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glomming off "over-rated luxury" food items!?! What "luxury" items have you never tasted but would like to?

I've never had truffles?

Have had "caviar" but not the GOOD stuff, I think... VERY fishy stuff IMO.

Not a big fan of liver, but would love to try good foie gras.

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    1. re: linguafood

      Ah, abalone. Back in the 70s it was already expensive but at least readily obtainable in CA. A wonderful food.

    2. 1000 year egg

      Peking style bear paw

      South African antelope biltong

      A porterhouse steak at Miss Doe's

      2 Replies
      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

        <1000 year egg>

        That is the easiest. It takes like 0.5 cent, and I won't call it luxury. Unusual, maybe.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Opps. I mean 50 cents or 0.5 dollar, not 0.5 cent. Sorry for the confusion.

      2. I have had many luxury food items. Some I remember, and some I don't. I have had many fish roe. I don't know if I had those from wild sturgeon in the Caspian and Black Seas. If I had, I don't remember and would like to try again. I have had foie gras and love it, but it may not the really expensive one. I may have had truffles, but definitely don't remember, so I like to try again. I have had abalone (fresh or cured), sea cucumber, shark fin, fish maw, swallow nest, and love all of them.

        I don't think I have had Ophiocordyceps sinensis, and if I had, I must have forgotten, so I like to try again.


        Bear paw maybe something I like to try.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          I have nothing against bear paw if the entire bear is cooked and eaten. Obviously, that is my gripe with shark fin.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I made the mistake of searching for the ophiocordyceps, and now that image will feature in tonight's nightmares, thanks.

            1. re: bumblecat

              Deep down you are like me. You want them. You need them.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Great, yet subtle, soup ["tang" in Chinese].

                Ophiocordyceps Tang, however, sounds like a great character in a Dickens novel. Or a Spiderman villain.

                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                  Ophiocordyceps are not cheap -- the real one anyway. I have never made ophiocordyceps soup, so I want to try and asked for the price. For a small amount, about 6-9 pieces of these:


                  will cost me about $180 (US).

                  Well, I suppose swallow nest and Japanese abalone can be expensive, but I feel they are more worthed. Meanwhile, I will decide if I want to pay for the $180 -- especially I have no experience in cooking them.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    We were at a Brass Plaque Restaurant [approved for Tourists] in XiNing, so of course it was something that was trotted out as a "local delicacy."

                    I didn't buy any, but I did get superior saffron from the Pharmacy Market.

                    1. re: Kris in Beijing

                      Hi Kris and all,

                      Here are my ophiocordyceps sinensis (aka worm grass), see photo. I will cook some later. Yippie kay yee.

                    2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      i had these last week in hong kong at tin lung heen (michelin 2*, at the top of ICC on the 80th floor or whatever) in a soup.

                      tasted pretty innocuous. soup was expensive ~$50usd. and i think there were only 2 pieces in it.

                      they're pretty common in high end cantonese restaurants in hong kong.

                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    That's a gross lie and you know it. Actually, it's more like the super-imposition of human flesh and fungal infection to the point of being visibly reminiscent of a fungal infection. If you do google image search for slime molds, the first image is this horrifying rash, before you get to the super cute images of slime molds by themselves. Actually, my "favorite" image is now the second picture in the image search for tryptophobia, close up it's readily identifiable as a coral, but without clicking on the picture, it's a gum colored mass of holes...terrifying, especially if you've eczema and imagine everytime you scratch your skin you're scratching away the covering to reveal that mass of pinkish pores. Weirdness, I haz it.

                  3. re: bumblecat

                    I've only had the powdered cordyceps in capsule form, and don't think they include the caterpillar parts (or much of them) in the mix. Not sure I'd want to eat the whole thing stir-fried, though. There was an X-Files episode that was very likely based on the cordyceps idea and it skeeved me out.

                  1. re: thegforceny

                    Not sure I could crunch the head. FYI, part of Mitterand's last meal.

