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What shocked you the first time you ate it?

c
catspercapita Dec 10, 2010 03:51 AM

For me, as a teenager, I had yogurt for the first time (my family was not health conscious in that way).
I couldn't believe something that sour and unpleasant would be eaten by the public at large. I also had the same reaction to beer. Luckily, in both cases, my tastes have changed.

  1. g
    gordeaux Dec 10, 2010 05:56 AM

    I still have issues with India Pale Ales. To me, it's ground up aspirin in seltzer water.

    What shocks me is mystery meat, like what people call "deli turkey" for some reason these days. It is definitely not turkey, and any self respecting deli that I've ever been to does not sell that jello garbage.

    A reverse shock happened to me in high school when I tried real mayo for the first time. My parents were Miracle Whip ppl. I was shocked that mayo was so unbelievable delicious, and shocked that my parents would subject me to the foulness of Miracle Whip for my entire life until that point.

    2 Replies
    1. re: gordeaux
      g
      gordeaux Dec 10, 2010 12:38 PM

      One i forgot:

      Nehari!!!!
      I tried it for the first time a few years ago, and I was not very impressed at ALL. I got it from a place that was not realy known at all for their nehari. Last winter, I tried it again at a differetn joint, and I was FLOORED. It may be the epitome of perfect meaty goodness mixed with ultra fragrant spices and searing heat. I was addicted immediately, and still am! I have beef shanks on hand in the freezer and Shan Nihari mix at all times for when the mood strikes.

      1. re: gordeaux
        i
        Isolda Dec 20, 2010 12:42 PM

        I had the same experience with real mashed potatoes, after eating vile reconstituted flakes my whole life.

      2. Monica Dec 10, 2010 06:06 AM

        Too many!
        French mayo. So much better than American mayo. Luckly, I can get Japanese mayo here which is very close to French mayo.

        Halva. When I first had it, I thought I was going to pass out because it was too sweet but I love it now.

        French Macarons or any french desserts- How can there be such good tasting stuff in the World....that's the first thing that came across my mind.

        Live Octopus- It was scary but wow, it's one of my favorite foods in the world.

        Grilled foie gras- My god, I can still remember my first reaction. I literally jumped in joy.

        Peking duck- sweet, delicate..and rich at the same time..so flavorful.

        Caviar- what the hell..yuk.

        And most recently...creme fraiche ice cream from Aquagrill in NYC. OMG, I almost cried..ordered another scoop...SO GOOD..best tasting Ice cream I've ever had.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Monica
          c
          catspercapita Dec 10, 2010 08:35 AM

          Halva, yes HALVA! The real stuff. Couldn't believe it was so good.

        2. Peg Dec 10, 2010 06:21 AM

          Goat cheese - I was about 10 years old attending a neighbours party - and I'd been 'volunteered' to hand round a big tray of appetisers. A big tray that needed 2 small hands to hold it. Well, I thought I'd grab a bite of something cheesy before I started doing the rounds - and filled my mouth with a hefty morsel of something topped with some very stinky goat cheese. Before my brain registered the flavour I had picked up the tray - and when the taste hit me I realised to my horror that I couldn't spit it out or otherwise dispose of it and I had to chew and swallow. I thought it the most vile disgusting stuff ever and it was years before I tried goat cheese again. Needless to say from taste 2 onwards I've loved every goat cheese I've tried, the stinkier the better.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Peg
            Pia Dec 10, 2010 07:01 AM

            This reminds me of my experience with a charcuterie plate in Paris -- I couldn't quite handle the "gout de merde." (But I have to admit I didn't learn to love it like you! I'm just more careful about recognizing my limitations when I have charcuterie.)

            1. re: Peg
              c
              catspercapita Dec 10, 2010 08:36 AM

              LoL.....:)

            2. c
              chickenbruiser Dec 10, 2010 06:27 AM

              that a heaping spoonful of cacao was not the same thing as a spoonful of Nestle's Quik

              3 Replies
              1. re: chickenbruiser
                s
                smartie Dec 10, 2010 01:13 PM

                I relate to that being an Ovaltine spoonful kinda girl

                1. re: chickenbruiser
                  MinkeyMonkey Dec 14, 2010 08:33 PM

                  Same here! I figured cacao was chocolate and isn't chocolate sweet?? Granted, I don't like the cocoa mixes anymore and haven't for years. I do love ovaltine though! always have, always will. It sure is good on vanilla ice cream or just by the spoonful.

                  The first time I had sushi. My brother took me because I was in my teens and had never tried it--kind of sad for a gal from L. A. I tried octopus--wow, other stuff I can't really remember but it was the sushi roll with tiny roe on the outside--WOW! The popping was such a shock it made me laugh while I was eating it.

                  Sour candies that we bought in Westwood. Oh, man, they started out sweet and then suddenly they went so sour my face puckered and I had to take them out for a breather. It was kind of good so I ate the rest of it Those were favourites after that, during my teens.

                  Mee krob and my first Thai food experience. It was at Royal Thai on Pico in L. A. and I think it was 1978 or 9. Oh, wow, the sweetness and the crunchiness must have appealed to my 8 year old self; it was like eating candy that was spicy! I wanted to be Thai just so I could eat mee krob all day all the time.

                  There was some kind of opaque bean curd or bean paste thing (like a fruit jelly in appearance only icky) that my friend from Korea thought I'd like because I liked everything. Whoops, wrong! It was such an odd taste that I had to excuse myself to spit it out. One was green-ish and one was orange-red-ish but I can't remember what she called them. Oh, they were such a shock. I can still remember the feeling of surprise at the unfamiliar taste which was nothing like tofu.

                  Panne cotta. A friend in my horticulture class was a pastry chef and brought orange infused panne cotta and lavender scented chocolates that she made. It was her class project. The panne cotta was so good I might have been willing to fight for it! The chocolates were terrific too, dusted or gilded with gold (I forget which) but the little cups of milky perfection made my mouth happy. Hah, my mouth is watering while I type this! I may have to go treat myself to some...

                  And, sadly, moldy bread. I was pretty young and I don't remember why the bread was bad because we always kept it in the fridge. But, I made toast and started eating it when I suddenly realized it was moldy on one spot. Bleh, the taste was so weird and awful that I swore I could taste it here and there and had probably thrown out lots of perfectly good bread over the years that followed. "No, this is about to turn, to the trash with it!"

                  Rose ice cream from, I forget now, somewhere off Main St. in Venice, CA. I'd never tasted rose in anything before that except lhasis and rose petals. I just wanted to eat the whole tub in the freezer. Oh, and kulfi (Indian ice cream). Yeah, cardamom and rose are flavours that should be used more often!

                  1. re: MinkeyMonkey
                    l
                    LauraGrace Dec 15, 2010 04:57 AM

                    Cocoa is most definitely NOT sweet unless you put sugar in it.

                2. j
                  jarona Dec 10, 2010 07:46 AM

                  Bone Marrow. And it was the most delicious thing next to escargot and foie gras.
                  In fact--I've got a craving for some bone marrow and maybe I'll make some this weekend!

                  1. v
                    Val Dec 10, 2010 07:49 AM

                    Wow, cats...same memory here of yogurt...I was about 8 years old over at a friend's house after school and she let me try Dannon strawberry yogurt (YEARS AGO, won't say how many, pretty sure it was in the 8 ounce container days..snerk) and I just could not get over how DELICIOUS the sweet vs. tangy & creamy flavors/textures were to my palate. Still love yogurt to this day, tho' have moved on to Greek yogurt.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Val
                      mollyomormon Dec 10, 2010 02:12 PM

                      I initially thought you were commenting that you were surprised at how cats taste.

                      1. re: mollyomormon
                        j
                        justlizikaria Dec 18, 2010 07:24 AM

                        Hahahaha me too!!!!!

                        1. re: mollyomormon
                          GraydonCarter Dec 18, 2010 03:39 PM

                          Tastes like chicken.

                          1. re: GraydonCarter
                            l
                            Lizard Dec 26, 2010 05:06 AM

                            Cats taste like rabbit.

                        2. re: Val
                          p
                          Parrotgal Dec 13, 2010 10:31 AM

                          I don't know if you're older than I, but when I first ate yogurt in 1967 in NYC I was grossed out. It took many, many tries, and a lot of years later they changed it from sour and gritty to smooth and pudding-like, and I like it.

                        3. j
                          jester99 Dec 10, 2010 07:49 AM

                          ill go with the most recent shocked first time i ate it. Stinky fofu when i went back to taiwan. I was shocked on how not horribly stinky it was and I was expecting it to be like bleu cheese almost. Love stinky tofu, wish i could get it here

                          1. w
                            Whinerdiner Dec 10, 2010 07:55 AM

                            Spaghetti. I was sure I was the victim of child abuse. How could a mom make her kid eat squiggly red worms? Of course all the adults around me ate pasta, but I was going to stand my ground. If they wanted to eat that, fine. But not me. No way, no how, not ever!

                            Thankfully, mom didn't put up with my stubbornness for long.Of course spaghetti and meatballs became my absolute favorite family dinner.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Whinerdiner
                              l
                              LauraGrace Dec 14, 2010 02:32 PM

                              That is a great story! :D

                            2. h
                              heavysouldarlin Dec 10, 2010 08:29 AM

                              escargot. My father is a classically trained French/ Italian chef, and has been making them since I was a small child, but I could never get up the moxie to try them. When we were in Paris (eating at one of the oldest still operating bistro's in the city) I figured that it was about damn time. We had to order more, I loved them so much. I can't believe I missed out on them for so many years!

                              1. c
                                catspercapita Dec 10, 2010 08:39 AM

                                On the positive side, the first time I had Cilantro was mind altering. It was such an unexpected and pleasant shock. Had it Vietnamese soup in Paris. Hooked on it ever since.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: catspercapita
                                  cayjohan Dec 10, 2010 11:46 AM

                                  Agree wholeheartedly on the pleasant cilantro shock! First time was the asordo soup in Lisbon 27 years ago, and the cloud of cilantro aroma that surrounded the experience was like the angels singing! All I could think was "Why have I never smelled/tasted/wallowed in this before and how can I make sure I am never without this ever again?" A revelation.

                                  1. re: catspercapita
                                    southernitalian Dec 13, 2010 09:54 AM

                                    Definitely cilantro. I was at a Mexican restaurant on the UES in NYC with my roommate. When the salsa arrived, we expected it to be like most salsa tasted in 1990 (out of a jar). But this was the real deal! It was made in the restaurant! We kept tasting it and remarking on what the unusual flavor was in the background. I've loved it ever since.

                                    1. re: southernitalian
                                      jmcarthur8 Dec 13, 2010 10:10 AM

                                      Yes yes yes to the cilantro. It seems that some bunches I get from the grocery store are less strong, but when I get a good one - wow!

                                      1. re: jmcarthur8
                                        Passadumkeg Dec 13, 2010 10:54 AM

                                        +1

                                      2. re: southernitalian
                                        l
                                        lsmutko Dec 13, 2010 10:40 AM

                                        For me it was real salsa, probably because of the cilantro, in an unexpectedly great Mexican restaurant in Allentown, PA (also surprising!).
                                        It was smooth, fresh, tangy, a little hot and a revelation after only experiencing jarred salsa. Then came the flautas and I was done for.

                                        1. re: lsmutko
                                          m
                                          MichelleRenee Mar 8, 2011 12:47 PM

                                          I'm with ya guys on the cilantro. Never was a big deal to me before and I don't know if I ever really noticed eating anything with it. But a few months ago I bought an herb and field green mix to make salads with and it just had the best taste I ever had in a salad. I found myself munching on it every few minutes like it was crack-coated chips. I finally looked at the ingredients and found that cilantro was in it, and that's when it hit me what that awesome flavor was! Now I have to buy a big bunch of cilantro and mix it into my daily salads. They just don't taste complete without it.

                                          1. re: MichelleRenee
                                            EWSflash Mar 12, 2011 04:01 PM

                                            +1
                                            I could graze my way through a fieldof cilantro. If you can grow it in your area, try it that way, it's even better homegrown.

