First Time Foods

Today’s post comes from Cynthia in Mahtowa

Going through some old letters I had sent to my mother from my first teaching job in Port Angeles, Washington in 1964, I found a paragraph describing all the “new” foods I was eating. Foods I had never heard of in my small northeastern Minnesota hometown such as artichokes, zucchini, Swiss chard, eggplant, turnips, parsnips. (I led a very sheltered food life.)

I remember that first taste of an artichoke – a more worldly friend teaching me how to tear off a leaf, dip it in butter and scrape off the soft inner part with my lower teeth. How exotic. Later that friend’s aunt taught me to use mayonnaise with dry vermouth and garlic for dipping — still my preference.

Washington state firsts: Dungeness crab. Fresh salmon. Fresh apricots. Carrot cake.

So this got me to thinking of all the “exotic” foods that I was introduced to since then.   Five months in Switzerland, four of them living above and eating in a bakery/tea room — cheese fondue with bread dipped in kirsch (cherry brandy), lamb curry, gibfeli (croissants), café au lait, escargot, tripe soup. I have fond memories of all but the tripe soup.

On the small Italian ship I took to Europe in 1965 I had tongue and my first cappuccino. When we landed In England I had coffee with Demerara (brown) sugar. Did I try steak and kidney pie? I might have. But that really hot Indian curry in a English restaurant made me feel guilty for not eating it all because of the hungry children of India.

In Greece I watched a man slam an octopus repeatedly on the rocks. Was he trying to kill it or tenderize it? But I did not eat octopus until many years later and then in a sushi restaurant. (A friend traveling in the Orient had octopus so fresh the sucker stuck to the top of his mouth. But that may have been the least exotic thing he ate on that trip…was it duck bills or duck feet?) Squid entered my eating repertoire much later, though the first time I had it I was unnerved by the little tentacles.

When I was a child my father paid me to eat asparagus – or, tried to. He had tricked me into eating horseradish when I was five. How could I trust him to steer me right? Asparagus cooked to a gray mush? Then in 1972 I paid $2.50 for three spears of properly cooked white asparagus in a San Francisco restaurant. There I also had a “bird with a long beak” for an entrée. It had four legs and no wings…a rabbit, perhaps? Did the waiter mistranslate or was he leading me astray and making fun because I didn’t know French?

Asparagus was the first thing I planted when I moved to this farm. It still comes back every spring. I eat it sautéed it to a bright and crispy green.

smorsbrod
Smørsbrød

First time food that has not been repeated: Rocky Mountain “oysters” (our kid goats’ testicles). Foods have become favorites: really, really hot Mexican food, goat meat, spanakopita, lobster, clams, mussels, lamb. Swedish Princess cake made with marzipan, whipped cream, raspberries and custard. Every cake I ate in Norway. Scandinavian open face sandwiches (smørsbrød). French goat cheeses and Norwegian brown cheese. I could go on…but won’t.

What “exotic” foods have you tried and fallen in love with….or not?

 

 

118 thoughts on “First Time Foods”

  1. Nice blog, Cynthia. That platter of smørrebrød has me salivating. I have the makings for some nice smørrebrød in the fridge; will have to make some for lunch today.

    As I have related here before, the man on Freecycle who twice a year buys half a cow or pig has me filed under “weird meat lady.” He gives me the hearts, tongues, and misc. other organ meat that he doesn’t want to eat. That should give you a clue.

    I grew up eating all kinds of strange stuff, mostly because my dad did, and he took such delight in preparing these very old and rather odd dishes. I loved spending time in the kitchen with him as he’d explain to me what he was doing. Pig trotters with caramelized white cabbage; øllebrød (pumpernickel soup); blodpølse (bloodsausage); finker, a sort hash prepared from liver, heart, and kidneys, and hyldebærsuppe, a very nutritious and warming soup made of elderberries. A surefire cure for a cold!

    Having grown up with these foods I have never considered them strange, but after living fifty years in the US, I’ve come to appreciate that most Americans would be aghast at these offerings.