                    1. re: thegforceny

                      Ah - I would have loved to try Ortolans.... I recall a story Anthony Bordain wrote about eating 'forbidden ortolans' at a secret chef's dinner - I think it was in the intro to 'chef's last meals'....

                      Gale Green also wrote a great bit about eating Ortolans in her memoir.

                      Those days are gone.

                    2. Morel mushrooms. Have not seen them at any local farmers markets alongside delicious chantrelles. Maybe they're not available on west coast?

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: letsindulge

                        Hank Shaw lives on the west coast, and he finds them. They're also the only sort of mushroom that I'm confident enough to forage for myself, unfortunately I've just moved and I haven't found any in my area. Funny how a couple of miles distance can affect what you find.

                        1. re: letsindulge

                          Ditto. The only ones available in these parts are dried, and they are astronomical. Just can't force myself to plunk down all that filthy lucre for a handful o' fungus.

                          1. re: letsindulge

                            When we lived in SW Oregon, we could get them at our local farmers market. Just sautéed in butter with a little s&p. Heaven.

                            1. re: letsindulge

                              We see them in SEA, where I am, and I know they are pretty heavily foraged in OR south of us.

                              Seeing them in some markets now, but light availability this year, due to weather patterns.

                              1. re: letsindulge

                                Our favorite restaurant in Reno/Tahoe posted on FB that they'd come into 11# of local, foraged ones and we made a beeline there for lunch yesterday. Had a glorious morel risotto with a little truffle oil to pour over. Afterwards while chatting with the owner and his executive chef, he GAVE me about a dozen/4oz!!!! According to CH pikawicca they retail for $50/#. I'm going to make them last a few days. Had a few just sautéed in butter with a little s&p and a drop or two of Worchestershire sauce. Oh yeah. Here's a picture of my bounty :)

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  Wow, your lucky day, congrats! So so nice of them to share!

                                  These grew wild where I grew up ... I was not fond of how they looked on the ground as a child. Not completely sure whether I've eaten them as an adult ... but I'm willing to give it a try.

                                  1. re: foiegras

                                    Compared to other mushrooms, they do look odd. I understand that's one of the reasons that their ones that can be safely foraged. But I would only do that with an expert.

                                    PS: What "sign"?

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      Oh, ugh, did it append my reply to some unrelated post again?! I meant the international no-durians sign.

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        Actually need to watch out for false morels. Looks very close to true morels. The false ones can make you quite ill.

                                        1. re: Bkeats

                                          Yeah, this got pointed out on another thread. IIRC, real morels are hollow and the stem and cap are all one piece, where the false aren't.

                                            1. re: enbell

                                              Great link! I think I'm going to stick with buying or being gifted.

                                    2. re: c oliver

                                      Hilarious! That sign would be great fun in a kitchen.

                                  2. I think I'd like to try foie gras as well, even if it's just once to see what the big deal is :)

                                    I've had GOOD caviar and still didn't like it.

                                    Ortolan would be interesting too... there is an amusing scene involving ortolan in the movie musical "Gigi".

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                      Al Goldstein (the dirty old publisher of Screw Magazine) once went on a gourmet tour of France, and they were served ortolan. Once he had nis napkin over his head, he said of the dish itself, "I did what any good Jewish boy would do- I put the damn thing in my pocket."
                                      Only funny thing he ever wrote, most likely.

                                    2. Enjoying foie gras has little to do with liking/hating liver. My wife will cross the street to avoid liver but really enjoys foie gras.

                                      2 Replies
                                        1. re: ferret

                                          Me three. Don't like liver but foie gras doesn't taste like liver. And why should it? It's almost all fat. Mmm.

                                        2. I have had truffles "sprinkled lightly" over things.....meh! I'd love to try several sautéed and see if eating dirt is really worth it.

                                          Vive Cliquot......supposed to be so good...maybe someday.

                                          OTOH, after the Chocolates of Belgium, I don't think I can reach new heights.

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                            Veuve Cliquot, for the most part, is not very expensive... the yellow label can be had for $50 or less. They have some more expensive bottles, around $150-200. Remember the prices you see at restaurants are grossly marked up.

