The Omnivore’s Ninety – Hoo, dis Wheelah buggah, no like grind o wat?

Andrew Wheeler, the co-author of the British food blog Very Good Taste, recently posted his “Omnivore’s Hundred,” a list of foods that (IHHO) every omnivore should taste at least once in her or his life. The list generated what internet show-offs are getting a kick out of calling a “meme,” which is a fancy term that just means “this s**t really gets around!” Frankly, I hadn’t heard the term “meme” since graduate school, and was thankful for that.

In any case, did I mention that Andrew Wheeler is a Brit? No offense and all, but sending Brits to decide what constitutes good eating for human beings is like sending Sarah Palin to check on endangered species. (Nope, no wolves or polar bears here. Guess they’re not endangered anymore!)

I mean, two words: Jamie Oliver. The world’s whitest white man and a chef who gets, like, excited (and you know what I’m saying) when he puts something exotic like baaaahzul in whatever he’s cooking. If Emeril Lagasse acts like he has hypothyroidism, Jamie Oliver looks like he’s spending a serious chunk of his reported £25 million net worth (about $45.5 million in real money) on weapons-grade crank. It’s not just the fake Cockney accent or the fact that he has a lisp that make him hard to understand; it’s that he’s got the heart rate of a hummingbird and can hold his breath for up to seven minutes at a time (I’ve timed him on his show), allowing him to speak with no natural pauses! He’s not a chef, he’s a demonstration of Brownian movement.

But I don’t want to get bogged down in Jamie Oliver, who’s actually cute (in a white-trash, mullet-headed, your girlfriend’s- brother- whose- pickup- sported- the- flag- of- Dixie- in- the- back- window- and- on- whom- you- had- a- shameful- secret- crush- for- all- four- years- of- high- school sort of way). Up until about 2001, that is, when he got really famous, married a model, and started having his nails done.

Anyway, Brits and food. The point is, the Omnivore’s Hundred (which, for the record, I scored 46) has a certain built-in bias. Which I’d now like to skew in the direction of a different bias by presenting the following variation, based on my personal culinary adventures:

The Omnivore’s
(Except For Don’t Even Think About Trying to Get Me To Eat Offal Or Most Kinds Of Fish)
(Alternative) Ninety”

(and don’t think I couldn’t’ve hit a hundred, either, but I have to get some work done today):

  1. Poi
  2. Poke aku
  3. Kamaboku
  4. Musubi/Onigiri
  5. Arare
  6. Ikura
  7. Kalua pig
  8. Kim chee / Kimchi
  9. Pipikaula
  10. Manapua / Bao Ji / Char siu Bao
  11. Congee / Jook
  12. Bagoong
  13. Bitter melon
  14. Patis / Nuoc Mam
  15. Puerto Rican Pasteles / Pateles
  16. Peri peri / piri piri
  17. Pinakbet
  18. Portuguese bean soup (sopa de feijao)
  19. ‘Opakapaka
  20. Plate lunch from a beach wagon
  21. Dinuguan
  22. Hawaiian Shave Ice
  23. Takuan
  24. Pork or Chicken adobo
  25. Haupia
  26. Man doo / Mandu
  27. Li hing mui
  28. Dried, shredded cuttlefish / Ika
  29. Pickled, shredded red ginger / Gari
  30. Portuguese sausage/Linguiça
  31. Lumpia
  32. Raw opihi
  33. Bibingka / Biko / Suman
  34. Malasadas
  35. Lu’au / Taro leaves / laulau
  36. Baked breadfruit
  37. Chinese almond cookies
  38. Pão Doce French toast
  39. Lilikoi/passion fruit
  40. Pancit
  41. Awa
  42. The Dim Sum tasting menu at a good Chinese restaurant
  43. Lomi lomi salmon
  44. Saimin
  45. Vietnamese coffee
  46. Lup cheong
  47. Raw green mango w/rice vinegar
  48. Shoyu hot dogs
  49. Jalapeño corn bread
  50. Carne asada burrito
  51. Green chile stew / Caldillo
  52. Vinha D’Alhos
  53. Atole
  54. Posole / Pozole
  55. Fry bread
  56. Pico de gallo salsa
  57. Fried green tomatoes
  58. Frito pie
  59. Sopaipillas with fresh honey
  60. Mojito
  61. Lamb tajine
  62. Moroccan “gazelle horns” / Khab el Ghzal pastry
  63. Mint tea
  64. Wisconsin cheese curds
  65. Cream cheese blintzes
  66. Pastrami on rye with cole slaw from a deli worthy of the name
  67. Pierogi
  68. Conch chowder
  69. Feta cheese
  70. Barq’s root beer
  71. Boudin
  72. Collard greens
  73. Memphis barbecue
  74. Hush puppies and grits
  75. Watermelon rind pickles
  76. Pecan pie
  77. Spezzatino
  78. Orecchiette with Cime di Rapa
  79. Mozzarella di Bufala
  80. “Caffè “Pugliese” (coffee w/a shot of “latte di mandorla” or almond syrup)
  81. Olive ascolane / Ascoli fried olives
  82. Bresaola and rucola
  83. Struffoli
  84. Pistachio granita and brioche
  85. Limoncello
  86. Cotechino with lentils
  87. Salama da sugo
  88. Cacciucco
  89. Capacollo or culatello hams
  90. Taralli

Which brings my total to a much more satisfying 129/190 (or 82/90). Now that’s a list worth aiming at.

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Posted on 31 August 2008, in Tales from the Road, Write ... che ti passa and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. >With you on pierogi, the rest I didn’t really read because I, too, have to get some work done. Love.

  2. >I don’t know what many of the things on your list are, Wendell, but I trust none of them is horse!

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