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Choose 1 national cuisine and 1 last bite.

1) If you had to eat 1 national cuisine for the rest of your life what would it be?
2) What would be your last bite?

This is what Batali and Bourdain answered:

Personally I would go with:
1) Italian
2) A madeleine

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  1. For the Nat'l. cuisine, I'd have to go with Italian. But my last bite would be of a delicious, medium-rare t-bone steak.

    1. I think I'd have to go with Italian as well.

      Last bite: bacon!

      1. I'd go with Vietnamese cuisine, simply because I never get tired of it. My last bite would be freshly baked bread. I'd happily die a carby death!

        1. For me it has to be French, with a really delicious truffle risotto as my last bite

          1. 1) i'm not quite sure what i would choose, but...

            2) a bite of a Kossar's bialy with cream cheese, Zabar's nova, red onion and capers...OR, a bite of a thin-crust Margherita slice fresh from the oven of whichever pizza joint is doing the best rendition on the planet at that moment.

            1. Italian

              really good ravioli

              1. French is the most varied form Basque and Catalan food to Provencal, Alsatian, Breton, Norman, Auvergnat, the variety is stunning. Just think of the difference between a cassoulet, choucroute, a crepe, and ratatouille. You'd never want for dessert or bread, the wine is great, cheese is great.

                One bite: Baba ganouj. Made without tahini.

                  1. 1. Mexican
                    2. Dark Chocolate

                      1. I done changed my mind........last bite would be an artichoke heart, dipped in melted curry butter.

                        1. 1) Vietnamese
                          2) A cube of ripe, chilled mango

                          1. Ooh this is a tough one but....
                            1. Indian
                            2. Extra sharp English chedder cheese with some spiced plum chutney

                            1. Italian
                              Assuming it could be guaranteed that it would be the best one I've ever had, one large strawberry.

                              1. Italian for me also.

                                A ripe pear as a last bite.

                                1. British.

                                  And, for a last bite, a really good Cheshire cheese.

                                  2 Replies
                                    1. re: haggisdragon

                                      Actually, I'm not at all a patriot - but it happens to be the cuisine I like best.

                                  1. Japanese.

                                    A bite of a perfectly rare steak.

                                    1. 1). Vietnamese
                                      2). Godiva pumpkin truffle

                                      1. 1) Thai
                                        2) Holy Communion... or deep dish pizza.

                                        1. Pakistani

                                          Pristinely fresh piece of saba nigiri.

                                          1. Maybe I'm over-thinking this, but my last bite would be the one bite I was most afraid to try all my life... to exit in victory. Like that sheep's head they consumed on The Amazing Race.

                                            1. 1) Japanese

                                              2) A bite of a perfectly medium rare cheeseburger with spicy mustard.

                                              1. If you ask me tomorrow, it might be totally different, but today...

                                                Tex Mex

                                                Lindor Dark Chocolate Truffle

                                                1. Cuisine: French

                                                  Last bite: tuna belly sashimi

                                                  1. Choosing Italian as the one national cuisine to eat for the rest of one's life is a pretty broad selection. Italy has many different 'national cuisines'. If we can choose a cuisine that broad I would have to go with American because that would encompass just about every ethnicity and their cuisines in the world. As for a last bite, I would likely choose something simple like apple pie.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                      i would also pick a perfect apple pie as my last bite-- my mom's, if you please.

                                                      1. re: soupkitten

                                                        The sentimental route is a good one. Now then--my mom's chicken and dumplings or my grandma's fried chicken?

                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                          i wish it were merely sentimental. . . but naw-- the pies available commercially around here are dreck compared to my mom's crafted pies, always made from a mix of local orchard apples, with an amazing flaky crust. my grandma baked pies professionally for local department stores and could make a scratch apple pie in under 6 mins, my mom learned from her. i always feel like a fookin amateur when i work with pastry, thinking of the two of them-- i'm truly not worthy of my bloodline :(

                                                          1. re: soupkitten

                                                            Oh yeah--sentiment + quality. I'm very sentimental about my mom's chicks and dumps, but not about her fried chicken, which, I have to say, was dry and tasteless.

                                                    2. Norwegian. a whale of a good cuisine.
                                                      Bolivian saltena, it would resurrect me!