    When I first moved into this West Side neighborhood forty years ago, I used to shop at Morgans Mexican Lebanese Market just down the street from where I now live. Much of the produce in their cooler was a complete mystery to me: Chayote, nopales, plantain, even cilantro I wasn’t familiar with. Now, of course, they are all second nature to me.

    I love prowling the various markets that carry all the exotic ingredients for the ethnic foods that I love. As I’ve mentioned before, Hmong Town is a particular favorite. The diversity of ingredients available to fulfill the dietary urges of the various ethnic groups that call the Twin Cities home is one of the reasons I love living where I do. With very few exceptions, I love it all.

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      1. Sadly, Morgans is long gone. The building now houses – of all things – a Hmong tax service in the front where the store used to be. In the back there’s a martial arts studio of some sort.

        Mr. Morgan passed away years ago, and his son took over the store. In a matter of a couple of years, it deteriorated from being a sweet little store with a wonderful small deli, to a dirty, unfriendly place. Customers were no longer waited on by Mrs Morgan but by employees that spoke little or no English (it didn’t much matter, they didn’t give you the time of day, they were so busy talking with each other or on the phone). He closed the deli part and started selling prepaid telephone cards and, apparently drugs. A raid by the federal agents put a stop to that, and put the son behind bars where he died a few years later.

        The building sat empty for years. Eventually the beautiful mural on the side of the building was painted over, and perhaps five years ago the current owners moved in. Lost a colorful piece of our West Side history.
        Here’s a small link to a small photo of the mural:

        I still occasionally run into Mrs. Morgan at the Signal Hills Farmers’ Market, at least I did last year. She must be over 90 by now.

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        1. Thanks PJ for confirming the sad news. I think I had heard the delightful old store ceased to exist. I just had a memory about my last visit to Morgans. A man behind the counter–who was probably the son–said I was lucky to get some pita. It was hard to find a good pita cook, he said, because only old Lebanese women could bake it right. “Take that one,” he said, referring to a plump, toothless woman with white hair standing in the store. “She’s too young.” The woman smiled pleasantly and agreed. “Oh, I’m too young!”

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    1. AS I wrote this, I thought of you, PJ. I figured that growing up in Europe you had many foods European Americans left behind in the “old country.” We ate liver as I grew up, but the other organ meats….? I forgot to mention my first time eating heart, just another muscle, isn’t it? My ex bil came from a village in Serbia and treated my sister to roasted pig ears when they were first married. At the time he could find them in Minneapolis. Nothing wasted. Guess we have treated all our plentiful resources the same way.

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  2. I saw and advert for “cod thighs” just yesterday on a Danish website. I have caught hundreds of cod in my lifetime, and have never seen one that had legs. What the heck can cod thighs be?

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  3. Leeks and shallots. I can’t remember exactly when I discovered leeks and shallots. Leek and potato soup is atop favorite food of mine and I use shallots from my garden frequently in place of onions or invidious dishes that call for their use.

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    1. Ah, yes, shallots and leeks. And in Switzerland I had endive and…oh, dear, the name escapes me…another vegetable. Even coming back to NE MN in 1974, the grocery stores had only iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, yellow onions, peas, carrots and cabbage. What a difference globalization and people traveling has made.

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      1. chicory! But it has another name in this country. Or, did I remember wrong? compact, white, cone shaped…use as salad or did my host sauté it?

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        1. Are you thinking of ‘Jicama’? The Mexican yam bean, or Mexican turnip. That’s about as exotic as this MN boy is going to get.
          Heck, I think ketchup is spicy.

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        2. There’s also a variety of cabbage familiarly known as cone-headed cabbage or cone cabbage. I don’t know its proper name, but I’ve never seen it in the stores either.

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        3. Chicory: Not jicama (I know and love jicama), but I thought there was some confusion or reversal about the names in Switzerland and here. I found the one I had in mind is called Belgian Endive (http://www.belgianendive.com) but I think is called something else in this country — and not the same as what we call endive. “Genuine Endive is deeply rooted in Belgian history. These tangy, tender and delicious white vegetables were actually discovered there in 1830.”

