Is answering such a question ever going to be possible ?
It all originated as Melissa’s idea, on her wonderful Traveler’s Lunchbox blog. And it was passed to me by Ximena from Lobstersquad, another of my favorite food blogs. I only wish I could draw like her!
The rules are simple. This joint project is asking every food blogger to name five things to eat before you die, before passing it to five other food bloggers. Imagine the LONG list!
As soon as I received the tag, I could feel my head spin with words, “This one”, “No that one”, “I don’t know”, “Really this one is a good one”, “Oh no I cannot write this”. Help! If you are as undecided as I can be at times, imagine the challenge!
My list will be the illustration of what I think I would like to eat before I die, if it caught me by surprise, or what I would recommend anyone to eat before he or she dies. Not necessarily the fancy stuff, but the good one that really talks to me.
I can still remember my first time eating bouillabaisse while we travelled to the South of France for our yearly vacation, au temps des grandes vacances. It all happened close to Toulon, in a restaurant I cannot even remember the name of, as I was so small. I fell in love with the dish right away, the fish (Rascasse — scorpion fish — Baudroie — angler fish — Rouquiers — wrasses — to name a few) and its broth, the rouille, the bread. An unforgettable experience. I have eaten bouillabaisse many times since then, and at every time, the love for this rustic dish is the same. Purists might say that it can only be made with fish from the Mediterranean coast, or they would argue that the dish has to include rascasse to be called a bouillabaisse. I am not going to be a purist but know when I eat a good bouillabaisse. It really takes me back to the South of France. Irresistible.
Une fraise sauvage ! Regarde ! Have you felt the joy of finding wild strawberries before? As a kid, I remember how happy I invariably was whenever we found wild strawberries during walks in the forest. I thought it was like une bénédiction tombée du ciel (a blessing falling from the sky). I always wondered how strange it was to find that these strawberries grew without care, and limited light. Hidden treasures. If you have never tasted one, you must now! I do not think I can describe how sweet and juicy they can be. It is as if, in each, there was a concentration of taste and flavor ready to burst out.
- Black Cod from Roy’s restaurant in Chicago
- A gourmet picnic at the top of a mountain, after hours hiking.
I find that food always tastes much much better at the top of a mountain, after I deserve it. Let me explain. Most of us are lucky to be able to eat what we want, when we want. And so, not to say that I enjoy to be starved — which would be pretty much a lie — I like to eat food after physical activity spent in Nature. After a hike, at the top of a mountain. The cherry on top of the cake for me. There is nothing that replaces this experience. Every time I do it, I just like it the same. Imagine lunch made of a sandwich with sourdough or focaccio bread, scallions, sun-dried tomatoes, grilled prosciutto, romaine salad, avocado slices and cucumber, with crispy Terra Cotta chips and a carrot salad , taken at the top this beautiful hike you just did. Of course, it always helps if it is sunny at the top! Pas folle, quand même ! (Not crazy, all the same!)
- Tartiflette with a big bowl of mâche
Oh, how clearly I can remember the taste of this fish melting in my mouth. My first time eating black cod marinated in a caramelized soy sauce happened at Roy’s, this Hawaiian, Fusion / Eclectic, Seafood restaurant in Chicago. Black cod is a fatty fish which flakes just disappear par magie (magically). Eat it where you can. Roy’s has its downsides. I find the restaurant noisy, with so many tables that it is impossible to imagine that you will be able to spend an intimate evening there because you pretty much have to push your vocal cords all the time. But their black cod! Just for the sake of that memory, I would go back, and would finish dinner with their Molten Chocolate Cake as well. Why not!
Give me cheese, give me potatoes and a green salad. The trio of simple food with great taste.
I like green salads of all kinds, but for me, la reine des salades vertes (the queen of green salads) is definitely going to be la mâche, also called doucette in French, (lamb’s lettuce). When it is young and freshly picked from the garden. As a kid, I was always fascinated to see that it could resist the first snow. So if with it, you have a tartiflette, this wonderful speciality from Savoie in France — potatoes cooked with melted Reblochon— this is heaven!