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                        Wow, PDK, you're more Bolivian than I am!

                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                            and just to torture you a bit.... my dad and sister are picking up some freshly made saltenas today, after their trip to the museum....

                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                              Oh Goooooood! Chicken or beef?m I'll to empanada my blues away.
                                                              I've made saltenas a couple of times, a lot of work and a 2 day process.

                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                I might have to go with Bolivian as the cuisine, because then I could eat saltenas (and silpancho, picana, chairo, and chicharron) for the rest of my life.

                                                                But the last bite? For that I might have to have a bite of my mother's tzimmes.

                                                                1. re: AmyH

                                                                  If my last bite(s) were a Bolivian, churasco, I could live another 10 years! Udderly (sic) delicious.

                                                                2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                  PDK - a couple of times?? wow, you beat me. we were in marseille and made them there, but we could not find LARD anywhere! i think we just used butter. they came out just ok. we are working up our courage to do it again.

                                                        1. Cuisine - Italian
                                                          Last bite - a perfect potato chip (with a sip of Champagne, please)

                                                          1. Cuisine - Chinese, Taiwanese if you want to narrow it down
                                                            Last bite - cold sesame noodles

                                                            1. Japanese - including all yoshoku (pretty much covers it)
                                                              Honmaguro O-toro sashimi

                                                              1. Mexican - real authentic Mexican

                                                                Last food would have to be the biggest lobster you've ever seen with a vat of melted butter. Cholesterol be damned!

                                                                1. Chinese

                                                                  French fry dipped in curry mayo

                                                                  1. Korean
                                                                    Sam gyup ssal with the works (lettuce, toasted garlic sliver, ssamjang, pickled onion, jalapeno)

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: link_930

                                                                      I've long told my friends that sam gyup sal would be my last meal. I think my bite is pretty similar.

                                                                      lettuce, gaeenip, garlic, ssamjang, soy sauce pickled spring onion, or pa moochim. Of course the ingredients would all be homemade lovingly by my mother.

                                                                      1. re: link_930

                                                                        Any Korean Ssam would make a great final bite...my combination looks like this:

                                                                        Lettuce, gaenip, ssam jang, scallion salad, sliced hot pepper, roasted garlic, rice.

                                                                        Once that mix is in place the meat almost doesn't matter...I'll take that with galbi, pork belly, whatever.

                                                                        On a simpler note, I could die happy with a perfect bite of rice and kimchi rolled in sesame oil roasted seaweed. A good kimchi gim-bap makes me stop and ponder the beauty of life.

                                                                      2. For me, this has thus far been an impossible task. Italian and Indian are definitely in the running, but "Mexican" would trump both if Tex-Mex and New-Mex were included. Alas, the latter two do not properly belong to Mexican food; they are distinct. But would I prefer Mexican, sans Tex- and New- to Indian and Italian? Blastedly hard to say.

                                                                        The "last bite" hypothetical is less complicated, but no easier because of it.

                                                                        1. It's interesting that only two people so far have gone with French--surely an indication of how far we've come from the days when French cuisine was considered to be the summit of all things delectable.

                                                                          For me:

                                                                          1) Thai
                                                                          2) Cheese, natch! But which one for that last bite? Perhaps a crystalline Parmigiano Reggiano or an elegant Roquefort or a perfectly aged Swiss mountain cheese or a seductively oozing Vacherin Mont d'Or, or. . .

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                            yep, guilty of the cliche. as much as i love every other type of food - thai, sushi, sichuan, moroccan, vietnamese, burmese, greek, american, californian - French is still the pinnacle for me. and i don't even eat it that ofen, much less cook it. but i'd die to die in Paris, eating that last pomme frite...

                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                              If I could die twice and had to choose again, it would be French. The last bite would remain the same.

                                                                            2. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                              I have immense respect for French cuisine, but rarely do I develop an overwhelming craving for the stuff. I do occasionally cook it, though, and we're fortunate to have an excellent French resto in my humble town.

                                                                              1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                I suspect the lack of claims for French cuisine is about accessability. There are not many French restaurants around (outside of France, of course) so folk do not get exposed to the cuisine.

                                                                                I think the front runner on the thread so far is Italian - which would tend to support the exposure argument - everywhere has Italian restaurants (even if most are not that good).