          Wikipedia: Endive (/ˈɛndaɪv/ or /ˈɑːndiv/;[2] Cichorium endivia) is a leaf vegetable belonging to the genus Cichorium, which includes several similar bitter leafed vegetables. Species include endive (Cichorium endivia), Cichorium pumilum, and common chicory (Cichorium intybus). Common chicory includes chicory types such as radicchio, puntarelle, and Belgian endive.

          There is considerable confusion between Cichorium endivia and Cichorium intybus.[3][4] Because of the name, endive is wrongly associated with Belgian endive, which is a cultivated variety of common chicory.

          Good to know.

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        4. Ooh, that must be what Danes call spidskål. Have never seen it here. It the stewed cabbage that is the preferred side dish to frikadeller, Danish meatballs. Plain old cabbage is what I always use instead.

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  4. Husband has gout, so all liver and organ meats are off the menu, as are chick peas, asparagus, musrooms, and cauliflower. He drinks sour cherry juice by the gallon.

    I was about 10 when I had pizza for the first time. The closest pizza restaurant was in Sioux Falls. I thought that was so exotic. My parents didn’t garden, and all the veggies we had were canned from the store. It was wonderful to finally eat fresh veggies when I went to Europe the first time when I was 18. I also had Granny Smith apples there for the first time. I think they were imported from New Zealand and they were wonderful.

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    1. I remember my first pizza, too. A friend’s mother made them for a party when we were in junior high. So exotic, indeed! And, yes, lots of canned vegetables, then frozen…always overcooked.

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      1. And canned fruit as well, especially peaches and pears, served with cottage cheese or in jello…or, both. But my mother loved to pick blueberries and bushes were abundant in Carlton County. One year she picked so many she canned 22 quarts, plus putting fresh ones in or on everything. But I don’t remember complaining.

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        1. Your home in Carlton County is not far from the former railway line in northwestern Wisconsin called the Blueberry Line. Northwest Wisconsin was logged off around 1900 or shortly afterward. The slash left by loggers often burned and became perfect fertilizer for wild blueberries. A very slow train used to travel that route. It was so slow, they say, that passengers could jump off, pick blueberries and then run to catch up with the train as it rolled along. Wild blueberries must have been more abundant in Dunn, Barron and Washburn counties in the early 20th century than just about anywhere else in history. Someone once told me the song Blueberry Hill was written about that area. I can’t confirm that.

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      2. My Grandma explained to me that canned vegetables on the farm in 1935 were the only vegetables available. Yes they were mushy and overcooked, but it was, at the time, an ingenious way to have vegetables at a time when they were unavailable. Home canning was a diet-changing invention.

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    2. When I was a kid pizza and spaghetti dishes were often called “foreign food.” In Ames in the 1950s you had a choice of two kinds of “foreign food”: Italian or Chinese (and both cuisines were tamed down to appeal to Midwestern tastes).

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  5. My grandmother canned tomatoes with sugar and served for dessert. And we always put sugar on fresh tomatoes (and grapefruit). I was shocked to see a college friend put salt and pepper on the tomatoes, salt on the grapefruit. But it became my preference shortly after.

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    1. Well, I wouldn’t say raised on it, but my dad would sneak it to us as an occasional bedtime snack.

      My mother, on the other hand, pretty much grew up with it as a staple of her diet.

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  6. Try as I might, I do not see the pleasure in eating oysters. Tried them a few times, and just can’t get past the texture. My Dad’s Christmas Eve traditional dinner was Bouillabaisse but was always preceded by oysters on the half shell, broiled with bacon and parmesan cheese. Everyone but me and my wife LOVE them in my family.

    Other than that, I’m not a super exotic eater. No desire to try most organ meats (liver a few times was it). Octopus or squid or sardines or head cheese? Pass.

    I don’t remember the first time I had salmon filets, but up until then I thought canned salmon was about the worst food I could imagine eating. Now I’ll pay any amount for wild-caught sockeye salmon filets. OMG. I have a killer recipe from an old Gourmet magazine that is my default salmon filet recipe. YUM.