The task of choosing five other bloggers was as difficult as the making of this short list, but I would love to hear what those five people have to say:
- Sam from Becks & Posh (English girl living in San Francisco)
- Jacqueline from Cuisine et Compagnie (Paris, France)
- Bron from Bron Marshall (Canterbury, New Zealand)
- Jocelyn from Kuidaore (Singapore)
- Tea from Tea and Cookies (San Fransisco, US)
This is just so wonderful! I can identify with all except the Black Cod, which I can’t recall tasting. The picnic brings back memories of trying to do the same on Cézannes’ Mont St. Victoire…but it was covered with brambles, so not exactly fun to sit on. Love the wild strawberries too and the boullibaise..a very dreamy assignment 🙂
Bouillabaisse, wild strawberries, a sourdough sandwich with sun-dried tomatoes, grilled prosciutto and salad! Oh yes, I want to dine with you before I die Béa! 😉
Thank you for the tag, I shall attempt it very soon.
I really hesitated between tartiflette and falmekuche. I am all abou the bouillabaisse too!
What a lovely list, Bea! And I have been to Roy’s in Honolulu (I didn’t realize he had restaurants all over the U.S. and Japan too!)
mmm. I certainly can’t argue with anything on your list! Esp. love the picnic after hiking. Everything tastes better after hiking, right? I’m still pondering my list!
Bouillabaisse it’s dish of my country : Marseille!
what a list. an all time top five, I bet. I´ve never had tartiflette but will remedy as soon as it´s a little bit colder.
Je suis sûre ke tu n’ as pas besoin d’ être à l’ article de la mort pour te faire plaisir 🙂
De bien belles reponses d’une grande gourmande 🙂
Hummm! Je prendrais bien les cinq avant de mourir, en tout cas avec la tartiflette, tu pars légère au paradis… peut-etre quelques soucis pour la montée au travers des nuages ! lol!
Thanks Bea, for the list and for saying hello. Excellent call on the post-hike (or mid-hike, I guess) picnic. The anticipation, the putting off, the setting and then that provisional thrill you get from the thought that you’re outside your comfort zone and that this is the only food you have. I love that. And, as a cheesemaker, I love too your inclusion of the tartiflette with the mache. Everything playing so well off one another.
je n’ai jamais mangé une bouillabaisse, mais s’il fait partie de ta liste, il va falloir que je fasse un tour vers Marseille pour tester
Oh yes, agree agree agree agree agree! I love your inclusion of the picnic after a hike, since that is so true, though I also find that any food eaten outdoors tastes somehow better (when I used to go camping with my family as a kid I would always tell my mother how amazing it seemed that the same things we ate at home – a simple sandwich, a bowl of spaghetti – tasted so much better around a campfire!).
And those wild strawberries, I think I only tried them once but the flavor seared itself into my memory forever. Incredible!
Hi Bea! Oh, how could i have missed this entry? Never mind. I love your selections… Bouillabaisse and Black Cod really is another i must try. Wild strawberries is something i’ve never come across of either. Oh, there’s just so much food i need to try before i die happily!!! Thanks for the list.
How I agree with you, Béa. The Bouillabaisse, the wild strawberry… I don’t know about a picnic after hiking but any picnic seems to me so close to heaven…
I am glad you enjoyed the list, and I would happily dine with all of you before I die too (hint Bron! ;-))
The hike and picnic, or any food eaten outside, the anticipation (so well described Chip as true, we always try to push the moment we have food further, so that it tastes better!), yes indeed, a very special moment, isn’t it?
As to the Bouillabaisse, I am just craving one now!
Thanks for stopping by!. Always a pleasure to read you!
I’m strictly an amateur chef but these would be in my list:
1] Soupe au pistou (The season for that is RIGHT NOW, when the markets are perfumed with basilic).
2] Civet de lievre (The season is coming right up).
Pingback: Five Things to Eat Before You Die! - Cinq choses à manger avant de mourir!
Bea – I have almost finished my post and came to look at yours (I didn’t want to read anyone else’s before I finished my own list.) Fred is a HUGE fan of tartiflette, it has already been blogged chez nous. He remarked just aa couple of days ago that he can’t wait to make it again with the new improved fatted calf bacon. we cant always get reblochon around here though. Hopefully we will be able to find some when we need it.
thanks for tagging me!
Hi, Does anyone know the french name of black cod or sable: the fish used to make the blackened miso cod found at Roy’s or Nobu, etc. The recipe is simple (search Nobu Miso Cod on the web), but living in Paris, I have no clue what to ask for at the poissonerie! Merci!