Monday, January 8, 2007

Undertaking Food & Wine's 100 Tastes to Try

UPDATE (1/1/08): The year is over! I believe I officially tried 45 items on the list. There are several others (which I bought cookbooks or bottles of wine) I never got to. I ran out of time but I had a lot of fun sampling everything on this list. Click on the links for the food below to see my review of the items I got through.

This is going to be quite a fun project. I spent several hours last night devising my plan to conquer Food & Wine's 100 Tastes to Try in 2007. I am a natural born list-maker and fact finder so this time spent preparing was actually fun for me. I am excited to try all these different foods. The major down side is that the foods and the shipping costs foods are quite expensive. Each "taste" ranges between $2.50 (seeds for Fish Chile Peppers) and $750 (Ibérico Ham).

1 - Langoustines
3 - Good Fast-food Noodles
4 - Greek Olive Oil
5 - Greek Wine (bought it but never tried it)
7 - Greek Spices
9 - Updated Chuckwagon Recipes: Corn Bread with Scallions
10 - Argentine Malbec
11 - Phoenix Pale Ale
12 - Dale's Pale Ale
13 - porkslap pale ale (bought it and tried it but just didn't blog about it)
14 - House-Infused Bourbon: The Thoroughbred (bought all the fixin's but never made it)
15 - Aspen Kettle Corn
16 - Great Canadian Wines from the Okanagan Valley
17 - Scandinavia's avant-garde cuisine (imported the NOMA cookbook from the UK but never made anything from it)
18 - House-made Mixers
20 - Truffle Teas
21 - Savory Foods by Pastry Chefs: Dan Dan Noodles
22 - cocktails the don't pack a punch
23 - maple flakes
24 - boutique aussi wines
25 - Artisanal Swiss Cheeses
27 - Peruvian food
28 - tiny treats
29 - A Chicago Power Meal at Aigre Doux
30 - Mocktails for Grown-Ups: Virgin strawberry Bellinis
31 - Preflight wine flight
32 - the whole tree
33 - Updated French Fries: Japanese Frites
34,35,36 - market tastings
38 - Bacony Desserts: Bacon Baklava
39 - the next baby lettuce
40 - Southern Italian wine
41 - Icelandic ingredients
42 - Healthy Snack Bars That Pass the Taste Test
43 - amaranth
44 - kamut (bought some but never made anything)
45 - buckwheat (bought some but never made anything)
46 - rosa mexicano's salsas (bought the cookbook and made some pickled jalapeno's but never got to make any salsa)
47 - custom-bred pork
48 - Syrah from South Africa
49 - Regional Chinese Cooking: hot hunan shrimp
50 - fire-pit foods
52 - a veal muenster burger
53 - African spices and tea
54 - American Raw-milk Cheeses
55 - Wine From Up-and-Coming Regions (I am pretty sure I found a few of these but they just got mixed in with my wine collection and I don't remember which one I tried!)
57 - New Drinks from Multimedia Mixologists: Bluegrass Cobbler
58 - quick mediterranean
60 - An Adrià Innovation
61 - Cookbooks from Bloggers: Green Bean Salad with Toasted Pecans
62 - Market-Fresh Recipes: pea and mint risotto
63 - deconstructed negroni
65 - Freeze-dried Flavors
67 - Exotic Ice Cream
68 - 2006 Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand
69 - New Condiments: Roasted Cauliflower with Ajvar Dressing (never could find any Ajvar)
70 - Haute Fish-And-Chips: Battered Cod with Marie Rose Sauce
71 - Mangosteens
72 - Sichuan Peppercorns
73 - Wild Artichokes
75 - Department-Store Chefs: pork fried rice
76 - Fruit Chips
77 - Kaiseki a Japanese Feast (bought the cookbook but never made anything)
78 - Sri Lankan Hoppers
79 - Marqués de Riscal Rioja
81 - Melted Marshmallow
82 - Fish Chile Peppers (got the seeds but never planted them)
83 - Desserts Using Pungent Cheese: feta cheesecake & wine poached dates
90 - Malt-ball Cake
91 - High-tech Caviar
92 - Mark Herold Cabernet
93 - Italian in Boca
94 - Croatian olive oil
95 - Spanish Matiz Piparras
96 - Peperoni Cruschi
97 - African honey
98 - Aussie Raisins on the Vine
99 - Cookbooks from Cool Bars: Le Demon Vert
100 - Cocktail-Friendly Desserts: Brûléed Key Lime Tarts
101 - Marin County, California Pinot Noir
102 - Healthy Fast Food, San Francisco-Style
103 - A Taco from Oyamel
105 - Charcoal Peanuts
106 - Cocktail Flights
107 - Brunch at Washington D.C.'s Bebo Trattoria
108 - Sparkling Wine from a Bottle with a Metal Cap
109 - Spices from Le Sanctuaire in San Francisco
113 - savory chocolate
114 - sicilian-inspiried slat (bought it but never blogged about it)