    Chris in Owatonna

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    1. Oh, yes, I forgot to mention oysters on the half shell…alive and swallowed whole sliding down the throat…clams the same way. Not my favorites either.

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  7. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Green Chile (soup). Yum. Roasted Brussels Sprouts (rather than the boiled, mushy mess of my youth–blech).

    As a kid my first spaghetti and meatballs were divine.

    My first bites of lutefisk are just as memorable, but not in a positive way.

    I am back in Minnesota after traveling for the weekend. Nice to be home. FYI, I stopped in Iowa to see my mother. My Republican brother dropped by. We asked him if he was attending the caucuses tonight.

    “No!” He barked. “Nobody I want to vote for. Why bother?”

    None of those reporters jamming Iowa gyms are reporting that stance, now are they?

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    1. In the past my Republican parents have gone so far as to HOST a caucus. This year they are already in Texas.

      We will not “be home” to answer the phone until next week.

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  8. Sorrel is a vegetable I am trying to work into my diet. It is a perennial that comes up very early in the spring that I started growing when it was given to me a number of years ago. I need to learn how to use it in soup which seems to be one of the best ways to use it. I use young leaves in salads and on sandwiches.

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  9. My parents used to smile maliciously and predict I would gag when I grew up and no longer could eat at home. They assured me I’d be miserable and long to go back to my mother’s favorite dishes.

    The opposite happened. When I got to college I discovered that there was a world of exciting food I had not known about back when our family ate our classic Midwestern food. I learned how pathetically limited my mother was as a cook.

    I spent the next several decades discovering all sorts of wonderful food. By modern standards, I never was very adventurous (I still blanch at the thought of sushi, octopi, calve’s brains, etc). But given where I started (Wonder bread, Jello, tuna casseroles) I learned to appreciate things I never saw in the stores when I was young.

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        1. I never truly appreciated bread until Europe. So grateful for artisan breads now available here. Living over the bakery in Adliswil was such an enlightening food experience.

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        2. We ate Wonder bread because 1) Midwestern food tastes at the time were extraordinarily bland and 2) because nobody in Ames had ever eaten good bread. That sticky white stuff was all we knew. Similarly, I drank a heckuva lot of beer that never deserved to be called beer. Only when I got to the British Isles did I have a clue about what real beer was. (Where I live now microbreweries are as common as overcast days!)

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  10. Just yesterday I made kumla, a Norwegian dumpling (tennis ball sized) made from ground up potatoes mixed with flour, bkg. powder, a little oatmeal and salt. Cooked in ham broth, eaten with the ham and, what else, lots of melted butter. Must be regional – most Norskies I know haven’t heard of it.

    Beyond that, I remember trying out my first exotic foods on the west coast, much like Cynthia. I do remember the first artichoke, my first Japanese restaurant, my first ratatouille, all in San Francisco.

    More recently, when we were in France last April I had a chance to try many things for the first time – I think I recall pork cheeks (delicious!)… hmmm – I may have to look back in my trip journal.

    I had goat for the first time last month in a very good Indian restaurant in Rochester, MN!

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    1. We used to eat our goat kids…very tasty like milk fed veal. Oh, and we never had lamb at home, so when I discovered it I was hooked for life.

      Off to an eye appointment. Catch y’all later! Bon Appetit!

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    1. Andy M Stewart passed away shortly after Christmas, Steve. He had suffered a major stroke several years ago, and never recovered from it. He was partially paralyzed, and struggled with speech. He suffered another stroke in early December, and then he got pneumonia. His body in it’s weakened state succumbed at 3 AM GMT on Dec. 27th.

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      1. That’s such a shame. We used to try and catch his shows whenever he came to the Cedar. One show he performed with Manus Lunny was especially memorable.

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  11. This fall I tried Romanesco for the first time. I had planted it thinking it was plain old broccoli. I waited and waited and nothing seemed to be happening except that the plants grew bigger and bigger. Then in late fall these big showy heads started forming. They were good, but considering the amount of space they took up, and how it took for them to produce anything edible, not sure I’d grow again.

