawns
                                                                                                                          marrowbone
                                                                                                                          artichoke (jerusalem included)
                                                                                                                          dumplings

                                                                                                                          Some key terms:
                                                                                                                          tempura
                                                                                                                          hand-made
                                                                                                                          hand-pulled
                                                                                                                          wood-roasted/roasted in the wood-burning oven

                                                                                                                          When we travelled in Italy, my partner (who doesn't speak Italian) very quickly learnt his favourite food names in Italian, skimmed the menu and picked dishes which contained all or some of the following: fungi/pasta/risotto/calamari/gamberi/scampi/al forno!

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: Gooseberry

                                                                                                                            blue cheese
                                                                                                                            aged
                                                                                                                            roasted
                                                                                                                            crackling
                                                                                                                            port
                                                                                                                            pemaquid
                                                                                                                            tartare
                                                                                                                            bouquet garni
                                                                                                                            tarragon
                                                                                                                            citrus
                                                                                                                            roe
                                                                                                                            sashimi
                                                                                                                            figs
                                                                                                                            honey

                                                                                                                            yummy!

                                                                                                                          2. anything with sun-dried tomatoes
                                                                                                                            gouda
                                                                                                                            lamb
                                                                                                                            mushrooms

                                                                                                                            1. Feta
                                                                                                                              Black Olives
                                                                                                                              Spinach
                                                                                                                              Lemon

                                                                                                                              All are ingredients that will catch my eye on any menu.

                                                                                                                              1. Fennel
                                                                                                                                Eggplant
                                                                                                                                roasted cauliflower
                                                                                                                                sea scallops
                                                                                                                                artichokes

                                                                                                                                1. *capers tilt my eyebrows
                                                                                                                                  *roasted garlic 'topped' is a winner- not 'flavored with' - i want it full throttle
                                                                                                                                  *sesame oil- i'm happy just to stand there smelling it
                                                                                                                                  *pepitas

                                                                                                                                  1. duck
                                                                                                                                    fesenjan
                                                                                                                                    tamarind
                                                                                                                                    arugula
                                                                                                                                    radicchio
                                                                                                                                    caramelized
                                                                                                                                    browned
                                                                                                                                    wood-grilled
                                                                                                                                    toasted
                                                                                                                                    albacore
                                                                                                                                    butterfish
                                                                                                                                    horseradish
                                                                                                                                    fresh water chestnuts
                                                                                                                                    hearts of palm
                                                                                                                                    vanilla curry
                                                                                                                                    plantains
                                                                                                                                    blood orange
                                                                                                                                    sesame noodle
                                                                                                                                    garlic, white wine and cream
                                                                                                                                    hot wings
                                                                                                                                    yuzu
                                                                                                                                    goat milk
                                                                                                                                    goat
                                                                                                                                    goat butter
                                                                                                                                    dragonfruit
                                                                                                                                    bitters
                                                                                                                                    squab
                                                                                                                                    sweet potato fries
                                                                                                                                    lavender beurre blanc

                                                                                                                                    1. Almost all of what people have listed in the concurrent thread, "Foods you dislike that make you less of a foodie" (or whatever its title).

                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                        Amen Sam. Those posts are bizarre. I honestly don't know how some of those people discovered chowhound with all of their dislikes. I'm just glad no one mentioned Boy-r-dee ravioli straight out of the can!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                          I just read that thread - holy smokes, there are a couple people who have so many items on their list I wonder how they eat anything! Also wonder if they carry that list with them when dining out to make sure the kitchen doesn't use any of the items in their food.

                                                                                                                                          Just plain wow.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            I noticed that, too. Shorter list would be what they did like!

                                                                                                                                          2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                            I think being a foodie is more about attitude than a list. It's about being open and adventurous. And long lists of 'no I won't touch that' go against that in the worst possible way.

                                                                                                                                          3. florentine and imperial for me, too
                                                                                                                                            bacon
                                                                                                                                            oysters
                                                                                                                                            fois gras
                                                                                                                                            prime beef
                                                                                                                                            avocado
                                                                                                                                            cheese
                                                                                                                                            oysters
                                                                                                                                            soft shell crabs
                                                                                                                                            artichoke
                                                                                                                                            hollandaise
                                                                                                                                            garlic
                                                                                                                                            tomatoes
                                                                                                                                            capers
                                                                                                                                            brown butter
                                                                                                                                            "spicy"
                                                                                                                                            "deep fried"
                                                                                                                                            "crispy"

                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                              bc, we're florentine, artichoke and imperial sistahs! ;-D.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                Yes! Sometimes I put artichoke hearts in my spinach florentine, love it topped with poached eggs on English muffins.

                                                                                                                                            2. Prosciutto
                                                                                                                                              Goat cheese
                                                                                                                                              Avocado
                                                                                                                                              Balsamic vinegar/reduction
                                                                                                                                              Lamb
                                                                                                                                              Chorizo
                                                                                                                                              Smoked salmon
                                                                                                                                              Chipotle
                                                                                                                                              Grilled or fried onions and peppers
                                                                                                                                              Anything braised, cured, or smoked

                                                                                                                                              For dessert:
                                                                                                                                              Maple
                                                                                                                                              Pineapple
                                                                                                                                              Guava

                                                                                                                                              1. truffles. i don't even know what it is about them. everytime i read the word "truffles", i melt a little inside.

                                                                                                                                                1. right now just PHO Just that I cannot think of something else I am in hell

                                                                                                                                                  1. Fresh tomato
                                                                                                                                                    Barley esp w/ beef and shrooms
                                                                                                                                                    Asparagus
                                                                                                                                                    Pasta
                                                                                                                                                    Hot Chilies and peppers
                                                                                                                                                    Any plant matter I haven't tried before ... ditto things with fins (restaurants)