                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                              That yellow label stuff really doesn't do it for me.

                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                Yeah, Veuve isn't cheap but it can be had. We've been gifted it a couple of times. Nice.

                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                  Sometimes at Cost Plus World Market they'l have crazy wine sales...I've snagged Veuve (yellow label) at $29/bottle (actually I snagged like 6 bottles). What a lovely sight to see, all lined up in your refrigerator..

                                                2. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                  I bought a tiny black truffle once and was advised to serve with scrambled eggs. It was scrumptious.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    When you say "serve with"- do you mean placed upon cooked scrambled eggs, or did you place it in the pan with the eggs as they were cooking? Might have to try this.

                                                    1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                      A story. Once when I was in France in the south we went to a very good crossed knives and forks place. I wanted a fish soup- we had come from Marseilles- and the boats had not gon eout for a couple of days because of bad weather.
                                                      I read the menu quickly in the low light and saw "bourride" - white fish soup. Yummy. But I got scrambed eggs with truffle- "barrade".
                                                      Tell you the truth, I prefer my scrambled eggs with onions and thin sliced salami. So my eggs tasted a bit of truffle. No big deal. Truffles aren't onions.
                                                      Nor was the dish (barrade) sided with maslanka even though it was veg.

                                                      1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                        you mince or shave the truffles into the raw whisked eggs, and cook together with a lot of butter, very gently, slowly, over low heat. best over a double boiler. it's completely fabulous.

                                                        and to Vinnie - you made me google this - i never knew the word for scrambled eggs in french - Brouillade. thanks, learn something new every day!

                                                        1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                          I thinly sliced it on top of the cooked eggs.

                                                          1. re: c oliver


                                                            Because I had only one small one, I omitted the first part and just did the last. Got two breakfasts out of it that way :) Now that I'm using only pastured eggs, I'd like to try this again. I think the texture as well as the taste would be great.

                                                      1. re: lamb_da_calculus

                                                        I just had some uni today. I think you should really try it. You may love it. Very smooth, rich and very full of flavor -- umami.

                                                        1. re: lamb_da_calculus

                                                          Do it, it's not expensive. Delicious.

                                                          1. re: jaykayen

                                                            Yep. $6-8 to eat them in sushi bar, and much less if you can buy them in stores.

                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                              Isn't it heavily dependent on freshness and quality? I always assumed I wouldn't be able to get that in Chicago. I'm likely wrong now that I think about it, though.

                                                              1. re: lamb_da_calculus

                                                                Uni -- like most sushi items (tuna and salmon) are frozen upon caught. So, yes, it is about freshness, but not freshness in the sense of straight from the ocean to your table. More like "caught in the sea, frozen right away, bring back to the dock, ship to your local restaurants/stores...."

                                                                Chicago, being one of the greatest culinary cities in the USA, should have plenty high end, mid scale sushi restaurants.

                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                  I have my uni while standing in knee deep water on the turtle grass flats. A baby spoon is perfect after chopping the bottom off. Male as well as female. And sea cucumber is more trouble than it is worth.

                                                                  1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                    We ate some great food in Barcelona some months ago and one of the best was sea cucumber aka espardenyes in Spanish. Quickly sautéed in butter with a squeeze of lemon.

                                                                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                      What an interesting life you have. I find myself quite envious.

                                                                  2. re: lamb_da_calculus

                                                                    Yeah, first time I had it, it tasted BITTER. YECK! Wasn't the best sushi restaurant.

                                                                    Had it again other times at much better places and it was much better

                                                            2. hmm ... can't think of anything I'm dying to try but haven't ... but I do love a chance to try things I've never had (this gets increasingly difficult as time goes on ...). I like to do this in restaurants as a) it's a single serving b) hopefully, it's expertly prepared.

                                                              1. A meal at French Laundry or Per Se. Have wondered if it's all that.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: ceekskat

                                                                  The big problem is the addition of a plane ticket to the cost of the meal ...