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      1. A pretty subtle taste, Bir, somewhere between cauliflower and broccoli. I used all the leaves as well, pretty tasty. Had to be careful to not overcook the heads, pretty fragile.

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  12. I’ve experimented with eating purslane which is a weed found in my garden. A Mexican cook asked me where she could get some of it to use in her cooking. I brought her a big bunch of it from my garden. She used it in a stew that was very good. I tried cooking it using a recipe I found online. It was good. I haven’t taken time to do any more experiments using purslane in cooking. I do occasionally eat it raw in salads.

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    1. From time to time the Hmong farmers will bring large bunches of purslane to the market. Don’t know if they cultivate it, or if it just grows along their fields. Lambs quarter and pigweed are other common weeds that make for excellent additions to salads, stir fries, stews and soups. In early spring, I love to meander the back allies of my neighborhood and collect young stinging nettles. They make a most excellent soup.

      When I think of all the wonderful additions the immigrant farmers have brought to our tables, I’m so grateful to live right in the hub of it all. Lemon grass, bok choy, ginger root, galangal, all have such distinctive flavors and have added so much to our diets. Not to mention all the herbs and spices they have introduced us to.

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      1. Bitter melon is another of those exotic squashes. It’s somewhat of an acquired taste, it’s extremely bitter, but once you acquire the taste, you find unlimited uses for it.

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  13. Afternoon all – sorry I missed the weekend, but I did have fun and it might make a blog piece!

    I first had Raclette in Paris but truly fell in love with it in Gruyere, Switzerland (that’s right…what better meal to have in Gruyere than melty Gruyere!). I also had mbatata balls in Capetown – sweet potato and cheese balls. I been to that restaurant twice in my life but have never been able to make them at home to my satisfaction.

    And I don’t know if anyone will think it’s exotic, but I had clotted cream on an airplane many years ago. Yummy.

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  14. Oh my….where do I start? I was a REALLY picky eater as a child. Anything lumpy made me gag just looking at it – especially mashed potatoes. Mom would always make me take some and I would leave it until last, by which time they were COLD and lumpy. To this day I am not a fan of mashed potatoes – will eat a little if served at someone’s house but never fix them myself. I have also never learned to like gravy – refused it as a kid but will eat a little of it once in a while now. That may have its origins in the old Swanson’s pot pies – more gravy than meat or vegetables. As an adult I have added quite a few veggies to my repertoire – asparagus, broccoli, Brussells sprouts, sweet peppers (but not green or any hot peppers), varietal lettuces to name a few.

    Food is the hardest part of my foreign travels. Some countries (Peru, Thailand, Australia) were easy and some (Japan, especially) very difficult. I cannot abide nearly everything that comes from water. The only fish I like is salmon (not canned) and the only crustacean is occasional shrimp. Sushi will never cross my lips.

    I don’t eat scary foods and the definition of scary varies. Could be taste, texture, smell, appearance, or origin. Among the foods on this list are oysters on the half shell, mushrooms, organ meats, lutefisk, and nearly all Indian food. The scariest place I have visited is the meat and seafood section of a Japanese grocery store.

    I guess I just have a pretty bland palate and certainly don’t have a cast iron stomach.

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  15. Didn’t really address the “exotic” part of the question. I have eaten warthog – actually quite tasty. Impala sausage, not so much. The piece of Kangaroo I tried was rather tough and dry. I did try alpaca in Peru – tasted OK but don’t think I would eat a lot of it. Guinea pig – yuck!

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      1. PJ – guinea pig is eaten in Peru. They skin it and skewer it whole before roasting it (hopefully inner organs are removed first). Looks really gross and doesn’t taste much better. It is a rite of passage for 15 year old boys to eat an entire guinea pig by themselves. We joked about it being the next State Fair food – guinea pig on a stick!

