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May 3, 2013 02:24 PM

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.