                                                                  1. re: foiegras

                                                                    The plane ticket could easily be the least expensive part of the meal :)

                                                                  2. re: ceekskat

                                                                    It's every bit of that. Way beyond the extraordinary food, it's the perfectly gracious service, the tour of the kitchen and wine cellar...amazing.

                                                                    1. re: ceekskat

                                                                      Totally agree with this. I've had French Laundry on my bucket list for a long time.

                                                                      Also agree with Uni.

                                                                    2. Abalone, specifically red, is probably the only food I have wanted to try and haven't been able to. I blame Island of the Blue Dolphins which was one of my favorite childhood books.

                                                                      However there are lots of high end meals and/or chef's food I want to try. I have yet to go to French Laundry or Jean George here in the states. If I get back to London I still want to go to Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester and the Fat Duck. I have also read about some amazing meals all over the Far East that would love to try as well. And there is places all over Europe…

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                                        Have you considered ordering them and preparing them yourself? These guys will ship them to you live.


                                                                        1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                          Am totally in love with it and could drink if every day of the week with every meal or on its own.
                                                                          Totally in love.

                                                                        2. Forgive me Father for I have sinned. I have never had a properly aged, old, vintage Bordeaux. Can I just say a few Hail Mary's and hope one falls into my hands?

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                            Alas, my Child, I sent you an exquisite bottle.but you butterfingers, you, you let it slip between between your fingers to crash on the sidewalk. Let's go down to the local wine store and get a bottle of Ripple

                                                                            1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                              I guess that's my punishment for only goin' to Church on Easter and Christmas. Oh, and, "it's been thirty years since my last confession. You better sit down and get a drink, Father, this is gonna take a while . . . ."

                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                A family friend gave my husband and me a bottle of a St. Emilion Grand Cru for a wedding present a million years ago so I don't remember what Chateau it came from now. With it came strict instructions about how to store and when to drink it. We had it on our fifth anniversary. I wonder whether or not we truly understood the complexity of that wine.

                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                  You shoulda called me. We mighta been ignorant together, but I would still tell the story . . . .

                                                                              2. I just recently had Dover sole at Le Bernardin and it was incredible. It had been on my bucket list for awhile. The next thing I want to try are truffles. I just started liking mushrooms and now I can't get enough.

                                                                                1. Geoduck or Abalone for sure.

                                                                                  Sweetbreads would be next since I can't find them in a restaurant or grocery store anywhere around Birmingham, AL.

                                                                                  I've had foie gras once and it was amazing. Definitely not overrated in my eyes.

                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: rcbaughn

                                                                                    Oh I had Geoduck. I think you will love it. Good luck.

                                                                                    1. re: rcbaughn

                                                                                      I've had seared foie gras many times, and as you might guess, I agree with you ;) However, I once had it (and I think this should possibly be a firing squad offense) baked and still cold in the middle. If that was the first foie gras I'd had, I'd be posting it here.

                                                                                      1. re: foiegras

                                                                                        I gather it was still a good experience. Or not?

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                          OMG no, it was pretty bad (though I still ate it, thinking of the poor duck). I mean if that was all I'd had, I'd probably be posting in the over-rated thread about those poor fools who pay through the nose for tiny pieces of foie gras, which isn't even as good as fried chicken liver.

                                                                                          1. re: foiegras

                                                                                            HA! I honestly wasn't sure which side you landed on. Did sound not so wonderful!

                                                                                      2. re: rcbaughn

                                                                                        "...white abalone is officially listed as an endangered species. To protect abalone, strict fishing laws have been enacted. To protect abalone, strict fishing laws have been enacted. For example, laws prohibit commercial abalone fishing, and sport fishermen may take only red abalone—with a limit of three animals per day, and a total of 24 animals a year. " So be careful of which abalone you're getting...


                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                          Good info, Gio. I didn't know it was even commercially available. The only time I hear about it anymore is from an individual diving for it for personal consumption.