                                      3. re: catspercapita
                                        i
                                        Isobel_A Mar 18, 2011 03:00 AM

                                        I absolutely love coriander, but I can't have it fresh - just the smell of it gives me an instant headache :(

                                      4. l
                                        L987 Dec 10, 2010 08:47 AM

                                        jelly (those pink little cups), a lot of ppl i know loves it so i thought it would be good but eewww... it was the most discusting thing i ever eaten.. yuk, its not really the taste that is the problem its the texture.. its all wobbly and scary

                                        1. tatamagouche Dec 10, 2010 10:58 AM

                                          A, gjetost, in a good way. http://cheesemongerswife.wordpress.co...

                                          B, natto, in a bad way.

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: tatamagouche
                                            scoopG Dec 10, 2010 02:11 PM

                                            I love Gjetost but most of my friends will only eat it once! Love the caramel creaminess. It is best served on Granny Apples, sliced IMO.

                                            1. re: scoopG
                                              Passadumkeg Dec 13, 2010 08:06 AM

                                              Geitost is to Norway what peanut butter is to the US. We have as the first course in the Norwegian breckfast, the frukost bord; Wasa flat bread, butter, gjeitost covered w/ hot slices of hard boiled egg.

                                              Beluga caviar in the USSR in 69-70. I was surprised by the salty-fishy bursts of flavor washed down by Caucaus Champagne. Wow!

                                            2. re: tatamagouche
                                              c
                                              cheesemaestro Dec 10, 2010 03:25 PM

                                              For me it was the opposite. As someone who has liked almost every cheese I've ever tried, I was really disappointed the first time I tasted gjetost. I'm still not a fan, nor do I appreciate other cheeses that are sweet or sweetened with fruit or candy, like Stilton with cranberries or the hideous English cheddar with toffee in it.

                                              On the other hand, I expected to loathe natto, with its godawful stink and sliminess, but actually enjoyed my first experience eating it.

                                              1. re: cheesemaestro
                                                i
                                                Isobel_A Mar 18, 2011 03:01 AM

                                                Cheddar with toffee? What is this abomination? I'm English and I've never heard of it!

                                                1. re: Isobel_A
                                                  c
                                                  cheesemaestro Mar 18, 2011 08:56 AM

                                                  It's called sticky toffee cheddar, to be precise. It contains dates and raisins as well as toffee and was supposedly "inspired" by the recipe for sticky toffee pudding. Here's a link to a picture of the cheese:

                                                  http://www.guntons.co.uk/acatalog/Eng...

                                                  1. re: cheesemaestro
                                                    i
                                                    Isobel_A Mar 18, 2011 09:18 AM

                                                    That actually made me gag, just at the thought of it!

                                              2. re: tatamagouche
                                                tatamagouche Dec 18, 2010 09:11 AM

                                                Thought of another one. Smoked oysters from a tin. I thought they'd taste like anchovies or sardines, somehow (I was 8). I gagged.

                                                Now I love oysters in all forms, of course. But I didn't try them again until I was 16.

                                                1. re: tatamagouche
                                                  m
                                                  MichelleRenee Mar 8, 2011 12:48 PM

                                                  Oh I love those too! I eat about 1 tin a week. Love 'em!

                                                  1. re: MichelleRenee
                                                    EWSflash Mar 12, 2011 04:02 PM

                                                    Me too.

                                                  2. re: tatamagouche
                                                    k
                                                    kssny5 Mar 17, 2011 09:13 PM

                                                    My family has never had smoked oysters NOT from a tin and we all love them. I even give each child (adults now) a tin of their own in their stockings.

                                                2. Miss Needle Dec 10, 2010 12:02 PM

                                                  In a bad way -- Roquefort at the age of 11. I thought it tasted like a piece of stool. I love Roquefort today. Tupi a few years ago. I thought it tasted like stool (not that I've ever eaten stool, mind you). I think I need to wait many more years before trying it again.

                                                  In a good way -- banh mi 20 years ago. I've never been a big sandwich person, but a friend of mine urged me to try it. Such explosion of flavors and textures and temperatures. I've been hooked since then.

                                                  11 Replies
                                                  1. re: Miss Needle
                                                    Miss Needle Dec 10, 2010 03:41 PM

                                                    Oh, I remember another one. Wine. I was probably five years old and thought it was grape juice gone bad (which is ironic because that is what wine is). In addition, it was white wine that was kept in my mom's pantry for cooking. It was probably really old.

                                                    1. re: Miss Needle
                                                      kattyeyes Dec 11, 2010 03:52 AM

                                                      Similarly, when I was really little, I was asked if I'd like some grapefruit juice. Well, I love grape juice and grape is a fruit...imagine EXPECTING grape juice and getting grapefruit instead...BLEAAAAHHHHHHHHH!

                                                      1. re: kattyeyes
                                                        Miss Needle Dec 11, 2010 10:51 AM

                                                        Ha ha ha ha. Totally makes sense!

                                                        1. re: kattyeyes
                                                          EWSflash Mar 12, 2011 04:04 PM

                                                          The family was on a picnic, I took a big swig out of a thermos that I thought was water- it was martini. I was about 8.

                                                          1. re: EWSflash
                                                            kattyeyes Mar 13, 2011 06:13 AM

                                                            Cheers!!! HA HA HA!

                                                            1. re: EWSflash
                                                              jmcarthur8 Mar 15, 2011 01:04 PM

                                                              Oh, you just reminded me about an evening playing cards with friends years ago. Their beautiful curly haired daughter was about 6. She reached up to take a swig of her dad's 'coke' that was in a juice glass by his elbow. The look on her face was priceless. It was Jezynowka, which is a potent blackberry brandy that the ice fishermen took along in the ice huts in northwest Indiana.
                                                              Fortunately, no harm done, but her eyes just about popped out, and her lovely little smile totally disappeared. When she got her breath back, she just said 'WHAT was THAT?'. We howled.

                                                        2. re: Miss Needle
                                                          BobB Dec 14, 2010 06:53 AM

                                                          Tupi? What is that? I tried googling it and the first entry that came up was the name of a tribe of cannibals.

                                                          1. re: BobB
                                                            Miss Needle Dec 14, 2010 07:02 AM

                                                            Ha! The tribe of cannibals sound tastier than what I had. Tupi is actually a Spanish cheese. Made durian seem really tasty by comparison. It's like somebody took a bunch of cheese, liquor and chewed it up and spat it back out.

                                                            http://www.quesos.com/en/fichaqueso.a...

                                                            1. re: BobB
                                                              c
                                                              cheesemaestro Dec 14, 2010 01:49 PM

                                                              Tupi is made in Catalonia and in parts of the Spanish Basque country from cheese, milk, and a local liqueur, sometimes with olive oil added in. It is kept in an earthenware jar and ferments for two to three months. It is occasionally available in the US.

                                                            2. re: Miss Needle
                                                              Miss Needle Dec 14, 2010 11:35 AM

                                                              Another one in a good way -- fresh mangosteens (preferably eaten in the country of origin)! Oh so good! The canned ones and freeze-dried ones and previously frozen ones just don't compare.

                                                              1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                s
                                                                skywaters Dec 23, 2010 06:00 AM

                                                                YES. Fresh mangosteens have the most wonderful flavor...I remember thinking when I had my first one that I would probably never appreciate other fruit again. Oh and goat cheese. I had it for the first time on a date in high school and pretty much fell in love, haha.

                                                            3. s
                                                              sueatmo Dec 10, 2010 12:07 PM

                                                              Baklava. So sweet it was astonishing, and so so good!

                                                              Fresh grilled tuna. So much better than canned, but different than I expected.

                                                              19 Replies
                                                              1. re: sueatmo
                                                                tatamagouche Dec 10, 2010 02:03 PM

                                                                Ah yes. My first piece of swordfish, back when I was 11, was a similar eye-opening experience.

                                                                1. re: sueatmo
                                                                  kattyeyes Dec 11, 2010 03:55 AM

                                                                  I dislike most fish and can't even stand the SMELL of canned tuna, so I was shocked in a good way to discover how much I LOVE raw tuna (really reminds me more of raw steak than fish)...but cook it in the least and game over for this kat, NO SALE.

                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                    EWSflash Dec 11, 2010 10:36 AM

                                                                    +1

                                                                    1. re: EWSflash
                                                                      p
                                                                      pie22 Dec 13, 2010 11:19 AM

                                                                      +2

                                                                      1. re: pie22
                                                                        KaimukiMan Dec 15, 2010 11:28 PM

                                                                        +3
                                                                        never ate fish at all if i could avoid it, but this time I couldn't.. and it was wonderful.

                                                                    2. re: kattyeyes
                                                                      c oliver Dec 14, 2010 10:12 AM

                                                                      Only tuna sushi? No seared tuna? Boo hoo. If you want to live a little on the wild side, try a can of Italian tuna packed in olive oil. Add cilantro, red onions, capers, s&p, a little more oo (I've been using a Meyer lemon one lately). Serve it to guests and once they rave about it, you might give it a try. Got the rec from an old Italian deli man in SF.

                                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                                        p
                                                                        pie22 Dec 14, 2010 10:48 AM

                                                                        i'll accept a super rare seared tuna when it's done asian style but raw is definitely preferred.

                                                                        1. re: pie22
                                                                          c oliver Dec 14, 2010 01:15 PM

                                                                          To me seared, super rare is redundant :) I like to rub it with some Chinese 5-spice and a little wasabi powder and black sesame seeds and sear for seconds. I like it raw as sushi/sashimi or as an hors d'oeuvre but if it's going on a plate with sides I just think searing looks better somehow.

                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                            GraydonCarter Dec 18, 2010 03:46 PM

                                                                            Eel. Tastes good. A spicey crunchy eel roll is heaven.

                                                                            1. re: GraydonCarter
                                                                              Passadumkeg Dec 18, 2010 04:23 PM

                                                                              Ell sashimi is purrdy tasty too.

                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                onceadaylily Dec 18, 2010 04:50 PM

                                                                                My favorite.

                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                  alanbarnes Dec 18, 2010 05:39 PM

                                                                                  Like raw eel sashimi? Or the grilled stuff (eg unagi)?

                                                                                  Loves me some grilled eel. Even had canned roast eel on rice for dinner last night. But haven't ever seen the stuff raw.

                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                    Passadumkeg Dec 18, 2010 05:50 PM

                                                                                    Raw. Here's a couple of photos from Seoul (I hope), the first, the eel in the tank and the second, sushamied on celophane noodles.
                                                                                    I used to eat a lot of smoked eel in Europe and every once in a while catch on at camp.

                                                                                     
                                                                                     
                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                      Monica Dec 20, 2010 11:10 AM

                                                                                      Anago...I grew up eating anago like once a week. Too bad it's hard to find it here in America. Crunchy, nutty, sweet...yummy..one of my favorite foods.
                                                                                      Cooked eels are usually from fresh water and these ones that are eaten fresh are from ocean.

                                                                                    2. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                      onceadaylily Dec 18, 2010 06:05 PM

                                                                                      I had at a party once, nearly ten years ago now, in the DC area, and it was implied that it was raw, but I was not the least educated enough to know if it was true. Here, just north of Chicago (and places I've lived in the interim), I order unagi, either sushi or sashimi.

                                                                                      What confuses the issue, I think, is the labeling of the larger pieces of fish (bound with rice) as sashimi, regardless of whether or not it is raw. I'd have to double-check the menu from our usual place, but I would swear that is how it is sold. I almost think the label of sashimi is becoming indicative of presentation alone. As always, I could be wrong.

                                                                                      I had no idea that this was available *canned*. One of the sushi places down the street also has a small market. I would love to be able to find this.

                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                        mariacarmen Dec 18, 2010 06:49 PM

                                                                                        yeah, that's wrong OADL, sashimi is just the slices of fish, raw, with no rice. Nigiri is the fish over rice Maki are the rolls.

                                                                                        i'm afraid i'd be weirded out by eating raw eel - i don't know why . . .

