Do you have a Bucket list? Do you have one for places to eat? Things, ways to eat? Same list, two lists?
OK, title states it all.
Some things on my list (I'm an experience, taste person) are not things I wanna do, but think I should do to know if what others say is worth it. Done some, will do others. I plan to do my, gulp, first ever, soft shell crab experience this year. I think I will live. I will certainly post about it.
My dream is this: once I read that the best Japanese eating experience was a train trip through Japan, stopping at inns, for that local, in home meal at each stop.
A few years ago in the same meal I sucked a shrimp head and ate the fried shell, both things I thought I could never do, without a gun to my family's head. I survived. It was good. I tried it again years later at another (CH recommended local place), the experience was awful, it was the restaurant's fault.
Once I tried uni, in my early sushi eating days. Deal was my partner and I would order the chef's deluxe, as it always promised a well er deluxe item. We'd share the bite. i was always the bravest (sometimes spelled 'stupid") who tasted first, That bite had only one thing going for it, the only way I could survive it was to have my partner eat it as well. He did what I wanted to do and spit it out. We agreed , we were glad we did not step it in. MANY years later I tried uni again, Oh Wow, it was so good! Turns out the first place had bad uni!
So I ask you CH what have you done on your bucket list and what do you still have there? Would you re-try a FAIL on a bucket list item?
No bucket list, but my ideal life journey would be to travel just about everywhere and be a real chowhound and discover all those out of the way, unadvertised, no sign on the door, come into the kitchen and see what's cookin', wow that looks like my grandmother's home made pasta, eat all you like honey and come back for more, just eat myself silly and start all over the next day, places. I did a little of that when (ironically) I was young and broke, but not tied down to job or family and had a real dolce fa niente attitude. Sigh.............
I am grateful that I have been able to travel a lot, see a lot and eat a lot in many countries. My bucket list has been gradually whittled down as I cross things off the list but I have yet to go to NOMA.
Having said that, like catspercapita, my ideal is enjoying foods and experiences wherever I am. It may be one of the top restaurants on the planet BUT it may be a little trattoria in Itlay , hidden patisserie in the Dordogne, a mom and pop konoba in rural Istria or eating at a wooden communal table in Germany. Markets also intrigue me - I learn so much about the country's culture. Everyday grocery shopping is a pleasure as well. My interests over the past few years have involved less lists and more living in the moment, getting immersed in the culture and food history and appreciating it for what it is. I would try nearly anything once.
In addition to actually eating the food, food festivals and activities are important to me. I've truffle hunted in Italy and Croatia, picked olives and wild asparagus in Eastern Europe, fished at 4:00 a.m. for anchovies in the Cinque Terre (as well as made pesto there), stomped on grapes at tiny vineyards and visited artisan cheese producers all over Europe, connected with herb growers in Switzerland, etc. ... and have learned more doing so than I would in many restaurants. I really like connecting with the people who love doing what they do in those countries. At times I've enjoyed cooking classes but prefer the unknown local classes to the larger, well-known ones. These things make our trips come alive unlike anything else. Food is my connection to nearly everything!
So, those unmarked doors down the tiny, twisty alleys in medieval European villages are what draw me more often than the big name places.
Exactly the kind of experiences I enjoy the best! While I do enjoy the plated experience and trying new things presented by the best chef, I'd much rather be a part of all of the experience, the nitty gritty, the community expression of getting good food through hard work, teamwork, sharing and laughing.
But still I would leave the fugu preparation to the trusted expert.
Mostly I find that the desires of my youthful imagination are overcome by my aging and faulty digestive system. There are still lots of things I want to try, many of them fried in duck fat. I'm glad we made the French pilgrimages when we were young and able!
For Stuff I've already done: At the time I didn't realize it but, the 8 months I spent in Seoul. I'm so glad I was able to experience their food and markets. So really amazing experience when I look back. I wasn't much of a chowhounder than but, oh and I'm glad my ex dragged me there.
Things I'd like to do:
- 2 or 3 weeks in Greece, for sure. If not for the culture, for sure for the food.
- I'd love to got back to the UK. I was a teenager when I last went and i was more interested in boys, than culture. Love to go to the Fat Duck.
- pizza in NY. I'm a bit of a snob about pizza and here I am in western Canada never having tried it in the US!
- BBQ in the southern States. Dear god hubby and I need to get there some day
- Not to mention get to California some day and do the French Laundry. Sadly I have many allergies to fresh fruit and some well known tree nuts used, it seems, in EVERYTHING! :( That may never happen. Oh well
Oh, and I've always been curious about foie Gras but, I've always had a hate for anything liver (every year I try pate and every year, without fail, I practically spit it out). Not to mention the fact that the older I get the more hippy I get. For ethical reasons, I'll probably never try it.
I'd like to go eat my way through Vietnam and also Korea.
I also wish one day to eat a Bahian acarajé.