                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                            There are a couple of places farming abalone on the Central Coast, who can sell it and supply it to restaurants. For example:


                                                                                      3. I've never tasted caviar, but have a morbid desire to. The idea of fish eggs, strikes me as revolted, but I'm still compelled to give 'em a shot. Opportunity has never really knocked, though.

                                                                                        Don't know if artichoke leaves constitute a luxury item, but if so, I'd love to try them with the traditional lemon vinaigrette.

                                                                                        23 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                              If you like them, very addictive. If you don't like them, not addictive at all. Luckily, artichokes are not expensive and easy to cook at home.

                                                                                              1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                Just want to know if we are talking about addictive like chocolate or cocaine (real addiction or not).

                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                  Define "real addiction". Psychological? Physiological?

                                                                                                  From what I've heard, people will spend quite a lot of money on cocaine, but generally not so much on chocolate because they feel they "have to".

                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                    Chocolate's legal and doesn't work as well.

                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                      The difference is very significant. Just want to see what PotateHouse meant when he/she said that artichoke leaves are addictive. Addictive like tobacco leaves? Or more like baby carrots. Anyway, I now know PotatoHouse meant latter.

                                                                                                      <If you like them, very addictive. If you don't like them, not addictive at all.>

                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                        Depends on what you're looking for.

                                                                                                      2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                        <From what I've heard, people will spend quite a lot of money on cocaine, but generally not so much on chocolate because they feel they "have to".>

                                                                                                        Yes. I agree. My original question to PotatoHouse was a very un-assuming one. I wasn't trying to challenge him/her. I really had no idea what the statement means:

                                                                                                        "Artichoke leaves are addictive."

                                                                                                        I really thought it is like chewing tobacco or something.

                                                                                                    2. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                      Here in NoCal, a large artichoke can run $4! I find that insane.

                                                                                                  2. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                    Are we talking about the leaves of the plant or the leaves of the thistle? I know people make tea from the leaves of the plant but I was unaware of any culinary uses of it.

                                                                                                    1. re: seamunky

                                                                                                      The leaves of the Choke itself. The spiny looking item you see in the produce section. You steam the choke until the leaves are tender (but not soggy). You pull a leaf off and at the base of the leaf is a small bit of "meat" that you dip into clarified butter and scrape off of the leaf with your front teeth. When you are done with all the leaves, what you have left us the heart of the artichoke which is just as yummy!!

                                                                                                      1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                        Are people talking about the same thing here when talking about artichoke leaves? I can't imagine someone doesn't know how to eat a regular old artichoke... maybe more exotic than i know??

                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                            I would assume so, but I can't swear to it.

                                                                                                            1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                              Thanks for your reply. I've never heard them called artichoke leaves before and I thought there may have been some wonderful use for the leaves of the plant that I was unaware of. I don't think I've ever had to use it in a sentence before. I may just say "Want some of this artichoke?" as I tear leaves off and dip in lemon butter. I guess I would have called them "petals".

                                                                                                              1. re: seamunky


                                                                                                                Actual artichoke leaves would leave your mouth bloody because of the spines.
                                                                                                                Unless of course modern variieties have that bred oout for the farm workers, which wouldn't surprise me

                                                                                                                Technically, those things aren't "petals", and I'm pretty sure they're not technically leaves either, but who cares about nomenclature.

                                                                                                                1. re: peanuttree

                                                                                                                  Don't know if this is still true today, but back in the USSR days, star Olympic athletes were fed the good stuff on a very regular basis. Their version of Wheaties ;)

                                                                                                    2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                      "I'd love to try them with the traditional lemon vinaigrette."

                                                                                                      Your post has made me wanna try 'em with caviar. "Two great tastes" and all . . . .

                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                        I wouldn't call artichokes a luxury item since I've been eating them all my life. My mother was very adventurous in the kitchen and once she discovered how to cook them we had them regularly. By general consensus the way we liked them best was stuffed and steamed with olive oil, garlic and lemon. The stuffing was nothing more than seasoned fresh breadcrumbs - minced garlic/salt & pepper/olive oil to hold it all together.