                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                          onceadaylily Dec 18, 2010 07:13 PM

                                                                                          Like I said, I could be wrong. I would hate to cast a pall over Chicago sushi joints if I am. As for the raw eel, I'm in the Midwest, and I wouldn't even try to seek out something like that, or assume it would be in my budget if it were available (and I do think it is available in this city, somewhere).

                                                                                          Eel do look a bit out of a sea creature horror flick. Which actually makes it easier for me to eat them, hypocrite I am. What I was served in DC had more texture, more . . . spinginess? threadiness? than the unagi I eat here, but I liked it, whatever it was.

                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                            alanbarnes Dec 18, 2010 09:44 PM

                                                                                            I get the nigiri thing, which is a piece of whatever on a bite-sized pillow of rice. And I loves me some unagi donburi a/k/a unagidon a/k/a unadon, which is pieces of grilled eel on a bowl of rice (with canned eel, I'm told it's the quintessential Japanese bachelor dinner).

                                                                                            What I'm wondering is whether when various people talk about "eel sashimi" they're talking about those same pieces of grilled eel, served without rice, or whether they're talking about raw eel like Passadumkeg's pix above. I've never seen raw eel (nigiri, donburi, or sashimi) served at a sushi bar in the US, but maybe I just need to expand my horizons...

                                                                                            To Lily - if it's translucent to white to pink and slippery, it's raw eel. If it's brownish and breaks if you fold it in half, it's the cooked stuff. And yes, it's available canned. Matter of fact, I think most sushi-bar eel comes from a can. Don't tell...

                                                                        2. re: sueatmo
                                                                          arashall Dec 14, 2010 10:57 AM

                                                                          Yes, baklava! I was 13, and visiting after school in the home of a friend. His Mom served us baklava, and it was the most fabulous sweet I'd ever tasted! Now that I'm much older, and into cooking, I fully appreciate the fact that she made it all by hand - even the phyllo!

                                                                        3. s
                                                                          Steve Dec 10, 2010 12:13 PM

                                                                          Mayo. I don't think I had it until I got to college. Most Jews I knew didn't have it or keep it in the house.

                                                                          What are you going to do with it? Put it on a salami sandwich?

                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Steve
                                                                            Miss Needle Dec 10, 2010 12:15 PM

                                                                            That's interesting. Why not? Isn't mayo pareve?

                                                                            1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                              s
                                                                              Steve Dec 26, 2010 07:15 AM

                                                                              It's not a question of kosher or not. It is cultural. My grandmother who ran a Brooklyn deli and came over from Russia did not have a single item in her deli that called for mayo. Kishke, chicken livers, stuffed cabbage, matzoh ball soup, cole slaw (with vinegar), roast chicken, kasha vanrishkas, gefilte fish, knishes, etc. None of these dishes had mayo. When we ate sandwiches they were salami, pastrami, corned beef, brisket, or roast beef (the only condiment for rb was a fresh sprinkling of salt). No mayo in sight.

                                                                              I did not know anyone who served items like egg or potato salad.

                                                                              Cue the Twilight Zone music.

                                                                            2. re: Steve
                                                                              s
                                                                              smartie Dec 10, 2010 01:15 PM

                                                                              we had Mayo growing up, so did everybody I knew that was also Jewish - your mum never made egg or tuna salad?

                                                                              1. re: smartie
                                                                                mamachef Dec 11, 2010 01:19 PM

                                                                                Conservative Midwestern Jewish Family, and we certainly did have mayo, and a huge variety of mustards - but there were some things that we just never considered mayo an option for, e.g. salami (yes, Kosher) sandwiches or on green vegetables (which I now like, if it's good mayo.)

                                                                                1. re: smartie
                                                                                  AmyH Dec 14, 2010 10:34 AM

                                                                                  It's hard to have a dairy brunch without tuna salad and egg salad! Perhaps Steve's mom just didn't like mayo and didn't buy it for that reason. But my family and most Jews I know had it. If you can get kosher for passover mayo, and you can, then Jews eat it.

                                                                                  1. re: AmyH
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    Steve Dec 26, 2010 07:25 AM

                                                                                    Dairy in my family was borscht, herring, bagels, matzoh brie. Tuna or egg salad would have been very foreign. The word 'brunch' was not part of our vocab.

                                                                                    My grandmother kept kosher, but we did not. So it didn't really have anything to do with kosher, but it just wasn't the kind of food we grew up eating, plus those 'salads' were never served to me in the homes of the people I grew up with.

                                                                                2. re: Steve
                                                                                  scubadoo97 Dec 10, 2010 07:48 PM

                                                                                  Maybe they didn't put mayo on salami or corned beef on white bread

                                                                                  1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                                    bagelman01 Dec 11, 2010 01:26 PM

                                                                                    Until the mid 1970s Arnold's was the only brand of white bread that did not contain dairy, so white bread was NOT an option for meat sandwiches in most traditional Jewish American Households.

                                                                                  2. re: Steve
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    spinachandchocolate Dec 11, 2010 08:59 AM

                                                                                    Quite the generalization about Jews. Every Jew I knew growing up had Mayo in their fridge. Tuna salad with mayo was a staple.

                                                                                    1. re: spinachandchocolate
                                                                                      tatamagouche Dec 11, 2010 12:19 PM

                                                                                      We certainly did. But then, I grew up in a secular household in Oklahoma.

                                                                                      1. re: spinachandchocolate
                                                                                        algct Mar 17, 2011 04:42 PM

                                                                                        What? Nobody did mayo & chicken livers instead of schmaltz???

                                                                                        Definitely not less bad for you - I have the chest scars to prove it!

                                                                                        1. re: algct
                                                                                          scubadoo97 May 24, 2011 05:02 PM

                                                                                          Yes I've done it, mayo based chopped liver. While chopped liver isn't that great for you from a fat standpoint, the eggs have more cholesterol than the liver and chopped egg salad is not seen as worse than chopped liver.

                                                                                    2. c
                                                                                      chocomel Dec 10, 2010 12:39 PM

                                                                                      Stinky tofu - I'm generally not picky about food (can eat smelly cheeses, etc), for some reason i can't stand stinky tofu. I felt like the moment I put it in my mouth, the smell just rushed up through my nasal cavity and I could not get rid of it for hours after. Also did not like my experience walking by a stinky tofu shop in Beijing. But the rest of my family loves stinky tofu…

                                                                                      American jello - In SE Asia where i grew up, jello is firmer and not jelly like (more like Japanese konnyaku). I was pleasantly surprised by the texture of American jello and crave it all the time.

                                                                                      The herbs in vietnamese spring rolls and the noodle bowls (hot mint, mint, basil, rau ram) – the combination of herbs was new to me long ago and packed such great flavors in every bite. Yum, craving some right now.

                                                                                      1. e
                                                                                        Erika L Dec 10, 2010 02:56 PM

                                                                                        Beer. All those ads made beer look so refreshing and tasty--the little bubbles, the thick foamy heads, everyone laughing and having a good time. First sip of beer--ugh! This is what they say you have to wait til you're 21 to drink??

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Erika L
                                                                                          l
                                                                                          LauraGrace Dec 14, 2010 02:38 PM

                                                                                          I was just the opposite! My dad drank Bud light or some crap in the summer, ice cold, after mowing the grass, and so my only experience with it was the smell of hot, stale beer cans in the garage. Then the first time I tasted beer was on a family vacation, at a German restaurant in the black hills -- and it was GORGEOUS. The most fragrant, mellow, complex, delicious, appley drink I'd ever had. And I've been a beer gal ever since!! :)

                                                                                          1. re: LauraGrace
                                                                                            GraydonCarter Dec 18, 2010 03:48 PM

                                                                                            I was surprised by the "fragrance" - the hoppy smell I'd never smelt before. Every time I open a beer I hope for the same sensation.

                                                                                          2. re: Erika L
                                                                                            i
                                                                                            Isobel_A Mar 18, 2011 03:09 AM

                                                                                            I know! Ick. Give me a nice dry cider or a sauvingnon blanc any day!

                                                                                          3. m
                                                                                            mimolette Dec 10, 2010 03:14 PM

                                                                                            Beaujolais nouveau, it was incredibly horrible.

                                                                                            1. c
                                                                                              cheesemaestro Dec 10, 2010 03:37 PM

                                                                                              Caviar. I don't dislike it, but the first time I had it, I wondered why anyone would pay that much for something so underwhelming.

                                                                                              Scotch. I almost spit it out when I first was offered a glass. It tastes like bad medicine to me.

                                                                                              On the plus side, I can still remember how amazed I was the first time I had dim sum, especially the pork buns. It's still one my favorite ways to enjoy lunch.

                                                                                              Also, sundried tomatoes. I was astounded that tomatoes could develop such depth and intensity.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: cheesemaestro
                                                                                                j
                                                                                                jchamberlain Dec 23, 2010 01:04 PM

                                                                                                To your Scotch comment...a few years ago one of the big wigs in my company and I were in NYC at the Marriott in Times Square. He ordered us a couple of Johnny Walker Blue's neat and I felt like I was having my first kiss. It was so smooth and velvety. Not at all like the crap I had in bars with soda water back in college.

                                                                                                1. re: jchamberlain
                                                                                                  scubadoo97 Dec 23, 2010 05:36 PM

                                                                                                  My brother who does not like to drink alcohol was at my house for dinner. After dinner I had a bottle of Aberlour 10 that the rest of the guests were sipping on. I tasted it and noted apricots and walnuts. My brother tasted turpentine. Different strokes

                                                                                              2. im_nomad Dec 11, 2010 02:53 AM

                                                                                                I'd say sushi. I'm a "don't knock it til you tried it" kind of girl, but I really didn't expect that what I expected to be a salty fishy kelpiness... to taste good. I went for the first time with someone who knew what to order, and I was blown away.

                                                                                                1. w
                                                                                                  Whinerdiner Dec 11, 2010 03:27 AM

                                                                                                  I forgot Cilantro. The first time I tried it I thought it tasted like soap. I was like, seriously, people eat this? Now I love it. How do tastes change so much?

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Whinerdiner
                                                                                                    schoenfelderp Dec 11, 2010 06:54 AM

                                                                                                    I have a similar reaction to Cilantro. It's not the worst thing in the world to me, but I think it has a really off flavor, not sure why.

                                                                                                    1. re: schoenfelderp
                                                                                                      twyst May 24, 2011 06:26 PM

                                                                                                      I hated cilantro for a long time, now I absolutely LOVE it. I think I used to hate it when I was younger because it has such a strong taste and supposedly our taste buds get less sensitive over time.

                                                                                                  2. r
                                                                                                    RedTop Dec 11, 2010 03:31 AM

                                                                                                    For me it was cottage cheese! Hated the look of the stuff so avoided it entirely. Until...I was newly married and my bride shamed me into trying "just a taste". Been hooked on it for the years since.

                                                                                                    1. t
                                                                                                      toomuchfat Dec 11, 2010 04:12 AM

                                                                                                      Caponata, and haggis.

                                                                                                      1. gmm Dec 11, 2010 05:34 AM

                                                                                                        Blue cheese. The first time I ever had it was a blue cheese salad dressing at a company luncheon. The salads came predressed without a choice of dressing. I initially thought it was ranch, which I love, so I didn't hesistate to take a big forkful of salad. I thought the dressing had soap or some type of cleanser in it. I actually had to spit it into my napkin (discreetly). I love all other types of cheese, but I just cannot eat any kind of blue.

                                                                                                        1. s
                                                                                                          small h Dec 11, 2010 06:03 AM

                                                                                                          Buttermilk. I thought it would taste like butter, and milk. It doesn't.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: small h
                                                                                                            c
                                                                                                            catspercapita Dec 11, 2010 01:55 PM

                                                                                                            Lol. I had the same experience. A friend who grew up on a farm said it was rich and creamy and sweet! Boy, was I surprised!