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        1. Years ago, we were guests at an epic Empty-Out-the-Freezer-Before-Hunting-Season picnic/barbecue in Ely. On the menu were: venison, bear, smoked lake trout, smoked beaver, pickled moose heart, and barbecued muskrat. I tried them all and the only one I wouldn’t try again was the muskrat.

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  16. I like Rakia, a type of brandy that I tried on a visit to Bulgaria. I think it has more flavor than the brandy usually sold in liquor stores here. Sometimes our liquor stores sell Slivovitz plum brandy imported from Eastern Europe which I think is a version Rakia.

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  17. Your answer, K-two, has me wondering why it is that some kids are such fussy eater from and early age, and other will eat just about anything? This business of some kids not wanting their different foods touching each other, what is that all about? I’m wondering if Renee has any insights into this?

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    1. Well, when I was pregnant with both my children I ate lots of Indian food, as well as lots of other ethnic and strong flavored food. Son and daughter both love Indian food and ate it even as small children. They are both adventurous eaters. I think their exposure in uteruo was part of that.

      I know lots of children with sensory issues related to food texture. Many of those kids have parents who are picky eaters. Perhaps it is genetic, perhaps it has to do with lack of early exposure to different tastes and smells. I wonder if there are many picky eaters in Chinese or Indian families?

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  18. I Grew up on wonder Bread too. It’s just what there was.

    I make sandwiches of peanut butter with miracle whip on top and if you can sprinkle some chocolate chips on top it’s an extra treat!
    We have made them for appetizers at parties substituting Ritz crackers rather than the bread.
    They really are pretty good; a nice mix of the sweet with the PB.
    Just try it once; just dip a spoon of PB in the MW… seriously. Try it. Think of all the kids starving in India.

    My mom would make butterscotch pudding. Eating warm as dessert was wonderful!
    And I miss her peas and tuna in white sauce over toast.
    Fox burgers (spamburgers) we still do so that’s not lost. It’s in our recipe page up top.
    Hey, what happen to the recipe page up top??

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  19. I’ve never eaten an exotic food in my life – and probably won’t at this age. Nor have I eaten lobster, oyster, crab, shrimp, or any other ectoskeletal thing. It came from a traumatic experience in adolescence when my then boyfriend stomped on a huge beetle. The crunching sound and sight of it nauseated me, so I generalized that to everything that would go “crunch” if it was stepped on.

    On a New Year’s Eve several years ago, my best friend Greg took pity on me for being alone. He said he had a big surprise for dinner. You guessed it; it was lobster. I peeking into the box and there were these pathetic, begging little eyes staring at me. I nearly screamed as I ran from the kitchen, saying, “Please don’t boil them to death!!!” Poor guy – he spent a fortune on them, only to have me flip out.

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  20. I remember my first artichoke – dipping the leaves in butter and lemon juice. I think I was almost thirty. I look forward to the time in the spring when they’re in season and you can buy them for about 99 cents in some stores. Yum.

    I think I recall having gyros and felafel for the first time at the State Fair some 35 years ago or so.

    Calamari and oysters didn’t particularly appeal to me. Not a big shrimp fan, either.

    There are many things commonly available in grocery stores that wouldn’t have been found in the midwest while I was growing up. I appreciate the diversity. I’ve expanded my horizons over the years, but I still don’t consume anything I would think of as truly exotic.

    OT – Happy Birthday, Renee! You’re one closer to that “Rule of 85” mark.

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    1. ND is $1,000,000,000 short this biennium, so all state agencies have to cut 4.05% from their budgets pronto. I am glad I have seniority. (Seniority? I am almost the only one left!)

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        1. The oil companies aren’t buying things for which they pay sales tax, or producing oil for which they pay royalties. ND is constitutionally bound to have a balanced budget and isn’t allowed to borrow money, so we have to cut budgets.

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  21. Foods I love that I forgot to mention — my first taste of yoghurt in Zurich…blueberry flavor as I recall. Still the best yogurt outside of homemade. And Greek yoghurt with dark honey smothering it.

    But lutefisk is not exotic to me…grew up on it every Christmas.