                                                                                As a European, living in Europe, I see our national cuisines merging much more. Of course, there will be traditional dishes which mark out a cuisine - French snails, Italian pasta, Belgian mussels and so on. But a chef in almost any of the northern European countries is going to take seasonal local produce and cook it in pretty much the same way. In a blind tasting, you wouldnt know if it was British, Irish, Dutch, French, Danish or whatever.

                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                  I dithered a bit between French and Italian, but the enormous variety of Italian cooking, from the Alps to Sicily lengthwise, and French and Middle European influences on the east and west borders tipped my scale to pick Italian.

                                                                              2. need to amend my earlier post. all due respect to the fine truffle risotto, but a really well made potato kugel, in the oven for a minimum of 25 hours and well browned, will have to be my vote for last bite.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: brooklynkoshereater

                                                                                  Every day that I come to read this thread, my final bite changes.

                                                                                  Sometimes you feel like a nut -- sometimes you don't.

                                                                                2. Cool thread!
                                                                                  I didn't even have to think about this one.
                                                                                  Steamed white rice served in a lidded metal bowl with kimchi and dried anchovy. Ideally brought from bowl to mouth using thin metal chopsticks while the rice is still hot and the kimchi is still cold.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: jdoyle2254

                                                                                    Just asked the BF this question and he said Korean for food, and then dae gae bulgogi for the last bite, with all the trimmings in that one bite, but then he amended the last bite to be an unsalted roasted cashew. i had totally forgotten korean - Devil!

                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                      oh god,i obviously did not give this enough thought! how could i forget about PORK?

                                                                                    2. British. I'd die happy if the last thing I ate was a good apple crumble and custard.

                                                                                      1. 1. Vietnamese
                                                                                        2. Valhrona chocolate.

                                                                                        1. Chinese.

                                                                                          My last bite would be either grilled Copper River king salmon or my dad's beef stew.

                                                                                            1. 1. Mexican

                                                                                              2. My mom's chicken and dumplings

                                                                                              1. Chinese as the cuisine, a bite of a perfectly grilled rare leg of lamb.

                                                                                                  1. Indian.

                                                                                                    Veggie sub from the now defunct Hudson St. Market in PVD, RI.

                                                                                                    1. Any world cuisine, I'm not fussy.
                                                                                                      The last bite, however, would have to be a Cuban cigar, a snifter of cognac and a cup of rich black coffee.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                        I think you're related to one of my friends. You just described her favorite dessert :-D

                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                          Change Cuban cigar to Honduran and I did that yesterday afternoon. More enjoyable than the Halloween candy last night.

                                                                                                        2. Cuisine: Thai.
                                                                                                          Last bite: the Caribbean chicken wing tips from EatWSK food truck in Minneapolis. An apotheosis of the sauced chicken wing.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                            I'm just glad you didn't say Python.

                                                                                                            Okay, I just googled "chicken wing tips" and even though I always have just thrown those away or saved them for stock (I don't even give them to the dog because of the bones) I will try this:

                                                                                                            - Marinade in olive oil, pepper, garlic salt.
                                                                                                            - Bake at 350 until golden brown and crunchy crispy.
                                                                                                            - Serve with Ranch Dressing.

                                                                                                            I imagine these are in the same category as Fried Shrimp Heads, something you would normally throw away or use in stock but when fried to crunchy crispy are a delight.

                                                                                                          2. 1) Japanese

                                                                                                            2) Shiromi Sashimi Moriawase - (a mixed plate [Moriawase] of white-fleshed [Shiromi] Sashimi)

                                                                                                            1. If you knew when your last bite was going to happen and presumably you would die soon after and not a long, lingering death from starvation, how about that last bite being Japanese blowfish prepared by Homer Simpson?

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                  So your last bite would be the last thing you ever do... like enjoying a bite of fish whilst skydiving.

                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                    ooohhh i forgot sushi. ankimo may have to be the last bite. but still in Paris.

                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                      I'm with you! That's the perfect time for all of us risk-adverse types to try fugu. Prepared by anyone.

                                                                                                                      Or, since I've been forced to join the salt-avoiding crowd, anything with lots of soy sauce, or a hotdog from Hot Doug's.

                                                                                                                      Or, since I've been forced to join the lipitor army, a perfect grapefruit half, tart and juicy.