                                                                                                          2. Eric in NJ Dec 11, 2010 08:20 AM

                                                                                                            Limburger cheese!! A buddy and I decided that it couldn't be as bad as it was always made out to be. Well!! After a small taste we decided it was. I don't know how anyone can eat that stuff.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: Eric in NJ
                                                                                                              pikawicca Dec 13, 2010 05:45 PM

                                                                                                              My parents used to eat Limburger cheese and raw onion on pumpernickel sandwiches for lunch as a special treat when I was a kid. The smell drove me from the room, and even though I now love stinky cheese, I've never been able to bring myself to taste Limburger.

                                                                                                            2. scubadoo97 Dec 11, 2010 08:25 AM

                                                                                                              foie gras didn't taste like liver. More like butter.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                                                                twyst May 24, 2011 06:27 PM

                                                                                                                This was my biggest food revelation as well. The first time I had foie about 25 years ago was a life changing experience, and to think I was squeemish to even try it back then!

                                                                                                              2. b
                                                                                                                budlit Dec 11, 2010 08:41 AM

                                                                                                                cheese blintzes with sour cream & strawberry jam
                                                                                                                good butter
                                                                                                                calves liver & onions

                                                                                                                1. jmcarthur8 Dec 11, 2010 10:38 AM

                                                                                                                  Arugula. Years ago, it was impossible to find in the Chicago area, so I grew it myself in my vegetable garden. I'd read about it, but had never tasted it.
                                                                                                                  My first harvest of leaf lettuce and arugula - the lettuce was yummy and softly crunchy....the arugula - Bam! Wow! . what a flavor. That was a surprise, and each spring my first bunch from the farmer's market tastes just as wonderful as that first bite.

                                                                                                                  1. l
                                                                                                                    LJS Dec 11, 2010 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                    Olives: yep, thats right, especially olive tapenade (the only stuff I have ever actually spat out as an adult).

                                                                                                                    I loathe olives themselves, green, purple or black, whole or chopped up, though I totally 'get' olive oil and use it lavishly in my kitchen.

                                                                                                                    But olives just taste gross to me...I realize that when I taste olives it must be like when others taste cilantro (which I LOVE) and think 'soap', only with olives I don't think soap, I think 'dirt'.

                                                                                                                    Fascinating how differently taste buds work!

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: LJS
                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                      Terrieltr Dec 20, 2010 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                      I'm so with you. Olives are a waste of good olive oil. :)

                                                                                                                      1. re: LJS
                                                                                                                        p
                                                                                                                        ptrichmondmike Dec 25, 2010 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                        Some people -- like me -- are lucky enough to love both olives and cilantro. I like to go to the olive counter at Whole Foods, get my toothpick, and have one of every type of olive. Yum!

                                                                                                                        1. re: LJS
                                                                                                                          twyst May 24, 2011 06:29 PM

                                                                                                                          I'm right there with you. cant get olives down for the life of me, but could probably sit down and eat an entire bunch of cilantro if I really wanted to.

                                                                                                                        2. e
                                                                                                                          Evilbanana11 Dec 11, 2010 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                          Blood sausage. Had it for the first time last year at a pintxo restaurant here in Montreal and now I want to use it as toothpaste, deodorant and lubricant.

                                                                                                                          1. mamachef Dec 11, 2010 01:21 PM

                                                                                                                            Some 50-or-60-year old Brandy offered as a divine compliment by my old friend's father. I was 18 or so, and it was unbelievably foul to me at the time. Put me off sippin likker for the longest.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                              skywaters Mar 7, 2011 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                              haha, an ex-boyfriend won a bet and got a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue. He was British and had been drinking forever, I was a little Baptist girl, and it scarred my tastebuds forever....I've hated every sip of whisky I've had since.

                                                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                                                              spinachandchocolate Dec 11, 2010 02:28 PM

                                                                                                                              Cottage Cheese. I used to hate it or more like the thought of it. Then one day I was home from college and we had no food in the house. My mom told me to just try some because I was always resistant in the past. Now it's one of my top three favorite foods. It's so versatile. I now eat almost everyday for lunch, seriously, love it. Protein, calcium and low fat all in one!

                                                                                                                              1. p
                                                                                                                                Pumpkinseed Dec 13, 2010 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                                Seltzer. I was a kid, and I assumed it would be sweet, like Sprite. I drank a big mouthful and it tasted like nothing - only nasty.

                                                                                                                                I was horrified. Now I love it and happily drink it by the glassful.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: Pumpkinseed
                                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                                  LauraGrace Dec 14, 2010 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                                  Me too!

                                                                                                                                2. Monica Dec 13, 2010 09:45 AM

                                                                                                                                  I can't believe I forgot this. Vegemite...OMG, I still can't believe people eat this stuff..haha.
                                                                                                                                  I had my first taste of vegemite when I was in Bali and thought it was the most nastiest thing ever.

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Monica
                                                                                                                                    cayjohan Dec 13, 2010 02:22 PM

                                                                                                                                    I had a shocked reaction in the opposite direction: I'd heard way too many nasty horror stories of Vegemite and was certain I'd hate it. I bravely tried on a bet skewed against me, and was amazed at how much I liked it. Or rather, loved it. Surprised the heck out of me. Still does.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: cayjohan
                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg Dec 13, 2010 05:36 PM

                                                                                                                                      Loved the color! Nonplussed by flavor.

                                                                                                                                  2. onceadaylily Dec 13, 2010 10:05 AM

                                                                                                                                    Well, there's caviar and sushi. I was almost certain I wouldn't like the former, and wasn't sure about the latter. I had to strongly employ my willpower and refrain from 'over-serving' myself from both of those platters.

                                                                                                                                    Another is steak, rare. I was raised on meat cooked well-done, and as an adult, I always ordered my steak medium in restaurants. One day, my fillet was cooked rare, and served to me, by mistake. But I was so curious that I wound up taking a bite, and that bite was truly one of the best 'bites' I've ever had. That was the end of my ordering steak medium.

                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                      Monica Dec 13, 2010 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                                      haha..funny.
                                                                                                                                      I grew up eating meat well done too. I grew up in Korea and nobody ate any meat rare or medium even. When I first had steak in America, I couldn't believe it. My steak was sitting on some bloody juice...couldn't handle it. Now, I only eat steak medium rare.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Monica
                                                                                                                                        Passadumkeg Dec 13, 2010 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                        My first taste of kim chi. Love at first bit.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Monica
                                                                                                                                          KaimukiMan Dec 15, 2010 11:36 PM

                                                                                                                                          isn't there a classic korean beef preparation that is quite similar to steak tartar? Yuk-haoe or something like that?

                                                                                                                                          ps: found it right here on chowhound -

                                                                                                                                          http://www.chow.com/recipes/11581-yuk...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                            Monica Dec 16, 2010 01:40 PM

                                                                                                                                            Yeah, there is...I didn't know about this dish until i was an adult.
                                                                                                                                            but apparently there is and as far as i know, it's not that popular and you only go to reputable restaurant for this dish.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Monica
                                                                                                                                              KaimukiMan Dec 16, 2010 10:04 PM

                                                                                                                                              when i lived in Seoul my Korean friends would try to shock me sometimes with bizarre foods. they really thought they were gonna get me with this one. how were they to know my grandmother and mother taught me to enjoy raw chopped beef from an early age? i wish i had a picture of their faces when i eagerly dug into the yuk-haoe.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                                                          LauraGrace Dec 14, 2010 02:42 PM

                                                                                                                                          I did this too, except it was rare prime rib at my senior prom date's house -- his mother was the most outrageous cook and set down this (what I now think of as beautiful) piece of prime rib in front of me, and I just blanched. I always ordered meat medium-well, having grown up with it cooked to shoe leather, but my mother would have KILLED me if I had turned my nose up at something put in front of me, so I dutifully took one bite... and it just melted in my mouth. That was it for me. What a revelation.

                                                                                                                                        3. Monica Dec 13, 2010 11:15 AM

                                                                                                                                          Durian..tasted like 3742947 years old onion.

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Monica
                                                                                                                                            c
                                                                                                                                            catspercapita Dec 13, 2010 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                            Agreed. I drank a durian shake once on a dare. It wasn't too bad as it was mixed with other sweeter and better tasting stuff. I couldn't do the real thing.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Monica
                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Dec 17, 2010 09:39 PM

                                                                                                                                              drenched in gasoline. +1.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Monica
                                                                                                                                                d
                                                                                                                                                dty Dec 19, 2010 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                When I bit into the mushy flesh for the first time, my immediate thought was, "This is probably what sh*t tastes like."

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Monica
                                                                                                                                                  g
                                                                                                                                                  guilty Dec 22, 2010 10:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I really like durian. Sure, it tastes like onion, but also like sweet, creamy, delicious fruit.

                                                                                                                                                  They do vary in quality, however.

                                                                                                                                                2. JungMann Dec 13, 2010 11:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Szechuan peppercorns. They pack more than flavor; they set off a sensation in my mouth that I found at once electrifying and alarming the first time I had them in a dish. As I felt the numbness spread across my lips and tongue, I thought I had found a food so shocking, so unique, that I could hardly believe I knew barely anything of it.

                                                                                                                                                  The first time I tasted a good Highland Scotch was also a revelation. Previously I found Scotch to taste like alcoholic dirt.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen Dec 17, 2010 09:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                    szechuan peppercorns - me too. but that just happened to me last year!!

                                                                                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                                                                                    CarmenR Dec 13, 2010 05:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Sriracha. I know, its pretty tame but I grew up in a family where hot sauce was a rarity- while my mother would cook any number of spicy dishes with curries or peppers, hot sauce was never served. At the ripe old age of 25 I experienced sriracha and fell in love. It taught me the difference between simply "hot" foods and the actual flavor of hot foods.

                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: CarmenR
                                                                                                                                                      onceadaylily Dec 13, 2010 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Before sriracha, I was introduced to Valentina's. I was shocked to discover that I could actually taste the sauce, aside from the heat, and I was soon promiscuously dotting every dish with that beautifully colored stuff. This lead me to try other hot sauces, including sriracha, which I adored from the first taste from my fingertip. The garlic chili paste by the same label soon followed.

                                                                                                                                                      Growing up, I had never tasted spicy food at all (kind of shocking to look back on that), and as a young adult, I thought Tabasco was just all there was, and that the rest of the bottles on the shelf were just lesser known variations.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                                                        Miri1 Dec 13, 2010 09:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Fresh Medjool dates on my first trip to Israel when I was 14. OMG, they were so soft, that first bits was so silky, so smooth with that sweet burst of flavor. I was totally hooked. Before that, I;d only eaten the dried variet that comes in a plastic tub at the grocery store! Now I buy fresh Medjools all the time. But then again, we grow there here in CA! :-)

                                                                                                                                                        Miri

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Miri1
                                                                                                                                                          tatamagouche Dec 14, 2010 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Oh, another good one. I remember going to the Santa Monica Farmer's Market and spying some dates that were covered in white stuff. I asked what was wrong with them, and the woman said nothing, that was sugar oozing out.

                                                                                                                                                          Nature's candy for sure.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                                                                            Miri1 Dec 14, 2010 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Yummmmm....

                                                                                                                                                    2. chefathome Dec 14, 2010 10:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                      In a not-so-good way: Durian, Oestra caviar (underwhelming), Haggis, cottage cheese (still hate it!), sweet and sour beaver of all things
                                                                                                                                                      In a delicious way: foie gras, carpaccio (both beef and bison), steak tartare, Sichuan peppercorns, sweetbreads, buffalo milk mozzarella - the real thing from Italy, having been raised on the fake rubbery stuff - what a wonderful revelation!
                                                                                                                                                      Neutral way: prairie oysters

                                                                                                                                                      I am willing to try almost anything once except sheep's eyeballs sort of make me shudder.

                                                                                                                                                      1. chefathome Dec 14, 2010 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Two more in a positive way - wasabi root as opposed to the powder and paste; aceto balsamico tradizionale - I knew it would be fabulous but I was so overwhelmed by the real thing that it was shocking the first time - fabulous on ice cream and watermelon. Heck - fabulous on anything!

