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The Omnivore's 100

I stumbled across a blog post where a man compiled a list of 100 foods he felt every omnivore should eat. He challeneged everyone to go through the list marking the ones they've tried and would never try. I was surprised by some of the things on the list and also some of the things that weren't there.

The original post can be found here

I went ahead and accepted the challenge

What is your opinion? Is there any food you feel absolutely EVERY omnivore should try at some point?

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  1. Is there any food I think every omnivore should try at least once? NO

    Some of these I didn't say I would never eat, only because I didn't know for sure what they were. Some I knew for sure.

    57 I have had
    24 I would never eat (although I have smelled Durian) gah

    1 Reply
    1. re: laliz

      I can't think of any foods I think omnivores should HAVE to try, but there are some things I love that I would WANT everyone to try. It's a bit self-indulgent, but so am I =)

      I'd add
      -fresh figs
      -humboldt fog
      -crab rangoon
      -lamb/beef gyro on pita with tzatziki, lettuce,onion,tomato
      -blue crab

    2. I've had about half of them. Very few I would absolutely refuse to eat under any circumstances, but it is a rather odd list. Seems very "British". Why horse but not dog? Does Beans&Rice mean Red Beans & Rice, the classic dish from the US South? Where is sushi or better yet sashimi? Or poi, the base starch of polynesian food? It seems very light in the dessert category. I understand a root beer float, but how can you be an ominivore and never have a banana split - the true pinacle of an ice cream sundae? Key lime pie?

      Certainly it is hard to limit things to 100, but this list doesn't really impress me.

      9 Replies
      1. re: KaimukiMan

        I also immediately thought, "How English". And I surely hope he meant alligator and not crocodile.

        1. re: mlgb

          I considered them the same. I've had aligator and counted it.

          I've had about half. There's nothing on there that I would say I would not eat even on a bet. But there are a number of things that I don't care to try.


          1. re: Davwud

            If we count alligator I go from 78 to 79. Didn't much care for it, though.

            1. re: BobB

              I like it.

              I made alligator etouffee once and it was incredible.


              1. re: Davwud

                I'd consider giving it a second chance. The one time I had it was in a roadside cafe in LA, not far from New Orleans, and I recall it as fishy-tasting rubber. Given the number of devotees there must be a better preparation out there.

                1. re: BobB

                  I've made "Popcorn" gator with remoulade on more than a few occasions.


          2. re: KaimukiMan

            I should have linked to this.

            This gives an explanation behind some of the choices.

            1. re: KaimukiMan

              i haven't had about 22 of those items on the list but there might be cases of just not remembering it after a one time thing.

              interesting that you bring up sushi and sashimi as i'd assume uni and umeboshi would probably cover that kind of thing. and as the other like arika posted shows, he did specifically give it a certain western european slant since he anticipated that's who would be responding to it.

              i am now going to consider what my top 100 items would be.

            2. Fourteen items left to go.

              If munching bugs off my teeth while biking is roadkill, then there's thirteen left to go.

              1. Five left on the list, due to issues of accessibility. It's a fairly solid list in terms of covering various tastes, textures, heat levels (raw Scotch Bonnet requires some serious cojones). Everyone has to try kimchee at some point. Makes you strong.

                1 Reply
                1. re: link_930

                  so true, eating korean food never makes any lists ):

                2. Yes - it does seem British. I'm on 76 of 100, but agree that this list is incomplete. I guess that begs the question - as an omnivore, what would YOUR top 100 be? Or even your top 25?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kali_MM

                    I kind of had a problem with his list as I don't think he solely compiled it based on taste -- ie. roadkill, fugu, insects, phaal, kaolin, baiju, flowers, carp. It seems that there were some elements of danger and exoticism (at least in his eyes) when he came up with the items. My top 100 would list all foods that I think taste DELICIOUS, whether or not they're exotic or have the chance of making you die from toxic poisoning.

                    That said, I've had about 80 items on this list. And I can tell you that I will probably never do all 100 items. I quit smoking over 10 years ago, and refuse to put a cigar in my mouth. I also slept in my own cognac vomit at one point, so no drop of cognac is going through my lips as well. Roadkill? Well, it would certainly depend on what it is. Deer? Sure. Skunk? No!

                    P.S. Fugu is really overrated. From all of the fish I have tried, I would say it's closest to fluke.

                  2. Love this post, thanks! I posted on my blog with the foods I've eaten and wouldn't try. I have eaten 35 and wouldn't go near 11.

                    1. I've had about three quarters of the stuff on that list.

                      I don't think it's particularly British though. There are more American things on that list than there are British. I'd never heard of hostess fruit pies, for example. Or S'Mores.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: greedygirl

                        Chicken tikka masala is the dead giveaway. I'm surprised he had phaal rather than vindaloo. British style Indian dishes, and the lack of sophistication with respect to Asian foods in general.

                        The ones I haven't had involve the drinks, innards (I've had a few but am not really interested), stinky cheese, and novelty items like fugu, insects, roadkill. I include curryworst in the idea of a novelty food, but for that I'll substitue curry over spaghetti, Japanese style, and I'll substitute alligator for crocodile. As for the real food items, the only one I haven't had is poutine.