                                                                                                        Prep the artichoke then pull each leaf slightly away from the body and push a bit of stuffing down inside. Do this all around starting from the top spiraling down inside till the leaves get too small. Then push some stuffing into the center. A shake of sweet paprika on top adds a little color. Stand the artichokes in the pan that's holding the water, etc., drizzle a little oil on top, cover and cook till tender. Buon appetito!

                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                          One of favorite neighborhood spots in SF served them like that. Mmm.

                                                                                                        2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                          There's cheap forms of caviar. Caviar can actually be a pretty every-day food in some countries, like the Nordic countries. They'r sold as spreads, mixed in with like mayo or some fat-based sauce, or just smushed together as a paste, often in tubes. Not as good as beluga, obvs, but still has that certain fishy caviar taste that I know people who like caviar love so much.

                                                                                                          I can taste that taste, and like, it's really... delicate? deep? I dunno how to describe it, but I can tell what makes it so amazing to some people. But myself, I don't care for that flavor, because ultimately it is a fishy flavor.

                                                                                                        3. Like you, Foie Gras and Beluga Caviar.

                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                            Honest to God European truffles and beluga or sevruga caviar.

                                                                                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                              You can order truffles from Oregon.

                                                                                                              I've not had beluga but have had either sevruga or osetra (can't remember) and they were great. I like some of the domestic stuff also.

                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                Sevruga are the small black roe. Osetra is larger and typically lighter in color, more grey. Osetra has a creamier taste. Haven't had the russian stuff since the CITES ban. Miss it.

                                                                                                                1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                  I know the diff just can't remember which I had. Like you, it's been awhile.. Even the domestic stuff has gotten quite pricey.

                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                    I remember the caviar wars between Macy's and Zabar's. It was great. You could get a 6 oz tin of sevruga for <$200 and osetra for <$300. The stuff is out of sight now.

                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                      I've had beluga at the Fontainebleau in Quebec. Tiny bursts of shiny black sea jewels in your mouth. Served on ice with toast points, creme fraiche, and minced hard boiled egg yolks. Bits of diced onions too IIRC. But I preferred simply the caviar on small toast. With champagne... I don't remember what the main course was...

                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                        Yep, my friend, that's the way to go. I prefer vodka to champagne with such a feast, but, there really isn't a main that you're goin' to remember better than a starter like that.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                          I agree. All that other stuff just makes the caviar last a little longer :) I have my own spoon! I could be really happy just eating it right from the jar!!!

                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                            Yup! Right from the jar! With my French cow horn spoon...
                                                                                                                            (Silly Christmas stocking gift)

                                                                                                              2. i'd like to try Geoduck.
                                                                                                                i've had caviar (though not the super expensive stuff) and truffles, foie gras. love it all, none of it is overrated, for me.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                  MC - when I was a kid, we would go clamming, and sometimes on a super low tide, we would get a geoduck clam in addition to the usual local regular ones. We thought nothing about chopping that sucker up into the chowder with the rest of them (after grossing each other out with it, of course).

                                                                                                                  Now they mostly go to Japan, and are $75+ per lb, with a huge thriving black market of night-diving-poachers being chased by coast guard and whatever agency handles smuggling. Wacky.

                                                                                                                  You can order one here http://www.marxfoods.com/Live-Geoduck :)

                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                    i'd love to have tried one when i was in your neck of the woods at L. Nightshade's - they had them at the oyster place! another time... i'm probably not going to order one, the BF isn't that adventurous. but thanks!

                                                                                                                2. Couple of Spanish items not mentioned by others that l had had and were wonderful

                                                                                                                  Angulas-Baby eels
                                                                                                                  Percerbes-Goose barnacles

                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                                    Like the barnacles in the attached picture? We didn't have these but there will be a next time :)

                                                                                                                    Also espardenyes aka sea cucumber, next picture. They were wonderful.

                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                      Have had the percebes a number of times, including cooking them myself. Those at Akelare has now had me stop cooking them myself, they were truly incredible.