                                                                                                                                                        1. b
                                                                                                                                                          Blush Dec 14, 2010 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Fresh coconut. I was in grade 2 and we were learning about Barbados, so the teacher brought in some tropical treats. I wasn't expecting fruity crunchiness; based on appearance I thought it would be like creamy icing. Wrong.

                                                                                                                                                          1. linguafood Dec 14, 2010 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Shocked in a good way:

                                                                                                                                                            - a massively large, fresh fig on the island of Santorini. I had never had anything like it before;
                                                                                                                                                            - a humongous tomato bought in Dubrovnik just before hopping on the ferry to Koloçep;
                                                                                                                                                            - brains, sweetbreads, foie gras, scallop guts, uni

                                                                                                                                                            Shocked in a bad way:

                                                                                                                                                            - a praline at a friends house that contained candied ginger. bad surprise.

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                              Miri1 Dec 14, 2010 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                              My first Hawaiian papaya. eaten IN Hawaii. What a revelation! I would not touch them when I was a kid. My dad bought them by the box each week and ate a whole one every morning. No amount of cajling could entice me t even take a bite. Then,when I was about 1, we went to Hawaii (not my first trip) and they served papaya at the breakfast buffet. Everyone was piling it on their plates. It was such a pretty color...so I took one sliver. I was back at the buffet line in a minute, having devoured my papaya slice and NEEDING more! They are so damn expensive but when I'm in a splurge mood, papaya it is!

                                                                                                                                                            2. FoodFuser Dec 14, 2010 05:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Thank God I'm country boy.

                                                                                                                                                              It meant that as I was gradually exposed to the world culinary, I could find such delight in the dishes that were savory.

                                                                                                                                                              Back in the 70's when I was just twenty, I went to a banquet from our best Chinese restaurant. I remember being astounding at the tastes that were in that array. My first time to taste of Chinese. It beat the heck outa cornbread and beans.

                                                                                                                                                              Fast forward a few years when work took me to Japan, and one of my first meals was in a "hole in the wall" Mom and Pop stall.

                                                                                                                                                              The bowl that they served me was first experience with the savory complexities of Miso. Served in a bowl as simple "miso soup", with cubed chunks of tofu. And then to be told that the tofu was less than two hours old, supplied by the tofu-maker shop just next door. Good God, what taste-ural text-ural ecstasy.

                                                                                                                                                              That single dish triggered the desire to engage in the search for other traditional uses of soybeans. A worldwide plethora. Fermented, or mycologically inoculated, or more simply extracted... a range that shows ages of food evolution.

                                                                                                                                                              But don't ever think that this hick country boy won't find glee in rough cornbread and some good pinto beans.

                                                                                                                                                              1. deet13 Dec 14, 2010 05:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Unripened persimmons...

                                                                                                                                                                My father would occasionally trick me into eating one when I was a kid, and that intensely sour flavor stuck with me for life. Any time I pick a one from my persimmon tree, and it's not quite ripe enough, I always shudder and remember those times.

                                                                                                                                                                After my persimmon tree started bearing fruit, I gave an unripe one to my son and made him call up his grandfather to tell him all about it...

                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: deet13
                                                                                                                                                                  g
                                                                                                                                                                  guilty Dec 14, 2010 08:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, underripe persimmon is also my most shocking food experience. Except I would not describe it as sour. It was like a black hole of chalk in my mouth.

                                                                                                                                                                  Fortunately I learned about how soft hachiya persimmons have to be before eating, and now they're one of my favorite fruit.

                                                                                                                                                                  Also, the coffee and bread in Europe. For heaven's sake, I had no idea what Americans were missing.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: guilty
                                                                                                                                                                    deet13 Dec 14, 2010 09:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Now that I think about it, you're right about them having a weird chalky kind of flavor. It makes me cringe whenever I think about eating them.

                                                                                                                                                                    I usually keep the freshly picked persimmons sealed in a paper bag for a week, before I even begin to mess with them...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: deet13
                                                                                                                                                                      linguafood Dec 15, 2010 07:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      That's so funny, I had the same experience with persimmons. My mom had brought two home (they were the most exotic thing we'd ever seen, and she always bought stuff that was new and exciting, even tho she may not have known how to properly prepare it), and we just bit into them. Umm. It was the weirdest experience ever. A little sweetness followed by a really strange numbness or tartness. In any event. We were later told they had to be boiled which I guess is not true. So they were just not ripe enough?

                                                                                                                                                                      Never had one again after that experience.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                        deet13 Dec 15, 2010 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        The only thing I have to compare the experience to would be the first time I stuck my tongue on a nine volt battery.

                                                                                                                                                                        Tossing someone an unripened persimmon to eat is one of those classical Southern jokes. It's not malicious as convincing your drunk buddy to try water skiing while hooked up to your airboat, but it's just as funny....

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                          g
                                                                                                                                                                          guilty Dec 22, 2010 10:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Quince need to be boiled; not persimmon.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: deet13
                                                                                                                                                                      FoodFuser Dec 15, 2010 04:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Persimmon eaters: Give them a few hours in the freezer.
                                                                                                                                                                      They are never eaten before first-frost by real geezers.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                                                                                        hill food Dec 23, 2010 12:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        persimmons: weird, first time they were too green, and now that I eat them ripe they're too sweet. love the flavor, but almost prefer that pucker.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                                                          FoodFuser Dec 23, 2010 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Persimmons are a perfect metaphor for life,
                                                                                                                                                                          Frosted, or Frozen, or eaten back when the astringents are rife.

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm partial to past--frost
                                                                                                                                                                          because then I can suck on them.

                                                                                                                                                                          And then there's the beauty of standing in an orchard of persimmons
                                                                                                                                                                          on a cold frosty morning
                                                                                                                                                                          Stroking the supple beauty of their roughly hewn bark
                                                                                                                                                                          and the way that their limbs comb together with soft architecture
                                                                                                                                                                          and the hang of their pendulous fruit.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                                                                                            hill food Dec 23, 2010 05:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            damn jack ass tenant farmer ripped ours out some years back.

                                                                                                                                                                            some scars don't heal.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                                                              FoodFuser Dec 23, 2010 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Then buy thee a "kaki"
                                                                                                                                                                              the Japanese persimmon
                                                                                                                                                                              and contemplate upon the appeal of the peel.

                                                                                                                                                                              There is nothing we can do about the past
                                                                                                                                                                              and those turd-heads on tractors
                                                                                                                                                                              taking down with their Deisel the soft sculpted beauty
                                                                                                                                                                              of limbs bark and spark of our persimmon groves.

                                                                                                                                                                              Accost to this wonderful season of frost
                                                                                                                                                                              and the beauty contained in a single persimmon peel.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                                                                                                hill food Dec 23, 2010 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                I would like to put in a small varied orchard, but that's a topic for some other thread.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: deet13
                                                                                                                                                                        algct Mar 17, 2011 04:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Unripened, ripened persimmons - yuk!

                                                                                                                                                                        The texture is fairly vile as I remember when I was a kid.
                                                                                                                                                                        Had a few, remember peeling them & their slimy texture.

                                                                                                                                                                        Never had another one since!

                                                                                                                                                                      3. jfood Dec 15, 2010 09:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        1 - a sip of sauterne while eating foie gras. OMG the taste buds exploded
                                                                                                                                                                        2 - Fried SPAM at a restaurant in MSP. It was outstanding (probably not the canned spam though)

                                                                                                                                                                        13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jfood
                                                                                                                                                                          BobB Dec 15, 2010 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          There is such a thing as fresh (not canned) spam?!?!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BobB
                                                                                                                                                                            jfood Dec 15, 2010 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            made on site ate Travail in MSP. I did not ask for the recipe. :-))

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jfood
                                                                                                                                                                              BobB Dec 15, 2010 12:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Wow! Next you'll be telling me it was even kosher! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BobB
                                                                                                                                                                                jfood Dec 15, 2010 12:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                That would be SKAM

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jfood
                                                                                                                                                                                  g
                                                                                                                                                                                  guilty Dec 22, 2010 10:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  heh.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: jfood
                                                                                                                                                                            alanbarnes Dec 15, 2010 04:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            You should try frying up some of the canned stuff for breakfast some day. I tried it for the first time as an adult, and it has become a guilty pleasure.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                                              jfood Dec 15, 2010 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              maybe i can wear the SPAM baseball hat a client gave me and a pig apron. That's a visual I am sure would make many lose their appetite. :-))

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jfood
                                                                                                                                                                                alanbarnes Dec 15, 2010 04:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                I sent in my proofs of purchase to get the SPAM 70th Anniversary t-shirt. Limited edition, not available in stores, etc., etc. If you want to go for the full ensemble, let me know and you can borrow it...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                                                  Passadumkeg Dec 15, 2010 05:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Pass.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                                                    FoodFuser Dec 15, 2010 05:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    If I ever get up to pork heaven in Minnesota
                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm sure as hell
                                                                                                                                                                                    gonna visit Hormel
                                                                                                                                                                                    Just to watch as those blades grind those shoulders,

                                                                                                                                                                                    I wonder if they have a fully open view
                                                                                                                                                                                    like many beer factories do.
                                                                                                                                                                                    And....
                                                                                                                                                                                    Do we get final goodies in the tasting room?

                                                                                                                                                                                    Apart from the salt,
                                                                                                                                                                                    there's a real good gestalt
                                                                                                                                                                                    of the Spam
                                                                                                                                                                                    as it slides from the tin.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I like to submerge the unopened can
                                                                                                                                                                                    in a bowl of some pretty warm water
                                                                                                                                                                                    that melts up the fat on the clinging steel sides
                                                                                                                                                                                    and gives it noise-less sweet glide.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: jfood
                                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Dec 17, 2010 09:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                jfood, for me it was foie gras, in Paris, with tiny cubes of jellied Jurançon. Heaven!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                  buttertart Dec 18, 2010 06:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh oh oh, nice. Love Jurançon.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                    mamachef Mar 13, 2011 06:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, the beauty of the pale pink slab of foie gras, surrounded by sparkling nuggets of delicious deep tasting gelee......
                                                                                                                                                                                    I think my eyes literally rolled back in my head and I made "uglyface" the first time I tasted this fully magnificent dish. 9 years old, w/ Dad at La Grenouille. Mmmmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. t
                                                                                                                                                                                  tldmatrix Dec 15, 2010 12:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  beets -- EMP amouse : was amazing
                                                                                                                                                                                  http://teenchefteddy.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tldmatrix
                                                                                                                                                                                    BobB Dec 15, 2010 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I've always liked beets, but what's EMP amouse?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BobB
                                                                                                                                                                                      linguafood Dec 15, 2010 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      my guess is an amuse served at EMP in nyc.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                        BobB Dec 15, 2010 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        That could be. TBD. Never heard of EMP.

                                                                                                                                                                                        (Say that aloud five times fast).

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BobB
                                                                                                                                                                                          linguafood Dec 15, 2010 01:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm a singer, not a rapper '-D

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                                                                                                            tldmatrix Dec 15, 2010 02:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I never had beets except the canned ones, which were horrible. For some reason I just did not have a fresh beet my whole life, but now I cook with them frequently and they are probably my favorite vegetable.
                                                                                                                                                                                            The amuse was Roasted Beets with goat cheese and dill at eleven madison park

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: BobB
                                                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                                                            small h Dec 15, 2010 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            The restaurant is Eleven Madison Park. But it's discussed so often and in such depth on the Manhattan board that no one can bear to type all those letters anymore. See also: One if by Land, Two if by Sea. And in *that* case, we can't even be bothered to abbreviate the whole name. It's usually just OIBL.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. EWSflash Dec 15, 2010 05:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Sushi. Nigiri. I had no idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                                                                        mariacarmen Dec 17, 2010 09:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        hamachi sashimi - so buttery...