    Thanks everyone for a fun discussion. What a group of “foodies” we all are!

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    1. In that same vein, Cynthia, I first encountered kefir in Moscow. Now I make my own. When does something quit being exotic? I know lots of people have never tried it, and some won’t (husband is one of them), but it’s such a pleasure treating you body (and taste buds) to a treat that is actually good for it.

      I know husband and I eat things that lots of our neighbors don’t. The trick is to cultivate friends who are open to trying new foods, and we’re blessed that way. Laurie’s pierogis for Christmas, Helen’s lamb pies, and Tuulas various Finnish delicacies all add to my quality of life.

      Adding to the above, the variety of ethnic restaurants in the Twin Cities, and it’s Nirvana. Etheopian, Khurdish, Nepali, Japanese, Cambodian, Greek, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Moroccan, Afghani and many, many other exotic cuisines add so much to the culinary offerings in the Twin Cities. An added plus, most of the ethnic restaurants are less expensive than their American counterparts. I challenge you to find a better meal for less money unless you cook it yourself.

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    1. Photos are my nieces from our trip to Norway and Sweden in 2006. She took photos of almost all the cakes plus other foods.

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  22. missing a food day on the trail …. damn.

    i am not very exotic. its not a guts thing its a sense of morality that i dont like to talk about becaus eit supposes i am superior. its not that, i dont wish my views on anyone else but i cant accept yours.

    i had a friend ask if i owuld eat stone crab because the crab isnt killed. i tried it and loved it. other than that no animal products. i made exceptions for milk and eggs and decided slavery was ok . now costco sells only cage free eggs so maybe slavery isnt ok either. lactose intolerence and gluten free vegetarian who didnt used to like salad of much in the way of vegetables. now i spice stuff. i have 3 cupboards of spices in the new house. cumin and chile powder are like ketchup at m house.

    my mom burnt the 12 pack of dinner rolls that came in thesquare form the store every time. most of her recipes came form campbell soup cans. fish sticks meatloaf cheesburgers spaghetti hot dogs and grilled cheese were her regulars. a can of green beans or a can of corn. the mantra was salt and pepper bread and butter cream and sugar. as long as the table ws set properly she thought we were all set. cream and sugar on the table for hot dogs and chips. rules are rules.
    her exotic meal was pork chops with either apple sauce or sour cream. it was good. its been almost 50 years since meat.
    i ma brave and love tring new foods in foreign lands when i am assured that it is truely vegetarian.
    they just opened the meatless butcher shop in minneapolis last week but it looks like a pricy proposition 18 oz of veggie jerky for $40.00. not for me, i will see if i can learn to do it but not to buy it.

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  23. Because of my job as an outdoor magazine editor, I was once treated to a wild game meal at a little restaurant in Walker, MN. The owner specialized in exotic dishes. Our meal consisted of a wild salmon appetizer and then three courses: Australian opossum (which I know nothing about), some kind of bear and lion meat served with a spicy sauce. I don’t remember much about the possum or bear. It took a lot of scotch to enable me to eat the lion. To my mind, it tasted just as I expected it would. I hated eating that dish, but it was a gift of a sort, so I hid my dismay.

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    1. The Duluth Izakk Walton League used to host a wild game dinner fundraiser…bear, squirrel and I don’t remember what else. I don’t remember what I ate.

      On a previous comment, Steve, the Carlton County blueberry abundance was partly the result of the 1918 fire. More and more challenging to find such blueberry patches as in the 50s now.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. I’m glad I caught up on yesterday’s and now today’s food blog.
    I remember the rare pizza my father would pick up from a local place – so exotic.
    My sister returned from a Colorado visit when I was in college to introduce us to the strange and new Taco. Yum.
    I have had sweetbreads a couple of times. I don’t dwell on what they are; they are just delicious.
    At my Danish inspired camp, I have learned of frikadeller (not very exotic but Danish) meatballs, medisterpølse (sausage), aebleskiver and rabarbagrød (rhubarb pudding – PJ can correct all spellings).

    Liked by 2 people

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