                                                                                                                    2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                                      I used to be able to get angulas in 4 oz. tins for about $55, but I haven't found them for some years now. Some nice memories.

                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                          Cool. They had 2 left so I ordered one. $69

                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                            EXCELLENT!!!! You'll have to report back.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                              Perhaps you will share with me, be in SRQ in June.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                                                Let's do it. I want to share them with someone who I know likes them. I'll be here through June 26.

                                                                                                                        1. You Hounds have beaten me to it: Ortolans. *Real* Dover Sole. Wild Abalone I had once----like scallops squared---and haven't seen for ages. You can get farmed abalone from Browne Trading, has anybody tried it? P.S. Had *good* caviar once, it was not at all *fishy*. Not overrated at all, just too spendy for me.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                            The only thing I ever sent back to a sushi bar was some abalone that I simply couldn't bite through. Seriously. I have no problem with chewy foods, but I could not bite through the abalone. So I haven't ordered it since, but it's been a long time, maybe I'll have to try it again. I'm pretty sure it was wild caught or I'd have been able to bisect it with my teeth. This was back in the '80s, when there was only one sushi bar in Tucson, period. Tokyo Restaurant. I'm so glad it was there then.

                                                                                                                            1. I'm thinking. Dove, seal meat, and Puffin.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: emglow101

                                                                                                                                Daddy hunted dove and quail and laughed that he could have bought them from the fanciest game purveyor for FAR less than what it cost him. Shotgun, shells, dogs, Jeep to carry the dogs, etc.

                                                                                                                              2. Steamed wild humpback grouper (that can go upwards of US$2000 at a high end restaurant in Hong Kong)

                                                                                                                                A variety of conch in Hong Kong where it can go upwards of a hundred dollars or more per slice at Teochew/Chiu Chow restaurants...

                                                                                                                                Braised Japanese abalone (dried), the ultra insanely expensive variety in Hong Kong

                                                                                                                                Bluefin tuna from Oma Prefecture Japan (line caught wild), particularly the cheek meat, and the flesh near the fins, and those exotic specific cuts of toro unheard of outside of Japan.

                                                                                                                                Japanese ise ebi (spiny lobster)

                                                                                                                                Japanese Mishima beef

                                                                                                                                Japanese wild torafugu

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: K K

                                                                                                                                  >> Bluefin tuna from Oma Prefecture Japan (line caught wild),

                                                                                                                                  i've had this served at sawa sashimi in sunnyvale, california before. if you call ahead of time, he might be able to procure some for you. good stuff. doubt it was the cheek or fins, though.

                                                                                                                                  >> Japanese wild torafugu

                                                                                                                                  good stuff -- a favorite meal of mine. don't believe the conventional wisdom that it isn't interesting / good.

                                                                                                                                  >> A variety of conch in Hong Kong where it can go upwards of a hundred dollars or more per slice at Teochew/Chiu Chow restaurants...

                                                                                                                                  I tried to order this last time i was at sheung hing 1.5 years ago. they were out :-( since then i learned to suspect i have an allergic reaction to burgundy snails. trying to decide if i should risk it this time, epi-pen in hand! :-)

                                                                                                                                2. I am dying to try one of the DeBrand Chocolate Art Boxes. (a box made of chocolate and filled with truffles / assorted chocolates). Just not sure I can justify spending nearly $180 on a box of chocolates!

                                                                                                                                  Has anybody ever tried them? Are they worth it?


                                                                                                                                  1. Pangolin.

                                                                                                                                    Not sure if I've had the meat before, but jamón ibérico wrapped around an oyster, and then an encore presentation sounds fantastic.


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                                                                                                                                    1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                      We were in Barcelona and went to the Mercato de la Boqueria. You could buy jamon iberico in any form you wanted. Pretty heavenly.

