The Omnivore's Hundred

By Sean Carroll | September 4, 2008 12:06 pm

I’ve never been a big fan of those book-memes where you are supposed to highlight the ones you’ve read, etc. But here’s a list that I can’t resist — food! Very Good Taste (via Postbourgie and Ezra Klein) has a list of food items, plus the following instructions:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
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
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
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.
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

There is also a vegetarian version, if that’s how you roll. And a FAQ, for those of you who frequently ask questions.

Apparently I have eaten quite a bit, but still have a ways to go! No cross-outs; that would be a sign of weakness.

Suggested soundtrack: Bhindi Bagee.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Food and Drink
  • Joshua

    If you’ve eaten a big-mac then you’ve probably eaten roadkill.

  • http://www.twistedphysics.typepad.com Jennifer Ouellette

    1. You’ve really never had curried goat?? We’ll have to rectify that.

    2. Haggis is actually very tasty when it’s made from scratch, as opposed to that canned stuff.

    3. The most interesting things I’ve eaten not on the list are armadillo in the shell, and stewed vole — both while I was visiting Belize.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/mark/ Mark

    Canned Haggis???????

  • Elliot

    Interestingly, umeboshi (or salt) plums are an excellent cure for the indigestion you might get eating a lot of other things on the list.

    e.

  • http://www.farrellmedia.com John Farrell

    Way too few cocktails on this list, Sean. Which gives me an idea…hm…the top 100 cocktails is probably too much, but hey maybe we can start a drink meme for the top 20….

  • http://blogs.ucdavis.edu/egghead/ andy

    What about Nam Prik, tom ka gai or Gaeng pah?…or bi bim bap or kim chi? Washed down with Soju of course.

  • Matt

    Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee’s on the list? Why? That’s like saying you’ve had starbucks. At least go for a weird coffee, like Cat shit coffee – Kopi Luwak or however you spell it.

  • jick

    What, no dogs in the list?

  • Sam Gralla

    Given that list it’s surprising you haven’t had horse. Try it if you make it to Verona; it is a specialty there. Although it’s kind of a heavy meal for the summer, which is the only time I end up in Italy…

  • mgary

    I’m an omnivore, so I should be going for that list, but I’m on a somewhat restricted diet. I’ve had almost as many items on the omnivore list as you, but there are many more I won’t eat at this point. I have eaten pretty much everything on the vegetarian list (I think I saw 2 I hadn’t yet tried, but I have no reason not to), but the vegetarian list seemed pretty tame to me.

  • http://www.pieter-kok.staff.shef.ac.uk Pieter Kok

    Sean, if you’re ever in the Netherlands (specifically coastal: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague, etc.) make sure you try our raw herring with onions (ask for “Hollandse nieuwe”, which is seasonal, or a “maatje”). Truly delicious, and the best hangover cure.

  • Jason Dick

    As a child of the age of 3, I ate snails. Fresh. From my grandparents’ garden. Does that count?

    Granted, I don’t even remember it. But it is what it is…a story used by my mother in an attempt to embarrass me.

  • http://kea-monad.blogspot.com Kea

    Well, I’m pretty sure I’ve tried everything on the list except nettle tea, fugu, Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper, hostess fruit pie (this is a bit American, isn’t it?), roadkill, cigars (though I love cognac), louche absinthe, vodka jelly (yuk, yuk) and Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee – that is 10 items. I was never queasy about the delicacies found on my travels or in my childhood Chinatown. Not really worth a blog post.

  • jiminy

    But worth a comment, clearly.

  • Pingback: I’d eat that. — eightandfive Archive()

  • http://cosmiczoo.blogspot.com Matt

    You’ve definitely got to try some haggis (although I’ve never heard, or come across it in canned form!) I know several Scots at Caltech that could probably score you some ;) Also some black pudding as part of a good fried breakfast is a must have.

  • Mike

    The list should include raw kibbe.

  • TomC

    At least a couple items on the list (horse in particular) should carry the qualifier “knowingly”.

  • joulesm

    How about chicken feet (one of the few dim sum dishes my friends refuse to try)? It’s actually one of my favorite things.

    Durian is gross.

    And I don’t think I could ever try roadkill!!

  • Nick Cross

    I am surprised you didn’t have Haggis when you came to Edinburgh. If you come again, you should try it, it is not bad at all. Black pudding is also easy to find here, including in the Royal Observatory canteen if you ever visit. Another great Scottish delicacy that you could try is deep fried Mars bar.

    A couple of things that I had in China that might be worth adding too are Chou Dofu – bad smelling Tofu (fermented and cooked in the streets in most cities) and kebabed cicadas. You could also get small birds kebabed. The Chou Dofu can be very good. I wouldn’t try the cicadas again though.

  • todd

    I’m kinda surprised not to see traditional north american backwoods foods like squirrel, crayfish and bear on the list. (yes, yes, and yes)

  • Mike

    How about adding human?

    It might be possible for a very boring person to have eaten 100/100 on the list above. But anyone who has eaten human has at least one very interesting story.

    My wife has eaten roadkill, and there is a chance I have too. (My in-laws hunt deer for venison, and once they hit a deer on the highway and made venison from it too. A deer is a lot of meat, so they freeze leftovers for later. My wife has certainly eaten from the batch, but I don’t know if what I’ve eaten came from that batch or not.)

  • Jeff

    looks like I’ve eaten about 74 or 75 of the 100. Sean if you want Bagna Cauda, I highly recommend the bagna cauda, egg, and guanciale pizza at Mozza hollywood. Great pizza in general, but that one, despite how it might sound, is fantastic.

  • John R Ramsden

    In the UK if you run over a deer or rabbit etc while driving it’s technically illegal to take and eat it, but the car behind you is entitled to the spoils. That’s possibly a consequence of the medievil forest laws.

    One thing worth trying is authentic Scottish carrot cake, which is as dense as osmium. As a student I once bought one, and after stupidly and greedily scoffing the lot had to lie down groaning and seriously wondering if my stomach would rupture!

  • Serge

    How about
    “Eaten and would never consider eating again” ?

  • Karen

    How about Parker Ranch beef from Hawaii’s Big Island? We bought some in a regular grocery store when we stayed on the Big Island, and it was the best beef I’ve ever tasted. (Mind, you, I’ve never had Kobe beef.) But I’ve eaten a lot of really good U.S. beef — the quality you must special order — and it doesn’t compare with what’s sold in a Big Island grocery store.

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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .

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