                                                                                                                                                                                        oh, and ankimo! a seafood pate!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                                                                          hill food Dec 23, 2010 12:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          my first taste of Uni made me gag, and I felt ashamed, but I gamed up a few years later and tried it again and I love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                                                                            jfood Dec 23, 2010 04:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I hate uni. But I can usually trade 2:1 for some good eel.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jfood
                                                                                                                                                                                              hill food Dec 23, 2010 05:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              ohhh Unagi I have ALWAYS frickin' loved. despite Gunter Grass' best efforts otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                                                                                                ErnieD Mar 15, 2011 01:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Heh. I know this is awfully late but I just barely refrained from replying to the eel subthread up above. My mom will taste most things but she literally just tasted eel the last time I visited her (at the age of 63) because of the images The Tin Drum stuck in her head. It only took me maybe 3 expeditions into sushi before I tried it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ErnieD
                                                                                                                                                                                                  buttertart Mar 15, 2011 02:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You had to remind me?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ErnieD
                                                                                                                                                                                                    hill food May 25, 2011 04:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    and...? ya like it or not? (I've only had the Japanese grilled version)

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. KaimukiMan Dec 15, 2010 11:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Pate.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I can't stand liver, the taste, the texture, the smell. So I don't know why i was surprised that pate tasted so horrible to me - but so many people talked about how wonderful it was. Rich, creamy, smooth.

                                                                                                                                                                                            To me it was just bitter, gritty, and oh so liver-ish.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I wonder if some people have a natural inborn aversion to liver like others do to beets or cilantro? I don't know how many times people have told me.... oh, try this pate, it tastes nothing like liver. and the first nibble i take, all i can taste is that bitter almost metalic taste of liver.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh well, more for the rest of you!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                                                                              c oliver Dec 16, 2010 07:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I've only recently come to like the "creamy, smooth" pates. For decades it was the "chunkier, rustic types. And I couldn't abide any that had chicken liver but goose, pork, etc. were fine. Go figure. But now it seems I like all of them. Had a chicken liver one about a year ago that a Chow-buddy fixed and liked it. 'Course it had an amazing amount of butter in it!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                                                somervilleoldtimer Mar 12, 2011 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                You know, I love pate, but recently had my first taste of truffle and HATED the flavor. I feel so disappointed; I think I ought to love them, and I've been looking forward to them for so long. But they are not a pleasure to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                smartie Dec 16, 2010 04:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Coffee cake. Yes I know it sounds odd but we were visiting family in Atlanta in the mid 60s and my aunt brought out a coffee cake. Where was the coffee flavour? My mum had to explain it was cake to have with coffee. And you Yanks think we Brits are strange! It was good but not what I was expecting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Corn fritters and fried chicken - same year in Atlanta - I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smartie
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Miss Needle Dec 16, 2010 06:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You're in good company with ipsedixit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7533...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: smartie
                                                                                                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                                                                                                    LauraGrace Dec 16, 2010 06:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    "coffee cake. Where was the coffee flavour?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, imagine this Yank's surprise when I discovered fairy cakes didn't taste of fairies at all! Hee hee... ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LauraGrace
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg Dec 16, 2010 07:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      And in the military, SOS didn't quite taste like I imagine sh@t to taste like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: smartie
                                                                                                                                                                                                      mamachef Dec 16, 2010 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had to laugh at your post, smartie; I can see how, in a different culture with different traditions & food colloquialisms it might be a a little confusing. So I'm sure you can imagine my face, when dining out in the UK, to be offered a lovely dessert of "Spotted Dick."

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                                        smartie Dec 16, 2010 02:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        yep biscuits still confuse me a little, and grits now there's a strange name for a food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        ha Spotted Dick but it is yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: smartie
                                                                                                                                                                                                          EWSflash Mar 12, 2011 04:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah I took a photo of a can of it and wowed several nonBritish nonfoodies that couldn't help but wonder what was inside

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: smartie
                                                                                                                                                                                                        kleine mocha Dec 18, 2010 07:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Would you expect a tea cake to taste of tea?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. buttertart Dec 17, 2010 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        In a very good way: uni. Tastes like nothing else on Earth, like a food from an alternate universe.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Can't really think of anything that shocked me in a very bad way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                          c oliver Dec 17, 2010 04:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Haven't had uni - yet. I'm been reading this thread and just can't seem to think of anything that "schocked" me either for beer or worse. And I'm not a weinie; I'll try anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                            buttertart Dec 18, 2010 06:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think you'd love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                              alanbarnes Dec 18, 2010 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              My first experiences with uni were somewhat less positive. But then a sushi chef had me try some stuff that he was very proud of and talked me through the shifting flavors. It was a revelation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now I can enjoy uni even if it isn't the best of the best. But I'd advise anybody who wants to try it for the first time to start with the really good stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                c oliver Dec 18, 2010 07:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes. steve h. was describing it at Yasuda, I believe, and it definitely sounds like going for the gold is desireable. Now to save my money :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Passadumkeg Dec 18, 2010 07:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  After no regulation and a near decimation of sea urchins in Maine, the harvest is much better regulated now. It is only a memory of 15 years ago, but dipping a spoon into a 5 gal. bucket of uni, bound for Asia, and to when in the mouth to feel the burst of flavor is something I'll never experience again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    buttertart Dec 19, 2010 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Swooning...5 gallons of the sexiest food on earth...the first time I had it was at Tocqueville in NYC when they were in their old space, as a part of a sashimi appetizer, with shrimp, striped bass, and hamachi. The uni was the revelation. The other best experience was at a little sushi bar off Zhongshan North Road in Taipei, run by a master.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                tatamagouche Dec 18, 2010 09:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                For beer or worse?! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  c oliver Dec 18, 2010 11:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And "schocked" also! And I wasn't even drinking :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen Dec 18, 2010 02:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    are you sure? "weinie" might also say otherwise....! : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  EWSflash Mar 12, 2011 04:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I was at the only sushi bar in town at the time and there was a local newspaper food critic sitting next to me. She ordered uni. I asked her what it was like. She said it was "really mooshy and really fishy". I think she shortchanged me on the description, for a food writer especially, but to this day I have never ordered it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alanbarnes Mar 12, 2011 05:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's a good description of bad uni.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      small h Mar 12, 2011 06:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <I think she shortchanged me on the description>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, she did. Go forth and form your own opinion. Uni is (in my opinion) one of the best things you could possibly eat, bar none.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: small h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        alanbarnes Mar 12, 2011 06:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Good uni is one of the best things you can eat. Bad uni is nasty stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          small h Mar 13, 2011 07:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Agreed. The good/bad divide is a lot wider for uni that it is for, say, an orange. A bad orange might be dry or sour, but it still tastes like food. Bad uni tastes like poison. But I wouldn't describe uni, good or bad, as "really fishy."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Cherylptw Dec 17, 2010 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My father worked for Pepsi back in the 60's; back then, whenever the adults had a party, my father would bring the mixers...ginger ale, club soda, tonic water...everyone seemed to want to mix their drinks with tonic water...the bottle made it look so good and soda was supposed to be sweet, right? So I got a big swig of it and threw up! I couldn't understand why they would want to drink something so foul. After that, I never tried the club soda for fear of the same reaction. Fast forward to the 80's and I worked with a girl who drank club soda with lime; she was on a diet and loved it because it didn't have any calories. I still couldn't bring myself to try it. About five years ago, I finally gave it a go with a bunch of mixed citrus in it and I've been hooked on club soda since then. Now, I buy it by the case and for the most part, drink it plain.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My kids were like, how could you? Lol..almost like full circle....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tomatoes. I hated them as a child but I liked tomato sauce, ketchup, etc. Now I love them especially straight off the vine; they're like warm candy...so delicious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cherylptw
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    EWSflash Mar 12, 2011 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My story is the same. I love a big glass of club soda on ice. I buy the Safeway seltzer by the 12-pack when they have it on sale.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I recently got a hint from a friend that was on call about what to drink that was so tasty you wanted to drink it a little more slowly- gin & tonic. I thought I'd hate it but I didn't. In fact on the rare occasion that I go to a bar I usually order a gin&tonic and say no to all the brqnd options- well is good enough for me. It's my idea of the perfect soft drink, not very sweet, has alcohol, bubbly, not too strong. i didn't even think I liked gin, period.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      buttertart Mar 13, 2011 03:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      G&T - even better with 1 part tonic to 2 parts club soda. If you're a club soda/seltzer fancier as I am.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        linguafood Mar 13, 2011 03:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is the 2nd time someone suggests mixing tonic with soda/seltzer. I find tonic to be too sweet lately, so I'll have to give that a shot - (not literally).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Mar 13, 2011 03:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ees good. My drink of choice these days - Tanqueray. Was Plymouth but it's not ballsy enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            pikawicca May 25, 2011 08:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Order a case of Fever Tree tonic from Amazon -- it's the real deal, and not too sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alanbarnes May 25, 2011 09:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fever Tree is pretty good stuff, as is Q. And Whole Foods' house brand tonic isn't half bad, either. But IMO the best tonic water is homemade. And when you're making it yourself, you can adjust the sweetness, the bitterness, the fizziness, and the other flavors to your liking. The world is your G&T.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                pikawicca May 31, 2011 04:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And how does one make one's own, pray tell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  alanbarnes May 31, 2011 06:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You start by making tonic syrup. The simplest version is just a quarter-cup of chopped quinine bark (aka chinchona bark, Jesuit's Bark, Peruvian bark) and a quarter-cup of citric acid, simmered in a quart of water for half an hour, strained, sweetened to taste (start with half a cup of sugar or equivalent other sweetener), and cooled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But you can really go crazy adding herbs and spices to the simmer. My current mix is a couple of stalks of lemongrass (chopped), a cinnamon stick, and a few each of allspice berries, star anise, cardamom pods, cloves, and peppercorns, all roughly cracked in the spice grinder. I keep meaning to pick up some juniper berries and toss them into the mix. It'll be interesting to see whether they compliment or compete with the gin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A little citrus rind is good. Lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit, whatever. I just go out back and pick whatever looks good, but not everybody lives in citrus country. Some folks put in citrus juice, too, but I'm not crazy about its flavor when cooked, so I'll stick with fresh by squeezing a wedge into the finished drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anyhow, once you've got your strained syrup, mix it with seltzer water and you're good to go. I like about a 1:3 ratio, but the beauty of homemade is that you can make it as intense (or not) as you like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Note that this stuff isn't clear; it has an orange-brown color to it. But it's absolutely delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen May 31, 2011 07:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Impressive, AB! I've had homemade tonic at Pizzaiolo, in Oakland, and loved it. I remember it had a clove-y, lavender flavor... it was soo good. writing that down. pretty sure I've seen chinchona in the local latino markets. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      alanbarnes May 31, 2011 09:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mmmm, a little lavender might be interesting. Maybe I need to start focusing on more summery flavors...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ETA: I misspelled cinchona. When all else fails, there's mail order; a little goes a long way, so it isn't too expensive to ship.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chris VR Jun 1, 2011 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Can you recommend any mail order sources for cinchona bark?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chris VR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          alanbarnes Jun 1, 2011 10:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I get mine from Penn Herb. Buying chopped rather than powdered makes filtering a lot easier. http://www.pennherb.com/6667.html