                                                                                                                      Favorite cuisine - Chinese.

                                                                                                                    2. 1. French is certainly the first one that came to mind. I thought about it for a while, considering the great flavors of Mexican, the comfort of Southern U.S., the cleanness of Japanese... But, I had to go with French food. The techniques and ingredients are just too overwhelming to pick anything else.

                                                                                                                      2. A soft, warm, chewy chocolate chip cookie.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                            Isn't that "Slivowitz"? Or is this something else you enjoy, the drink that brings out the inner slob in everyone?

                                                                                                                            Just curious...


                                                                                                                            1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                              Yup! Just a slob Slav that can't spel.

                                                                                                                        1. It's a toss-up between French and Italian for me.
                                                                                                                          Last bite: stuffed chicken (roasted red pepper, basil, portabello, swiss) in a creamy maple sauce

                                                                                                                          1. 1. Thai
                                                                                                                            2. a perfectly grilled shrimp

                                                                                                                              1. Mexican
                                                                                                                                A rare piece of a Peter Luger porterhouse (the strip side)

                                                                                                                                1. Ethiopian

                                                                                                                                  Butter-poached lobster

                                                                                                                                  1. Indian. Chocolate eclair.

                                                                                                                                    1. Italian -- because the variety is immense and it's based on high quality ingredients and what is fresh in the market that day. I could never tire of it.

                                                                                                                                      Perfect, hot, homemade peach cobbler made with perfectly ripe South Carolina peaches accompanied by top quality vanilla ice cream.

                                                                                                                                      1. Cool thread. Glad to see it revived.


                                                                                                                                        Since I cant decide I will create my own last bite:
                                                                                                                                        A piece of nigiri sushi, half with top grade wagyu steak lightly torched and topped with a tiny piece of fried garlic and the other half raw ise-ebi with coarse sea salt and a few drops of lemon juice. Turf and surf!

                                                                                                                                        1. Chinese.

                                                                                                                                          Perfectly done dark meat 'white cut chicken' with a dab of perfectly done ginger scallion sauce.

                                                                                                                                          I reserve the right to change my mind on the last bite tomorrow. :-)

                                                                                                                                          1. Hah, revision time.
                                                                                                                                            If I had to die today, my last cuisine chosen would be classic French - nothing noveaux. I want all the butter, cream, demiglace and calories the chef can pack into my food.
                                                                                                                                            Last bite: a perfect piece of spicy fried chicken. Or Gramma Mimi's kugel. Toss-up.
                                                                                                                                            I just don't want to set it in stone, because if G-d's noodling around on here today and sees this, I could get hit by a bus just for doing so....... : )

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                              Mamachef: one cuisine for the rest of your life (assuming you are going to live many more years), not one cuisine for a last meal. Time to re-revise! :-)

                                                                                                                                            2. Cuisine: Istrian
                                                                                                                                              Last Bite: bacon which has been brushed with maple syrup and caramelized - a balance of salty and sweet

                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                                                chefathome: what is your technique for doing bacon this way? I want to try it!

                                                                                                                                                Istrian cuisine? Interesting. I have never tried this, nor heard of it until now. I googled it; while it sounds very much like something I'd love to try, the fact that food is usually boiled rather than baked is a bit of a turn-off. What do you love about it?


                                                                                                                                                1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                                                                                                  All I do is brush maple syrup on the bacon, sprinkle with a touch of pepper and bake in the oven. That's it - so simple and gorgeous.

                                                                                                                                                  I love Istrian cuisine but I have rarely had anything boiled there - not one single thing comes to my mind, actually (we have a house there and are there a lot!). We cook together there with our neighbour who was born and raised there and she never boils anything. In fact, the thing I love about it is that they do a LOT of grilling, from meats (i.e. peka - a meat roasted with potatoes, celeriac, carrots for at least 12 hours with the tinder raked over top) to veg to seafood. I love the fresh truffles, fresh olives, olive oils, wines, wild mushrooms... So much is fresh, fresh, fresh! That link you provided is weird to me - I have tons that don't mention boiling over roasting! Anyway, I'll post a few to give you an idea. BTW, our house is not far from where Lidia Bastianich grew up.

