1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die: Let’s Begin

Mar 22, 2015 by

1000 foods longPeople who know me even a little know how strongly I feel about food and lists (I am pro both).

So it should surprise exactly none of you to find out I’ve been coveting Mimi Sheraton’s 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover’s Life List since it was published in 2014.

It should also be less than shocking that since I –able to wait no longer–  trudged to The Strand through a snowstorm three days ago to procure a copy, I have spent every spare moment flipping through this hefty tome, Googling places in and around NYC to find the included foodstuffs, and working on my own handy spreadsheet version.  I am besotted.

I am going to make a bold claim: I think I can get this done in less than a lifetime.  Maybe a decade.  (I’ve recruited Miles to help me, of course, because he’ll have to eat most of the meat-related items.)  Some dishes I will eat in restaurants.  Some dishes I will prepare at home.  Some dishes I will purchase at market or online.  Some will require legwork, research, and trans-Atlantic flights (I’m going to cut myself a break on those, see below).  But this book is going to be, has already become, an obsession.  The days of wandering Manhattan, besieged by culinary choice and paralyzed by options, are over.  My meals will have direction!  Delicious, delicious direction.

1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die is divided into sections which correspond with regions of the world. This is how I have decided to approach my own quest: a region or two at a time.  While it will be impossible to entirely complete one region before moving on to the next, I think that concentrating on one culinary tradition at a time will give me a chance to really get to know the cuisine of one part of the world (or one part of New York City), and result in a more appreciative, less schizophrenic experience.

I have now read through two of the book’s nineteen sections, and found a couple of roadblocks to my completing this mission quickly: several “foods” in each section are actually destinations (specific restaurants or markets), and a few are films or books that Mimi thinks I should watch or read (?).  The films and books I can probably handle, but having the cash on hand to hop a flight to a specific sidewalk café in Egypt is going to be more of a challenge.  So I’m going to cut myself some slack on those, and put my own twist on this self-assigned assignment.  As I work through each region, if I find an incredible dish that’s not in the book, I’m going to add it to MY Food Lover’s Life List.  These supplemental dishes I find will take the place of destinations in Mimi’s book that require me to cross an ocean.  I’ll still end up eating 1,000 amazing things, but not all of them will have been written up in my beloved book.  A lovely percentage of them will be my own discoveries.

NOTE: Even if I’ve eaten a food before, I’m going after it again.  Even if something looks disgusting, I’m going to try it.  Those are the terms I’ve set for myself.

I’ve decided to start close to home, with the foods of Britain/Ireland and America/Canada.  I’m starting today, in New York’s West Village.

Are you ready for lots and lots and lots of pictures of food?  Because I am SO READY to put stamps on my gustatory passport.

1 Comment

  1. Jean

    This ought to be FUN!

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