                      2. I saw this, was sucked in by the first 15 or so, but then by the time I was done, I was thinking about all of the things that were missing: ice-cold watermelon, corn on the cob, real BBQ ribs, beef rendang, banana pudding, etc. etc. etc.

                        Still, 10 minutes well-spent in nostalgialand...78/100 for me.

                        1. SPAM? Lost all credibility.
                          Liked the Korean comment. Where's lobster? Lutefisk or fried cod roe or tongues? Pozole or tamales or real tacos? Real kolbasa or pierogies? Lox? Whale steaks? Guinea pig? Cerviche? Live baby octopus? Iguana? etc ad naseum. A very ethnocentric list.
                          Steamed or raw clams or oysters? Boudain? Cretan? Baby reindeer chops? Iberian ham or paella? Pulque, chicha,zema (the Finnish one) and kvass ? Smoked eel, new herring, lekkebekke, reistaffoel? Saurbratten, Saltsberg knokkerel? Smoked sturgeon, herring on rye w/ vodka chaser? A midnight sun Skandinavian crayfish party w/ iced vodka? Roesti or raclette? Scrapple, apple butter, chow chow picallly and shoo fly pie? All on my list.

                          1. I'm somewhere between 60-65 (memory fails on some). But some of those choices were surprising. I've never had fugu and never hear anyone talk about anything other than the danger. Does it really taste that good? If it doesn't, why would I bother?

                            Owning a coffeehouse, I hate when someone orders Lapsang Souchong. I can smell it 30 feet away. I wish we never started offering it. (if you've never had it, imagine making tea from the embers of your pine needle bonfire).

                            And he's so wrong on Jamiacan Blue Mountain. There are much better coffees out there one should try.

                            So I think my answer for the ONE thing every omnivore should try would be a cup of Esmeralda Gesha at no more than a city roast level. And maybe a good Uguanda Bugisu AA or Ethiopia Sidamo brewed as a single origin espresso.

                            And both high quality prosciutto di parma or serrano ham were notable omissions. How Spam beat out prosciutto for this list is odd.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Panini Guy

                              as miss needle mentioned earlier, fugu isn't really worth the effort. it's quite bland and nothing extraordinary.

                              i got an opportunity to try the esmeralda though i can't recall at what roast level... but it was surprisingly tea like and certainly quite unexpected. can't say i didn't like it but can't say i would have it again either.

                              i think he also feel for succumbing to not wanting to look like a snob.

                              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                Yeah, I've had fugu prepared two ways -- sashimi style and deep-fried and served in a spicy fermented soy bean paste sauce. The deep-fried one tasted so much better -- probably because the fugu didn't have much taste to begin with.

                            2. 78 for me, and no hurry to try the rest. I don't, as a rule, accept challenges unless they're for something I'd want to do anyway, otherwise I'm simply allowing the challenger to dictate my behavior.

                              The list itself is interesting, though being an expression of one person's taste, it's pretty arbitrary.

                              1. on a 1st rough count i'm missing 9 (but that includes clam chowder in a sourdough bowl - which a may have had... just not sure... but seriously ive had clam chowder, and ive had a sourdough bowl (yawn))

                                1. I was rather surprised to find I've had only 67 of these things, though quite a few of the remaining 33 are on my must-try list. Of course there are some that I wouldn't consider (road kill, raw Scotch bonnet, horse), but only two that I've tried that I'll never try again: durian and gjetost, both of which lingered horribly in my mouth for days. All of the rest were good, and many (including pho, black pudding, head cheese, eel) are things I'll eat every chance I get. But what the hell are Krispy Kremes and Spam doing there?

                                  1. Nettle tea, epoisses (how about some nasty limburger?), Clotted cream tea, fugu, curryworst, Brunost, roadkill, (but I did skin a raccoon that was still warm), Baijiu, pocky, horse.
                                    Kaolin, not necessarily on purpose...
                                    So that makes about ten or so I haven't tried.
                                    Suggested must tries, from the list: Eggs Benedict, mole, Foie gras, oysters. Not on the list: blue crab, scallops, pork tamale, oh God, my mind can't focus! My mouth's watering...
                                    Durian is awful and roadkill would depend on what it is...and how long it's been dead.

                                    1. I was 53/100. I actually thought it would be less as I am not nearly as well travelled as many of you, having only been to a few states in this country, Mexico and years ago to Canada. I live in the Seattle area. My hubby and I like to think we are adventurous eaters and hope to travel more some day to sample other interesting foods in this world but feel like we have a good start and at least willing to try new things. I envy those of you who have had a chance to travel the world and try so many foods from other cultures....hmmmmm....someday!

                                      1. 67/100... I scored where I thought I would be - two out of three. I think the list is culturally biased but if I came up with my own list (but I'm too lazy), it would be as well.

                                        1. I've only had twenty-six... but I'm young(ish) AND I'm a vegetarian.