                                                                                                                                                  Istria was ruled by Venice so has a strong Italian influence; thus the quality pizza, bread and pasta. And the gelato.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: woodleyparkhound







                                                                                                                                                    Istria is known for its food festivals: asparagus, sole, truffle, wine, olive oil, risotto, fruits, wild mushrooms, nuts and so on. Part of the appeal to me is that our house is located in the forest so we are surrounded by all kinds of foraging opportunities. We are also near the sea so get to have fresh seafood. Wild boar is in the area - makes a great ragu for gnocchi or fresh pasta.

                                                                                                                                                    The food reminds me of rustic Italian or Sicilian. Two of our favourite restaurants nearby:


                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                                                      Wow. I love Chowhound! Thanks for educating me on a cuisine I knew nothing about. Loved your links! You have succeeding in whetting my appetite for this food. It sounds absolutely wonderful. I wish I could talk with you about your many experiences there!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                                                                                                        How wonderful is that??!! When I get talking about Istria I could go on and on for days. My enthusiasm for it is staggering - sometimes too much so! Anyway, that is why I was surprised to see the "boiling" thing in that article. The only boiled thing I recall is maybe potatoes. That is, of course, not to say there is no such thing as boiling - there definitely is but certainly no more than we do in North America. Spit grills are popular there as well; my favourite is lamb but there is also pork and beef. Oh, speaking of beef there is a breed of special Istrian cattle called "Boskarin" that is mighty good eating. Istria is indeed an incredibly exciting area with its lovely hilltowns and ancient villages and stunning landscapes.

                                                                                                                                                        If you are ever interested in going to Istria let me know! You would be more than welcome to stay at our house. Two more short blurbs on Istrian food: http://www.hotel-kastel-motovun.hr/en... and http://www.cnntraveller.com/2010/11/0...

                                                                                                                                                  1. Japanese
                                                                                                                                                    white peach (grown in Japan)

                                                                                                                                                    1. I guess it would be cheating to say "American" where I can pretty much partake in everything that country has been influenced by. Well, I'll say Chinese just because the country is do damn large that there's a lot of variation. Not a huge fan of Chinese desserts, but I think I'll be OK eating those Portuguese dan tats.

                                                                                                                                                      My last bite would be the Ispahan from Pierre Herme -- combo of rose, lychees and raspberries. Either that or a fresh mangosteen.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                        ummm... fresh mangosteen ... good call!!

                                                                                                                                                      2. By the way - toni and mario got it almost right...the perfect bite of uni has rice, shiso AND a little seaweed.

                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                          +1 on that. Yes, a bit of shiso and a bit of seaweed are great for uni.
                                                                                                                                                          For me, the perfect bite of uni rests on a base of freshly pulled up yuba (soy milk skin).
                                                                                                                                                          Lucky for me, it is one of the house specialties of the great sake bar about a 7 minute walk from my house in Tokyo. Plus, you get to have some of the best sake in Japan with it.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                            Uni and yuba...wow I've never seen or heard of that before. Unfortunately the only yuba i've ever had is the prepackaged kind...i wonder if that would work?

                                                                                                                                                            So jealous Tripeler!

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                            Ugh, now it's a fight between sam gyup sal and uni!

                                                                                                                                                          3. Japanese
                                                                                                                                                            Last bite- I'm torn between Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain >8^D

                                                                                                                                                              1. Indian

                                                                                                                                                                Hunk of a fine sharp cheddar with a dollop of red pepper jelly.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Cuisine? Mexican or Thai

                                                                                                                                                                  Last bite? A gooey, overripe Camembert slathered on fresh sourdough bread, washed down with a nice Pinot or Syrah.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. 1) Mexican
                                                                                                                                                                        2) Fried chicken

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Italian.
                                                                                                                                                                          Spinach Lasagna.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. 1) Napolitano
                                                                                                                                                                            2) The olive at the bottom of a perfect martini.

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                                              Bravo on the olive. Great mental image.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. The Land of Enchantment or the Zia Sun.
                                                                                                                                                                              A New Mexican, stacked, red chile enchilada with a fried egg on top.
                                                                                                                                                                              Dessert? Refer to the above.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Chinese.

                                                                                                                                                                                Foie gras, goose not duck with a REAL baguette and a decadent sauterne.

                                                                                                                                                                                Or my mom's dumplings.