Monday, August 28, 2006

Before you die

There's a meme going around: you recommend things to eat before you die. A bit morbid, no? If it were things to eat before being banished to Devil's Island for thirty years, that would really be something to consider. Then you would have thirty years during which to contemplate the moment you ate that cherished morsel of whatever. But what difference does it make what you ate in your lifetime once you're no longer of the living? It's like Bush 43 said when asked how he thinks history will view his presidency: "Who cares? We'll all be dead."*

The point is actually to recommend great foods that other people have to make a point of eating before they die. So I don't actually have to think about my own demise to join in, only yours. These are things to eat before you die. If you wait too long and die you'll miss your big chance so don't blow it, ok?

I was invited to play along by Eat. The meme originated with Traveler's Lunchbox, which spun it off this BBC poll. Here are my picks:

1. Fresh bagels from Fairmount Bagel, Montreal. Poppy and sesame. Great with lox and cream cheese but also all by themselves.

2. Frozen custard from Kopp's Frozen Custard, Milwaukee.

3. Bratwurst, simmered in beer and grilled over charcoal. Served on a hard sausage roll with grilled onions and brown mustard and accompanied by anything brewed in Wisconsin.

4. Fresh cheese curds eaten while walking around the Dane County Farmers' Market in Madison. If they're good they squeak as you chew them.

5. Chinese buns and sweets from the Yung Sing Pastry Shop on Baldwin Street, Toronto. Tofu buns, meat buns, fried sesame balls stuffed with sweet yellow bean paste, all cheap, greasy, and good to eat while sitting on a park bench or picnic table nearby.

*Bob Woodward quotes "We'll all be dead" in Plan of Attack. I took the liberty of inserting the "Who cares?" part just cuz.


Anonymous Rhi said...

Totally agree about the custard and bratwurst (though fresh chopped onions, a softer bun, and Dijon mustard is my epitome). It's hard when you grow up here, where it's such a typical taste that I know a vegetarian whose only concession was to brats. You don't realize that elsewhere in America people have no idea what bratwurst tastes like. They were just starting to bring Johnsonville in Western MA in the last few years.

1:04 AM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

We actually used to serve bratwurst once in awhile at the Watergate Hotel as a lunch special when I worked there back in the 70's, with a delicious caramelized onion sauce. Probably because all the chefs were Germans and loved sausages.

I was completely unfamiliar with cheese curds until my husband and son got hooked on poutine in Quebec a few years back, and I didn't realize that folks snacked on it (them?) plain. I guess freshness is key, but I don't think they are available around here. I've never seen them, anyway.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

My list of 5.

1. The bratwurst, prepared the exact way you mentioned, and yes washed down with a Wisconsin Beer

2. Speed Queen shoulder and outside dinner

3. Katz's deli pastrami (I have only eaten it once, but I cannot stop thinking about how good it was)

4. Onglet (Hanger) steak with red wine and shallot sauce and a side of frites (french fries) served at most good French restaurants (Lake Park Bistro's is awesome, though the best is Les Halles in NYC)

5. A steak taco from the Taco and Burrito Place on Broadway in Chicago.

9:16 AM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

We used to be able to get those wonderful squeaky cheese curds in Union Square, but the folks who made them retired. *snif* I am hoping very much not to die before my planned Wisconsin sojourn this fall.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

BTW, love the photo!

9:29 PM  
Blogger mzn said...

Thanx rebecca. Death was a good model but it took all day to the get the lighting right.

As for dijon on a brat, rhi is from around here and I'm not, and that's all I'm going to say.

9:09 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home