Sep 22

Omnivore’s 100

I like lists and here’s a list of 100 foods that Andrew from very good taste thinks every one should try once. As usual with these lists, bold are those food I’d try, strike through are those I don’t really want to try. I’ve annotated the list to give a little background. (via CC)

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison. Love it, makes great stews. I had venison sausages last night.
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros. Tried in Austin at SXSW. Not really a favourite.
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile. Tried at a speciality restaurant. OK.
6. Black pudding. One of Dad’s favourites. I like it in small doses fried with a full breakfast.
7. Cheese fondue. Love making these/
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari. Most memorable onthe harbourside in Pireus, Athens.
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses. Well, I think I have. It looks familiar.
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes. We used to make it – blackberry and elderberry wines.
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream. Bleurgh. Give me chocolate, or Rum Raison
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries. Well, blackberries and elderberries at least. Plus strawberries.
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese. No thank you.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper. I’ve had the sauce. Never wanted to try the raw ingredient.
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters. I prefer them cooked rather than raw
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi – I’ve had one sip. Don’t really like yoghurt drinks and I don’t like salted/savory stuff very much.
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float – I’ve had floats, but never root beer as don’t like that pop.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar. Cognac yes, but I don’t smoke. I’ve had cognac with friends when they were smoking fat cigars – does that count?
37. Clotted cream tea. Mmm, scones. Jam, clotted cream. Lovely
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects. Chocolate covered are best
43. Phaal. Just tastes. Too hot for me.
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more. I used to work for a distillers, so probably had whisky worth far more, usually straight out the cask!
46. Fugu. Never wanted to
47. Chicken tikka masala. It’s the UK’s national dish ;)
48. Eel. Love it smoked more than jellied.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads There are some things I really just don’t want to try
63. Kaolin. Well, as a medicine. I always run this together as ‘kaolin and morphine’ as that’s how it used to be sold.
64. Currywurst. Tried. Didn’t like
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs. Tried one, that was enough.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis.
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. I’ve only managed a 1 star. Need to up my game!
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Not too bad then, I’ve tried 78 of them. How about you?

Sep 14

Les MisBarack

Les Mis is one of my favourite musicals (I’ve seen it about 3 times), so I love the song here. But it works on more levels than that. It would be great if UK politics was as creative

Sep 10

LHC makes headlines

And isn’t that gorgeous. This is a science project, a hard physics project and it’s got the world twittering and blogging and just generally talking about it. How often does that happen? It’s mainstream as well, it’s not just the geeks, with the Google logo changing and BBC pushing it as the number 1 headline inthe news bulletins and even dedicating programmes to it. Loving it.

Google Logo celebrates the LHC

Google Logo celebrates the LHC

They’ve not started the collisions yet, that’s later in the year. But just in case you’re worried the world is going to end, you can check with this handy website “Has the Large Hadron Collider Destroyed the World Yet?

Sep 07

Bre Pettis and History Hacked

My friend Bre from New York has just made a pilot TV show for the (US) History Channel. In it, he hacks historical inventions today, using items out of his closet. I sublet his room in NY for a few months and have seen his closet, so can believe it ;) So congratulations are due and luck is wished for it to be picke dup

Not sure if it’s ever going to be out in the UK, but here’s a teaser.

Sep 01

August Books

I finally joined the library this month, so getting through a lot of new authors I would not have usually read.

  • Battlestar Galactica, Jeffrey Carver. Another free pdf from Tor, this was good as I’ve never seen the mini-series/pilot for the re-imaged series. That said, the book was a little too much like a transcription of a TV story, Ok written, but not a brilliant read. I did quickly get through it though, as I wanted to find out how they got to various places.
  • Friendly Fire, Patrick Gale. I got this from the 4th Estate Book tombola at the Innocent Village Fete and I finished it in less than 24 hours. I loved it, the story of a girl and 2 boys at school, growing up in the 70s. and learning about wh they are. Brilliant story and writing.
  • Soul, Tobsha Learner,. This is another book from Tor. It confused me slightly as I was expecting more fantasy, but this is a straightforward novel, telling the stories of 2 women and how they deal with disappointing men in their life. Solidly plotted and well told, I really enjoyed this.
  • Halting State Charles Stross. Love this, all about a connected world, augmented realities and a murder mystery,
  • Learning the World. Ken Macleod. Liked it, liked the world he portrayed. A good starting point about what we would do if we were contacted.
  • A Sudden Wild Magic, Diana Wynne Jones. OK, a little muddled for me and left too opened ended.
  • Sphere of Influence, Kyle Miles. A great thriller that kept me reading. Although some of the main characters choices required a little bit of belief suspension
  • Lots of John Scalzi stuff, I worked my way through his list of online short stories
  • Charles Stross, Iron Sunrise. Loved it, once I’d put all the bits together. The chopping between all the character’s story lines was a little disconcerting at first, but it eventually made sense
  • The Risen Empire, Scott Westerfeld. I got this as I’d read so much about Westerfeld’s YA books and they weren’t in the library! A long, long read, but enjoyable story, well characterised, even if slightly predictable.
  • Singularity Sky, Charles StrossIron Sunrise is a sequal to this, so I was reading it knowing what happened to some of the characters. Again a world and story I loved, this one was a far more straight forward story than the other book
  • Longitude Dava Sobel A quick romp (it’s a short book) about how John Harrison spent his life on developing a chronometer to take to sea, so that longitude could be measured, whilst battling against the ‘establishment’ who preferred a lunar method.

I read a lot more SciFi this month than I have done for a long time, I usually prefer the fantasy end of the genre. I found at one point getting confused across stories and worlds, as they were using a lot of the same principles, eg for FTL travel.