This is going to be much hard than it looks to the casual observer. Many of these items are very hard to find. I already have several emails into companies asking them where I can order their products in the U.S. or online. I will have to do alot of hunting.

There are a few items on the list I have already tasted. Although I have not eaten them in 2007, it is either mark them off or three out of four would have to go on my "can't" list.

6 - Greek Cuisine. I've eaten at some of the best restaurants in the Greektowns of Chicago and Toronto. I will also be cooking some homemade Greek Cuisine when I attempt to taste #7 Greek Spices.

19 - Japanese sweets. The recommended taste is from Toraya Café in Toyoko. I can't get to Tokoy but I have been eating Pocky and I love it.

56 - automat wine. Wine served out of an Enomatic, an Italian wine dispensing machine. Sam's Wine and Spirits in Chicago serves tastings of wine out of a very similar system. Even though it may not be an official Enomatic, it offers the same feature of dispensing wine samples right out of the bottles.

74 - Ibérico Ham. Luckily I have been to Spain because the price of Ibérico Ham in the U.S. is very cost prohibitive. Maybe if I get a great bonus I'll order a $750 ham for my family to eat at Christmas. No, even I'm not frivolous enough to do that.

Unfortunately, many of the "tastes to try" are meals at in restaurants in various cities and countries that I can not get to in 2007. Oh, the luxury of the world-travelers. I determined that there are 18 tastes on the list that I will not be able to try:

2 - A Burgundy at La Paulée de New York
8 - a Greek cooking-school feast (there are no Greek cooking schools in Tampa)
26 - a meal at Les Ombres in Paris
34 - eating at Santa Caterina market in Barcelona
35 - eating at Fallon & Byrne market in Dublin
36 - eating at Mill City market in Minneapolis
37 - Chef Marc Vetri's pizzas in Philadelphia
51 - cladestine dinners in Des Moines
59 - poke to go in Hanolulu
64 - Singapore's latest
66 - catered cocktails at a party in New York
80 - Fortnum & Mason’s Best in London
84 - a meal at Gordon Ramsay in New York
85 - a meal at S. Alban in London
86 - a meal at Sensing in Paris
87 - a meal at Rockpool Bar & Grill in Melbourne
88 - a meal at pierre in Hong Kong
89 - Sushi at David Bouley’s Cooking Classes in Manhattan

I find that if I lived new New York I would be able to accomplish more of these. However, I am from Chicago and will be able to knock a few off the list when I go home to visit family so that kind of balances it out.

That leaves me with 92 tastes I will attempt to try in 2007. I have found 10 items from Food & Wine's 100 To Taste: 15 Online Exclusives that I have added to my list to get it up closer to the original count of 100. I have already ordered a few online and can start tasting this week. Several have recipes that I will be trying as well. There are a few items that should be on my "can't" list that I am going to flub, such as 34,35,36 market tastings. I don't necessarily need to eat in the markets they specified.

I am not alone is my crazy taste-testing. Kristen at Dine and Dish is also tracking her progress. She has already tasted #4 Greek Olive Oil and #15 Aspen Kettle Corn and has written reviews of both. Kate of Kate in the Kitchen already has several items crossed her list and has reviewed tastes #21 Dan Dan Noodles, #97 African Honey and #76 Friut Chips on her blog.

By the way, the scariest to me is #60 - An Adrià Innovation. I can find the product but won't know how to use it. It involves molecular science!


Kristen said...

This will be fun :)

The TriniGourmet said...

yay so many ideas! thanks for sharing this :) i can't wait to start going through them :D

cookingchat said...

another person working through the list, I'm impressed. I too like lists, will look forward to monitoring your progess on this quest. Thanks for stopping by CookingChat, hope to see some creative leftover usage from you!