I've been tagged by Melissa for an ingenious meme: name five things you've eaten and think that everyone should eat at least once before they die.
The idea of a Foodbloggers' Guide to the Globe is brilliant. Who better to provide a passionate list of must-eats in this world for the people than by the people?
I've thought long and hard about my top five choice. So long, in fact, that I think I'm the last person of Melissa's original five to post their response. The list is already growing exponentially, and it is filled with a real cross-section of food destinations and experiences.
My top five recommendations are all fond personal memories--some I have done only once; others I try to repeat as often as possible. All too often we eat whilst distracted: by conversation, by deadlines, by television, by daydreams. Sometimes, though, an absent-minded mouthful becomes an epiphany, providing a rare moment of clarity when your tastebuds heighten, time seems to stop and the world just makes sense.
Helen's Five Things to Eat Before You Die
1. A raw Sydney Rock oyster, just opened and slurped in shell
Nothing beats a freshly opened oyster, particularly the Sydney Rock variety. As you slowly prise open its stubborn shell, the smell of the sea will waft towards you, engulfing you in a haze of briney allure. The oyster will be plump and shiny, its taste will be blissfully salty, sweet and reminiscent of the sea.
2. Fish and chips at Bondi Beach, Sydney
We are lucky to be blessed with pristine beaches in Australia and Bondi Beach, Sydney, is the epitomy of the Down Under experience. The views are glorious, and no seaside experience can be complete without digging into a takeaway package of fish and chips wrapped up in butchers paper. The fish will be coated in a light airy beer batter, fried to a pale golden tan; twice-fried chips will be crunchy on the outside, pale and fluffy within. There's salt on your fingers, salt spray on your skin, the crash of waves straight ahead and sunshine warming your toes. Bliss.
3. A bowl of noodles eaten whilst standing at a Tokyo railway station
Tokyo tends to assault your senses with its bustling crowds, scrolling neon, giant pachinko parlours and constant high-pitched spruiking. Time is money and so commuters will stop for a quick bowl of ramen at noodle houses in train station hubs. It's a typical blend of Japanese efficiency without compromising a bar of quality. The noodles are all freshly cooked to order and are incredibly tasty too. Standing next to a businessmen slurping loudly on noodles in unison is an experience everyone must try one time in their life.
4. A mystery meal eaten in pitch darkness with only touch, smell, sound and taste to guide you
Eating in the complete absence of light sounds like a gimmick, but for anyone who takes their food seriously, it's a huge wake-up call on how much you really do eat with your eyes. How finely attuned are your tastebuds? How much do you rely on visual whetting of appetite? I learnt a lot, and feel the wiser for it.
5. A freshly baked pasteis de nata from Lisbon, Portugal
The pasteis de nata is the king of custard tarts. Any fan must try the original version from its Portuguese birthplace, Antiga Confeitaria de Belem on the seaside outskirts of Lisbon. The cafe is usually packed with day-tripping families and tourists, but the wait is worth it. A custard tart, still warm from the oven, is all crisp buttery layers of pastry, sweet eggy custard, and caramelised on top with patches of dark bitter brown. Shakers of icing sugar on each table provide optional snow-white dustings. A takeaway order should be mandatory, transported in a white cardboard bonbon and tied with blue ribbon.
5 foodbloggers I tag:
1. Jenjen from Milk and Cookies
2. Jennifer from The Domestic Goddess
3. Nic from Baking Sheet
4. Rebecca from Cucina Rebecca
5. Sam from Becks & Posh
Check out Melissa’s combined list of recommendations here.
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8/25/2006 11:59:00 p.m.