Thursday, August 31, 2006

five foods to try before you die

I keep seeing this meme going around all the food blogs I read. I'm not cool enough to have anyone tag me, but I'm going to do it anyway. The gist of the story is that the Traveler's Lunchbox started this meme that asks bloggers to list five things to eat before you die. It can be simple or detailed as the writer chooses. So, here's my list:

1. Chocolate. It's the most divine substance on earth.

2. Homemade Pierogies. Mr. Cupcake introduced me to the pierogi. At first it was Mrs. T's, which really isn't anything all that special. But then, I had the opportunity to try a homemade pierogi. Every year, Mr. Cupcake's mom and sisters crank out tons of these potato dumplings for Christmas eve dinner. Seriously, starch on starch, what could be better? Well, chocolate is better, but that's why it's number one.

3. Nocciola Gelato. The real stuff from Italy. Niccola is Italian for hazelnut. Take that hazelnut and turn it into gelato and it becomes my personal form of crack. During our two weeks in Italy, Mr. Cupcake and I had at least a gelato a day, though usually more. And everyday, I'd order the nicciola.

4. Green Tomato Pie. Listed as a dessert, it sounds miscategorized. We had the opportunity to try it at the Holly Hill Inn in Midway, KY. Mr. Cupcake asked our server for a dessert recommendation, and he swore by the pie, though he said most of his customers were too afraid to try it. Mr. Cupcake ordered it, and it was fantastic. It was a pie made with green tomatoes, but sweet like a dessert should be. Sadly, their menu changes every month, so we never saw it again. I was so taken by this pie, that I researched a few recipes online. I'm going to give it a whirl (if I can ever find green tomatoes out here) and blog about it.

5. A Spalding Bakery Doughnut. I am not a doughnut eater. I don't really like doughnuts. However, I've never had a doughnut like the ones at the Spalding Bakery in Lexington, KY. Even better are the ones that came straight out of the fryer. Warm and crispy on the outside, doughy in the center. It's amazing. Even more amazing is that I hear they fry them in lard. I'm pretty sure that's the source of their deliciousness. Krispy Kreme you say? I scoff at the mere suggestion!

I surprised myself. Two of my top five items came from Kentucky. I guess that's what happens when you live there for almost five years. I need more time in California because five years from now, I'm sure my list will reshape. Well, except for the chocolate part.

Now, the question is: What are your five must try foods?


mrcupcake said...


I won't re-use items from your list, though I agree about the pierogi.

- a real philly cheese steak - Pat's or Geno's in Philly. MMmmmmmm. You don't know what you're missing if you haven't had one. It's all about the bread, and the cheesesteak, and the bread.
- Momaleta's rice pudding. Maybe this is a "I grew up eating it so it's awesome" thing, but I don't care, it's awesome. If you can't get Momaleta rice pudding, Rice to Riches in NYC is good, but in a different way. Note: mrscupcake can clone this ambrosia, she just doesn't because she's a meanie.
- ripe black cherries. For a few weeks every year black cherries are amazing. Chill them super cold and eat a pound in a sitting because they're so good.
- a rare steak. The only way to enjoy a good cut of meat. It's hard to believe people wuss out and won't get a rare steak. Listen to your inner carnivore, you know you want to.
- pasta in italy. Maybe it's the huge biccieri of wine, but the pasta in italy is unlike anything you can get in the US. Avoid the tourist traps and hit up a small joint full of locals. In particular, there was some great potaoe and tomato pasta in a hole in the wall in Florence behind a row of vendors in a street market.

First post. I win!

madame cupcake said...

This one was really hard for me. Even now I'm questioning my list. I'm going to have to agree with you on the pasta. Seriously, how could pasta not make my top five??? I'm pretty sure there was a mistake somewhere and I was suppose to be born Italian. Anyone out there reading this who has a trip to Italy coming up, go find the Trattoria Toscana Gozzi Sergio on Piazza S. Lorenzo in Florence and order the potato pomodoro that Mr. Cupcake mentioned. You just might die from euphoria.

evil one said...

Suckup. You can have my portion. Although I do suppose they are better than the other options that night.

madame cupcake said...

lol. I'll take your portion and you can have my fish.

Actually, I should have clarified a bit more. My interpretation of this meme is stuff I'm glad I've tried in my life. Though I have to say, the 7 pound cake from Costco was a strong contender, but the doughnut in lard won out.

sooiepoo said...

in no specific order:
1. there is this little shack in fremont (in seattle) washington where they serve amazing (i literally drool when i think about these!) cuban sandwhiches. the pulled pork sandwhich has tender and juicy pork with select veggies and jalepeno peppers in a toasted french(?) roll. pathetically as much as i love this place i cannot remember the name of it (the actual shack doesn't have a screaming sign so it's difficult to know its name) but it's across the street from EYES on FREMONT if that's any help.

2. earl grey tea from Market spice in seattle's pike place market (the loose leaf, not the bagged sort). best aroma, best tasting earl grey ever.

3. my mom's home cooked Yook-Gae-Jang. it's a hot, spicy, full of vege, brothy stew/soup she's famous for. this is the one dish i always ask my mom to cook when i'm around (sadly, she doesn't always oblige).

4. the poke from yume-ya was pretty damn amazing. I return there for this one dish over and over. see Mrs. cupcake's blog about this one. i whole-heartedly agree.

5. for the sake of having at least one sweet item on the list i'll say the white chocolate strawberry cake from Just Desserts in Fremont (seattle), WA. this was brought in by a co-worker for my last day at work in seattle and it made me cry even harder. *sigh* the cake was fluffy and moist with a nice rich texture/flavor to it. i'm considering making it my wedding cake. yes, it's THAT good!

okay, that's my 5 for now. so many of these come from seattle because i've lived there for 12 years and have had time to figure out the small secrets of foodery in the pacific NW.

AMANDA said...

I found a recipe for green tomato pie. If you're brave engough to try it out, let me know how it stacks up and I might be so brave as well!

Anonymous said...

Spalding's doughnuts are fried in soybean oil. We haven't used lard in over 40 years.

My wife is the granddaughter of the founder of the bakery and president of the company....

Jonathan Edwards

madame cupcake said...

My sincerest apologies!!! I have corrected my statement in my latest post at the bottom!

I do enjoy your doughnuts though and it's a great treasure in KY. :)

Arul Sundaram said...

Thanks for your post - we went to Spalding's this weekend and had their fabulous donuts two days in a row. The glazed and filled were by far our favorites. YUM.

Anonymous said...

I agree about Spalding's doughnuts. I live in the Chicago area, but whenever I am anywhere close to Lexington, Kentucky I make a trip to Spalding's and hope they are open. I've waited in line over an hour for doughnuts, but I didn't mind. Folks in line are friendly and courteous, and those doughnuts are worth the wait.

Bravetart said...

I know this is an old post, but as a Lexington resident, and someone who's had many a doughnut in her life, I have to say Spalding's does not deserve a place on that list. It's not that monumentally amazing, to me anyway. There are much more epic foods out there... Haha. But I guess they are super popular!

YakRider said...

Hi Amanda,

I have no idea if you even look at this blog anymore, but I was a writer and reviewer for when it was up and flying and the Green Tomato Pie recipe on came from my family. Andrew and I chatted about digging out some unique recipes for the Occasional Yak, his, well, occasional newsletter.

I put it into the newsletter and onto the site and eventually won a couple of recipe contests with it. The only credit I can take for it is being in the family, but I have to say it is still my favorite pie in the world, and I have always had a lot of fun watching the expression on others' faces when I say the name of the pie and then tell them that it is a sweet pie. :-)

Donald (YakRider)