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Passadumkeg May 31, 2011 09:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        +1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. mariacarmen Dec 17, 2010 09:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The first time I had tom ka kai - i had never tasted such a combination of flavors - the sweet coconut milk, the spiciness, the lemongrass and basil, the slippery mushrooms, the chicken and tender shrimp - i was blown away. It was also the first time I'd had thai food, at the ripe old age of 23.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          hill food Dec 23, 2010 12:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          oh yes, that first bite of Thai and/or VN and I got that look on my face (I think) that a cat gives you when they get 'wet food' .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          as in "you've been holding out on me!, I'm onto you now"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was about 21 or 22 when I got my first "fix" sorry to use druggie terms but it really is that for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. mariacarmen Dec 17, 2010 09:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          oh, and lardo - that light yet fatty velvety porkiness melting on my tongue! fabulous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            c oliver Dec 18, 2010 06:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Love lardo. But I wasn't shocked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sal Vanilla Dec 17, 2010 10:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lemon curd. Tastes like lemon pledge. Still does. I thought I would LOVE it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The first thing to shock me when I ate it was Pop Rocks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My mom refused to eat bologna but we ate it almost every day for lunch. Then she was all gaga over mortadella. I had not seen it, but she went on about it so much that I went out and got some and LO - I could not believe my eyes.... bologna with a dressed up name and nuts. I was surprised to taste it and find it was not too different than plain old Oscar Meyer (but cut thinner - for the elegance!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              jeanmarieok Dec 18, 2010 04:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lemongrass tastes exactly like pledge to me. Can't do it at all. I was surprised, expecting something less assertively soaplike.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Coffee - smells so good - taste was so disappointing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In a good way, my first raw oyster - just deliciously oceany yumminess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                EWSflash Mar 12, 2011 05:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ditto 1 and 2, though I did get to love coffee, just not in a needy addictive way. When I get coffee I get either a triple+ espresso or a giant latte, iced or hot depending on the season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Passadumkeg Dec 18, 2010 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A Bolivian saltena. Nirvana in a hunk pastry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. weewah Dec 18, 2010 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mango: So cool, slippery, sweet and tangy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                White truffle: It slammed me. It tastes, like good sex feels - it is amazing and more than just a flavor - it is a sensation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (I used some white truffle infused olive oil when I made hummus for my son's wedding and it really took it to a whole new plane : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Crisco, lol. When I was a teeny kid I stole the container off the table because I thought that as it was used in baking it would be sweet. It was so pretty and white and perfect I couldn't resist taking it when my mom left the room. It got spat back into the container. Very very yucky stuff - I was so dissappointed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: weewah
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  onceadaylily Dec 18, 2010 06:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Crisco . . . I did that! It was the blue can that had the picture of the *cake* on the label, a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I was certain that it was . . . what? wet sugar? sugar tree raindrops? I pulled a chair up to the counter, climbed up, opened the 'baking' cupboard to find it, and helped myself to a heaping spoonful. I was horrified at what filled my mouth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I almost posted this memory, but resisted. I cannot believe someone else here ate shortening. The evils of marketing are yet to be fully explored.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    weewah Dec 18, 2010 07:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good God, I'm in marketing now...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: weewah
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      onceadaylily Dec 18, 2010 07:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ha. I've thought I would be woefully good at marketing, and was lauded for my displays when I was a retail manager. Was it the cake can that got you, or the one with the fried chicken? Because the one with the fried chicken was equally enticing; it all but said 'crispy skin in here'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: weewah
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hill food Dec 23, 2010 12:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Weewah, not so weird, I remember touring a Civil War era barracks and in the commandant's house kitchen it was explained bacon grease or any other shortening was used as a sub for butter or mayo in sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and re: marketing, a lie is a sin, but editing is a career.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        somervilleoldtimer Mar 12, 2011 05:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unsweetened chocolate. My mother warned me, I didn't listen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Mar 13, 2011 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We are of one mind, same exact thing happened to me/I did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            tracylee Mar 15, 2011 01:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yep, every couple of years, I'd sneak a nibble of that baking chocolate and instantly regret it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: weewah
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        guilty Dec 22, 2010 10:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Crisco story reminds me of being (hopefully) a toddler and putting a whole, wrapped cube of boullion in my mouth. That was pretty shocking. As I recall, I simply took it out of my mouth and put it back in the cabinet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That might even be my first memory.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: guilty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          tatamagouche Dec 23, 2010 05:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ha, you just reminded me of one...for my 8th bday my grandmother sent me a beautiful box of lavender-colored lozenges. I handed them out to my friends at my party, thinking they were candy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They were drawer sachets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        chezdy Dec 19, 2010 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        electric eel. no, really. what? What?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. TheHuntress Dec 20, 2010 01:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I had a little think about it and I would have to say Stregga. I was shocked in a very pleasant way after having been sitting in a small whisky bar drinking 'The Last Word'. I spotted the bottle up on a shelf and had had enough to drink to have the audacity to say 'What is that urine yellow liqueur up there?'. After having a friendly debate with the barman about the specifics of the yellow colour (due to the saffron, I was kindly informed) I ordered it on ice to try. Wow. I was not prepared for the complexity and beauty of that liqueur. I scrounged the details of where I could buy it by the bottle and now happily have one stashed away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. mucho gordo Dec 20, 2010 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Finding out what "Mountain Oysters" really were.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. i
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Isolda Dec 20, 2010 12:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Guava nectar. Buns with sweet red bean paste. Saffron. Socca. All paradise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Isolda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                guilty Dec 22, 2010 10:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I find guava nectar gross. But I'm finicky when it comes to tropical fruit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. 3catsnh Dec 23, 2010 05:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                truffle salt on ice cream--wow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: 3catsnh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MinkeyMonkey Dec 23, 2010 04:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oooh, that sounds like I've got to try it. Any particular flavour of ice cream? Not that I'm supposed to have salt but I can try a little bit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MinkeyMonkey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3catsnh Dec 24, 2010 07:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It was a nice rich vanilla...and you only need a tiny bit of the truffle salt to make a HUGE difference--yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: 3catsnh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MinkeyMonkey Dec 26, 2010 08:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: 3catsnh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    c oliver Dec 23, 2010 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I recently had vanilla ice cream with some olive oil and salt. It was quite WOW :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Dec 23, 2010 04:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ooh, i had a tahitian vanilla milkshake with a really grassy olive oil over the top as part of a tasting menu - dreamed about that milkshake for weeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Passadumkeg Dec 23, 2010 04:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chirimoya ice cream in Bolivia, yum!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The first time eating cherimoya was a treat and I quickly became addicted. Red mangoes too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          FoodFuser Dec 23, 2010 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Let us not underestimate the beauty and grace
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          of a perfectly ripened good mango.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And then there is sing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          that comes from the zing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          from ranges of pulsing maturity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          of Papaya.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen Dec 23, 2010 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            we had a cherimoya tree in my dad's backyard, grown from pilfered seeds on a trip back to the old country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              buttertart Dec 24, 2010 06:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now we talkin. All tropical fruits, wow. Cherimoya (the smallish pineconey ones), really good papaya, fresh litchi (my absolutely favorite fruit), pineapple that would knock your socks off, ineffably fragrant bananas, small flat green mangoes...snow apples...mangosteens (the runner-up favorite)...fruit in Taiwan was a revelation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The fruit on breakfast buffets in hotels in China (even the amusing-looking and mildly but pleasantly flavored dragon fruit) is a reason in itself to go there.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not to mention the fresh pearlescent baby ear pink fresh guava juice by the bottleful...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. c oliver Dec 24, 2010 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was talking to a Chow-friend a week or so ago and we've been enjoying this thread but couldn't really think of anything that "shocked" us - either way. And then I had head cheese for the first time. They really need to change the name. I was shocked at how much I liked it. Shocked that it was just a mild, fatty but not gelatinous, great tasting pork product. I recently found a Latino market that has every part of the pig from snout to tail. I think I need to make head cheese. Whew, I'm so relieved that I found something :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        FoodFuser Dec 24, 2010 04:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You can change that wary name of the "head cheese"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        to something as simple as "souse".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In this cold snowed-in season
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        it's just on more good reason to heat up the house
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        with pig's heads brought to a simmering boil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Take some tips from those old butchers of Pennsylvania Dutch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        while you pick the sweet cheek meat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and preserve the thick gelatin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and scrape the thin meat from the cranium.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It takes few sheet pans to pour it and congeal it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        but it softly results in good head cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          c oliver Dec 24, 2010 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now you're talkin', big boy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We bought this (2X) at a pretty high end market in Sonoma, CA. The two different employees who sold it to us hadn't tried it and both claimed to be "afraid." Silly them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            FoodFuser Dec 24, 2010 04:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What time could be better than this time of Wassail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            to stew down some pigs heads, and maybe some tail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              c oliver Dec 24, 2010 04:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In the new year. We won't be home til New Year's Eve. We Southerners love our pork (and peas and greens) for new years, don't we? Never did 'hog jowl' before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                FoodFuser Dec 24, 2010 05:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Soon will be season of black-eyed peas and of collards
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and for the less curious, some Ham.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A New year's dish meant to send luck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But if grappling with the whole of the Hog Head
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                to be simmered to souse
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I say greens and those beans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                are sorta superfluous..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bring on the strength of the Hog Head.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mamachef Mar 13, 2011 06:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Next New Year's, you and I can figure out hog jowls together, c oliver. Nowadays, we can find them here as pig cheeks sometimes, and they are delicious. Some braised, tender, shreddy delicious pigcheeks, hoppin' John, stewed tomatoes, cornbread (not v. sweet AT ALL) and slaw? NOW we're talkin' not only dinner, but extra-good luck in the New Year!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    c oliver Mar 17, 2011 08:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Let's do it, mamachef! We have done home exchanges in SF over New Years. Mmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Passadumkeg Dec 25, 2010 05:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My grandmother used to make head cheese..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              c oliver Dec 25, 2010 05:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just love it. A new addiction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ptrichmondmike Dec 25, 2010 01:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wasn't closely supervised as a child, and spent time experimenting in the kitchen to explore new flavors. One day I combined Hershey's syrup with mayonnaise...50 years later, I still gag when I remember the taste. Worst taste EVER.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ptrichmondmike
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              EWSflash Mar 12, 2011 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              like- who knew?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ptrichmondmike
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Isobel_A Mar 18, 2011 03:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I mixed orange juice and milk once as a child. Uggg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Passadumkeg Dec 25, 2010 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In-N-Out burger, so much hype, just another chain burger. Meh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  c oliver Dec 25, 2010 05:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I ate there once and it just didn't float my boat. It wasn't fast which is what "fast food" is supposed to be IMneverHO. We ate at Five Guys (is that the name?) while in DC. It was fine but, again, nothing fast. And it was expensive for what it was. But we'd never done it and were walking by. Ho hum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Passadumkeg Dec 25, 2010 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now the Laguna Burger is another matter. A half pound burger w/ cheese, green chiles and a side of Maine potato French fries for $3.99????? Our favorite stop to and fro Albyqyeque.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://nmgastronome.com/blog/?p=8598

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alanbarnes Dec 25, 2010 06:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Never mind the hype, it's the best fast-food burger in these parts. And I like their business model - pay a living wage, have high expectations, and promote from within. If everybody would stop talking about how great the burgers are, folks would be impressed. But all the hype hightens expectations. And the fact of the matter is that it's just a (very good) fast-food burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg Dec 25, 2010 07:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gimme a Lotaburger w/ double green chile any day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        alanbarnes Dec 25, 2010 07:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Me too. We need Blake's in California.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mariacarmen Dec 25, 2010 08:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        AB - agreed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      somervilleoldtimer Jan 2, 2011 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Truffles. Hated the the first time, to my great surprise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        EWSflash Mar 12, 2011 05:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow- I'm not really surprised, but to me it was such an erotic smell/taste I was almost embarrassed at the thought of having to explain it to others. My new favorite guilty snack is leftover linguine sauteed in a skillet with a little truffle oil. Almost like having sex, only without the commitment. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          linguafood Mar 13, 2011 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          you could add some crabs :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: somervilleoldtimer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sfumato May 29, 2011 08:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't like truffles at all- they all taste like especially foul BO to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          jamieeats Mar 7, 2011 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          brussels sprouts. my mom hated them so much as a child, that she refused to serve them to her children, so i had never even seen one, let alone tried them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          my sister's boyfriend's mother served them to me during college, and i could not believe how delicious they were. i ended up eating almost the entire portion of them (and it was supposed to be for the whole group!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MichelleRenee Mar 8, 2011 12:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The blue cheese dressing at a diner near me. Homemade and eye-popping good when you expect just the regular run of the mill blue cheese dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Liver pate my mom served at a party one time when I was little. Liver and onions my mom served for dinner once. I was very surprised I liked something that looked and sounded so disgusting!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Edible underwear. I had munchies and thought it would taste like a fruit roll-up. It so does not. It was gross and numbed my mouth. lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. LorenM Mar 8, 2011 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Shocked in a good way- escargot. Expected it to taste slimy and muddy. Isn't slimy at all and quite delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. AmyH Mar 12, 2011 03:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I remember the first time I had a Granny Smith apple at a friend's house when I was about 12 years old. My mother always bought red delicious, which I don't like to this day because they taste like nothing. I couldn't believe the flavor in that Granny Smith! So tart and apple tasting! I asked for another, and another until they were worried I'd make myself sick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  EWSflash Mar 12, 2011 05:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, I agree completely. Plus they're one of the appkes that will grow in southern AZ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. terramassu Mar 12, 2011 04:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Today, I had Lychee Wasabi Capsaicin Spiced Exlixir. It was bizarre to try this spicy/sweet drink...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. FoodFuser Mar 13, 2011 05:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Way back in those times as a culino-newbie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    raised in a joyous but yet spiceless household