                                                                                                                                    2. I want to try fresh Durian in Southeast Asia eventually. For now I'm stuck in NJ/NYC buying the frozen, shipped, generic Thai types for sale here

                                                                                                                                      ooh, and fresh mangosteen

                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                          Nope, frozen and shipped over here. I can buy them all year round actually, here in New Jersey, but just in case, I make a point of only buying them in Summer in Chinatown NYC where they're hung in the fruit stalls, in the net bags, with the blue deer head logos. I know they've already been frozen, but they (the fruit shop people or whoevere) maybe do a beter job of thawing it than I would, or maybe at the facility in Thailand they flash-freeze them in a way that my local Hmarts don't... I dunno, but that's how I buy it just in case.
                                                                                                                                          I just can't wait to go to Singapore or Malaysia one day and try it fresh. I want a sweet, strongly colored variety. I'll spend big bucks to get good ones. And I'll be in heaven.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: peanuttree

                                                                                                                                            I never knew that. Thanks. My husband said you can't take durians on public transpo in Singapore because of the smell :)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                              True, in the subway stations is a red circle with a durian in the center and a red line through it.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: peanuttree

                                                                                                                                              I lived in Singapore and have had fresh durian. It tasted like sweet soap to me--not horrible, but not something I would go out of my way for. However, there certainly are many people who march to the beat of a different drummer. Some people in Singapore just swoon over this fruit.

                                                                                                                                        2. Luxury foods can be wonderful, but I find often that they are just rare, and fine, but not necessarily better than the things I can afford to eat regularly. I love foie gras, and that is sort of unique. Pour some brandy into chicken livers though, and I am in heaven. I have had oestra caviar, and it was really good but honestly I like salmon roe better. I like fresh oysters, and since I have to fly to the coast to get really good ones, I guess that counts as super expensive. I wish some smart person would figure out how to grow tasty truffles in the US. That's a taste that can't really be duplicated by anything else. Now, ask me about porridge, I am an aficionado. The only abalone I ever had was fried by my great aunt in CA, and it was a tough little item.

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Teague

                                                                                                                                            Define your porridge-- congee?? Goldilocks? Quaker Oat? Cream of Wheat?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Teague


                                                                                                                                              Here ya go! I'm pretty sure that this is the site where mmruth (famed CH with the most discriminating taste) has bought them. More than once. I tried to find where she talked about it but didn't.

                                                                                                                                            2. Some high grade Matsutake mushrooms from Japan. $2000 a kilo though, yikes.

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                  I'm capable of doing that math though!

                                                                                                                                              1. I have had truffles ( even owned one for my birthday)
                                                                                                                                                uni several diferent ways ( thank you Uchiko)
                                                                                                                                                foire gras -amazing( thank you uchiko)
                                                                                                                                                butter poached lobster meh
                                                                                                                                                bear- a friend sent me some from ALaska for our bigfoot party
                                                                                                                                                we use saffron like basil at our house
                                                                                                                                                kobe beef has ruined me for life for any steak
                                                                                                                                                Birds nest soup was interesting but not life changing

                                                                                                                                                I want to eat a grilled cheese sandwich at the top of the effiel tower
                                                                                                                                                I want to eat a hot dog at shea stadium
                                                                                                                                                I want to make pancakes on an cast iron skillet at the bottom of the grand canyon
                                                                                                                                                I want clean and cook a salmon over an open fire in Alaska

                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                                  Girl, I got bad news for you. Much like I'll never eat at any of the restaurants listed on my profile page, you will never eat a hot dog at Shea. Maybe try Camden Yards or Fenway?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                                      2009. It's a parking lot now for NY's second team.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                        soooo sad.they paved paradise and put in a parking lot :(

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                              sooo sad.. no milkshakes schwabs,or the brownderby... what are kids to do?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                                                They can still try to get a grilled cheese sandwich on the Eiffel tower. I would, however, suggest bringing your own. It's not a very common French dish.

                                                                                                                                                                Unless that Subway stand is still there :-D

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                  I'd kinda wondered about that sandwich. This sounds lovely :)


                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                    Croque Monsieurs ?

                                                                                                                                                                    Subway? Oy Vay! really is there some llittle French kid dreaming of one day coming to America to eat at OLive Garden or Applebees?