Thursday 16 December 2004

i didn't see poutine on this list

Last night, BBC 2 had a programme on called "50 Things to Eat Before You Die". A few things struck me about this list: 1) some of these foods seemed a bit "tame" (come on, sandwiches?) and 2) for all the "oh, aren't those Americans such horrible awful people who eat like cretins" sentiments I hear so often, a lot of American food items made it to this list. To save you from having to click on the link above to see the list, I've included it here:

1. Fresh fish

2. Lobster

3. Steak

4. Thai food

5. Chinese food

6. Ice cream

7. Pizza

8. Crab

9. Curry

10. Prawns

11. Moreton Bay Bugs

12. Clam chowder

13. Barbecues

14. Pancakes

15. Pasta

16. Mussels

17. Cheesecake

18. Lamb

19. Cream tea

20. Alligator

21. Oysters

22. Kangaroo

23. Chocolate

24. Sandwiches

25. Greek food

26. Burgers

27. Mexican food

28. Squid

29. American diner breakfast

30. Salmon

31. Venison

32. Guinea pig

33. Shark

34. Sushi

35. Paella

36. Barramundi

37. Reindeer

38. Kebab

39. Scallops

40. Australian meat pie

41. Mango

42. Durian fruit

43. Octopus

44. Ribs

45. Roast beef

46. Tapas

47. Jerk chicken/pork

48. Haggis

49. Caviar

50. Cornish pasty

I did find myself nodding in agreement with most of these choices, but some of them surprised me. I had the impression that a "must have" food would either be something truly adventurous or exotic, or special; something you wouldn't normally eat. Pasta? Pizza? Chinese food? Would this be your choice of a last meal? (Okay, I admit, pasta might be mine.) I liked the American choices, probably because they are familiar to me. Every time I go back to North America, I make it a point to get a big breakfast, real cheesecake, and a decent burger. Not all in the same meal, mind you.

I would add dim sum to this list. Sometimes I think food should be an experience, and to me, there's nothing better than sampling a vast array of dishes at one meal. Tapas, dim sum, sushi (especially the kind that trundles by you on a conveyor belt), and similar types of cuisine are really good fun.

I'll pass on the guinea pig, thanks.

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