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It came time to encounter and tackle the Fennel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I crunched those seeds up in a mortar and pestle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    for proper dispersal in my jarred Prego sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This was way 'fore the days of firm-footed Foodfuser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    when spices were almost akin to a sin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The presence of fennel in our "normal" spaghetti
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    was met with both grin and a glower.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We just didn't know what to make of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A slippery footed dance on those first seeds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    led to more make of new dishes with spices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Each to their own should give gift to their seed whether or not it is fennel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    as fundament from which to proceed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      calliope_nh Mar 13, 2011 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I remember being very little and baking with my father. The vanillia extract smelled so good. i told him I wanted to eat a spoonful. "No, you don't" he replied. I really wanted to but he convinced me to just lick the measuring spoon. YUCK!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: calliope_nh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        GraydonCarter Mar 15, 2011 10:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How about a taste of a cinnamon stick? It doesn't taste like cinnamon toast, does it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraydonCarter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Isobel_A Mar 18, 2011 03:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My sister and I always used to chew on cinnamon sticks! I think they're yummy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. algct Mar 17, 2011 04:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ikura Oroshi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Had it at Lenge, an upper West Side NY Japanese restaurant in the early 1970s. Was made with ONIONS! instead of daikon & I can't vouch for the quality of the Ikura!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Since then, it has been my favorite due to a love affair with Omasa Restaurant in Hartsdale NY over 30 years ago!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. algct Mar 17, 2011 04:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Grappa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Once you get past the shock & the ethanol takes hold - its not too bad really except for the price they are charging for essentially rot gut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Anybody got a similar experience with white lightning???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: algct
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            small h Mar 17, 2011 05:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oof. I had artichoke grappa in Rome, because it was there. I can't say I was shocked by it, because I had no expectations, good or bad. It was pretty bad, though. I found unicum similarly vile. And I apologize to any fans of unicum or artichoke grappa, if I have offended them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: small h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              tatamagouche May 25, 2011 05:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Artichoke grappa? Are you sure you don't mean the amaro known as Cynar? Grappa's essentially brandy...and there are all types, both rotgut and well-made boutique distillations that are actually very smooth and aromatic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                small h May 25, 2011 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I know that this bar called it "artichoke grappa." The menu there also listed "avocado grappa" and "asparagus grappa" and myriad other weird grappas, in addition to regular ol' grape grappa. I wish I could remember the name of the place, but it's been about 20 years since I was there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: small h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  tatamagouche May 25, 2011 07:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Huh. Googling the terms doesn't yield anything useful. Was it clear or dark?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    small h May 25, 2011 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Googling found me this:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.festadellagricoltura.com/a...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Which may or may not be what I had, and I don't remember what it looked like, unfortunately. But it seems like the grappa was not made entirely from artichokes, but rather contained artichokes. Which makes more sense, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: small h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tatamagouche May 25, 2011 07:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's fascinating. Headed to Italy next week, a traditionally grappa-making region
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      —now I'm on a quest!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        small h May 25, 2011 07:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I will keep an eye out for your review of this elusive beverage!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            annasiam Mar 17, 2011 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The first time I ever had Greek olives, it was 1992 in Columbia, Missouri. Being from a small town in Illinois I grew up on green olives stuffed with pimentoes and the black olives in cans. Loved those, but when I had Greek olives, wow. Salty, meaty, uniquely bitter and sweet all at the same time. Since then I will eat any olive known to man. I gaze longingly at olive bars like a kid through a candy store window.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            At that same dinky little restaurant in Columbia MO I first tried feta cheese and hummus, too. 20 years later I am known and mocked for my obsession with hummus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            First time I tried cilantro was at a Thai place in Milwaukee, early 90s. Like many other people here I thought it tasted like soap. Now I love love love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. FoodFuser Mar 17, 2011 08:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I humbly suggest that we as first tasters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              apply and comply to the law of forgiveness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There were times at the joy of the family table
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              when weird tastes were tendered to tongue and to gullet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hopeful that in these later adult days
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We can take on, embrace,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              each item and spice that gives us a new taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Bill Hunt Mar 17, 2011 08:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not into "innards," but was amazed with sweetbreads, at Blackberry Farm. Now, not all chefs can pull this dish off, at least for me. When done well, they are sublime, but would not go hunting for the ultimate versions, as I have found that many fail, at least on my palate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. i
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Isobel_A Mar 18, 2011 02:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Crispy duck pancakes on my 21st birthday - I nearly passed out from the delicious deliciousness! Mmmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, proper gelato in Italy (from towns around Lago Maggiore, in my case) - there is nothing, anywhere, that comes remotely close to being that perfect. I had a scoop every day that I was there, and I think the honeydew melon has tied with the pistachio for favourite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The first time I had pesto, when I was six, also stands out. My Dad and I had gone to Switzerland visit my soon-to-be stepmother, who was taught to cook by an Italian, and she gave us freshly made pesto (ground in a pestle and mortar). She had extra long spaghetti and I remember standing up on the chair to slurp up a single strand, and being dumbfounded by the amazingness of pesto. I've been hooked ever since.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Passadumkeg Mar 18, 2011 04:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My first martini, I was about 22 living in NM; a wine and beer drinker. My friend's father came for a visit from NYC and mixed a batch of martinis. Growing up, my parents drank a lot of Scotch and vodka, so strong alcohol flavors were nothing new to me. My biggest surprise in the martini, was not the flavor, which I enjoyed, but the olives. I hated olives, but hmmmm, theses were all right. By the third martooni, I was a converted olive aficianado and remain so this day. But I can't remember my last martini.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      FoodFuser Mar 18, 2011 09:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great story. Touch of Sean Connery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Last martini will be remembered by friends and family
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      when cannot be resuscitated, even shaken or stirred.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It is much more a matter of ethanol
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      than of the accessory olive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      milkweed Mar 19, 2011 09:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When I was 8 my friend's dad set our some chocolate crispy things for a dinner party, and they were delicious. Until he laughed heartily and told me they were chocolate covered ANTS!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        AngelSanctuary Mar 20, 2011 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Besides some vegetables (and that's mostly because my gran boiled the hell out of them) the first time I had uni (sea urchin) I thought it tasted like crap...literally. The smell was quite putrid and it tasted like it smelled. But then a few years later this restaurant was offering complimentary uni sushi because they're brand new so of course I had to eat it (I like free stuff) and then at first I was like ugh, then I was like hmmm, then I was like hmmmmm (in a positive way). But finally one time I actually had it really fresh and it was absolutely AMAZING!!! And now I love it. And to think I'll never have know if I weren't so cheap and kept accepting freebies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh and ketchup but I still despise it, the taste I thought was so terrible I still have yet to find a word to describe how god awful it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AngelSanctuary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          kssny5 Mar 20, 2011 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like a bit of ketchup on french fries and a spot on hamburgers, but one time I ordered a fried egg sandwich with nothing except salt and pepper. When I tasted it, I couldn't at first identify the sweet taste, but it turned out to be ketchup-ruined the egg sandwich for me. Now I am careful to ask to omit ketchup, and I tell them if they put it on my egg sandwich, they will get it back!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. arktos May 24, 2011 06:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          WASABI..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The first time I ate sushi, I was by myself and had NO knowledge about sushi condiments. I saw this light greenish ball of what I thought was probably some sweet Japanese morsel, so I proceeded to pop the whole thing in my mouth, chewed it, then: *HEAD EXPLODES*, or so it seemed. My sinuses are clear to this day and whenever I eat sushi now, I remember that incident and cast a very cold eye on the little green fiend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: arktos
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BobB May 25, 2011 08:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You were lucky compared to a guy I work with - an East Coaster who was at a Mexican restaurant out west for the first time, and forked up a big mouthful of what he thought was shredded carrot off a garnish plate. It was shredded habanero.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: arktos
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              tatamagouche May 25, 2011 09:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ever seen the first Jackass movie? Not for the weak of stomach, but I found Steve-O's wasabi-snorting attempts (plural) sort of genius.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                hill food May 25, 2011 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have a certain fondness for the Jackass movies. (hangs his head) but I did have a piece of maki once in CA of roe marinated in wasabi until it was nuclear bio-hazard green. blew my ears off, but I hold fond memories of it even though it's more of a 'dare' food IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  tracylee May 27, 2011 07:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had that once on St. Patrick's Day. It was the only time they had at at this particular sushi bar. I was the only one at the bar, and chatting with Hiroshi and asked about it. He said it was very popular that day. Silly me, I believed him and tried it. He had a good laugh at my reaction. He knew I loved wasabi, but that bite was a bit much for me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tracylee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BobB May 31, 2011 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm familiar with that roe - it's wasabi-flavored tobiko (flying fish roe). I first encountered it as a garnish on tuna tartare, where it added an excellent flash of flavor. Wouldn't recommend eating it it all on own though, and more than I would a spoonful of dijon mustard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For the record, there are quite a few flavored versions of tobiko our there - besides wasabi I've seen yuzu, ginger, and squid ink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Sandwich_Sister May 29, 2011 04:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm going to agree with other on Uni. I always thought it would be more of a taste of the sea but its more like custard with a pumpkin texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Escolar sashimi - with it's high oil content it melts in your mouth like butter. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              From the garden heirloom tomato - fresh picked. I'm not old enough to remember when tomatoes from the store tasted good. Since them I've been growing my own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              fresh Goat Cheese - I love it but would have never had thought it would have that texture or taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Prosciutto - some many people call it "italian bacon" or like bacon. I didn't see much a resemblance besides that is is cured ham.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Escargot - I think I've got a trick for friends who have never tried it. If you like mushrooms, especially garlic mushrooms and butter you'll like escargot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rose bud tea - funny I don't know what I was expecting because it taste just like rose buds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              lychee - I didn't even know how to eat it at first I had to ask. It had a nice flowery aroma with a kind of lemony grape taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. sfumato May 29, 2011 08:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Unsweetened cocoa (as a kid)- didn't, or perhaps couldn't, really read the whole "unsweetened" part and thought I would get a spoonful of sweet chocolatey goodness. That was a shock!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Passadumkeg May 31, 2011 04:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lytefisk. So much talk, so little flavor.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fried cod roe for breakfast, rich and mild.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Calf's colustrum made into a custard.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ja vel ja.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    buttertart Jun 1, 2011 08:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is the third reference I've seen to colostrum used in food in the past 2 weeks. I have never seen it mentioned before. And my chances of experiencing it are close to zero...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pincus Jun 1, 2011 10:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tripe. Especially since I didn't know what it was when I was eating it, all I could think was "Chewy!" and "Weird texture!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Pincus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      montrealeater Jun 2, 2011 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Goat's cheese. I still hear this mentioned as a good "first semi exotic cheese" for cheese virgins, and I remember my first time trying it as a 12ish year old - to this day I don't find goat's cheese mild, I find it sort of sour and harsh, and (most) sheep's cheese (I know many people who refuse to eat sheep's cheese but reckon goat's cheese is yummy) creamy and like what I remember expecting goat's cheese to taste like.

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