Trying new foods.

ArabellaMillerJuly 26, 2012

Here's the message I received about an upcomming class. Because it is the end of the year, instead of a clinical class we are having a "fun" class.

"Next week you have from 11:30 - 1 for an "experimental foods" class. This class is intended to be FUN. Because we will be tasting a lot of foods, it is scheduled during your usual lunch break.

The objective of this class is to increase your awareness of foods that are not commonly eaten as part of the typical American Diet.

Please bring in an "unusual" food item that we can taste test. Be prepared to briefly talk about the item such as the nutritional value, health benefit or population that typically consumes this food."

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

AM

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lindac

My first reaction is to bring some Twinkies and make comments about people who are deficient in knowledge about nutrition etc etc.....could also be something like Pizza bites or chicken nuggets.
But I'll think some more.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 6:52PM
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ArabellaMiller

That would be funny, Linda! But I'm not sure I could get a group of clinical dietitians to eat a chicken nugget from McDonalds..... although I'm pretty sure most of them would give the twinkie a try.

My first thought was gefilte fish. We have classmates from a few Asian countries and I'm certain most of them have never heard of gefilte fish.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:04PM
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sushipup1

Hummus and pita? Some sort of dal or a yogurt dish from India? Edamame? Or are all these already too mainstream? Vegemite from Australia? That could be an interesting little talk!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:40PM
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ruthanna_gw

My choice would be a stuffed beef heart, a rich source of vitamin B12. They are tasty when stuffed a mixture of saut�ed celery and onions, whole wheat bread cubes, marjoram, seasonings and a beaten egg, then braised in beef stock and served with a brown gravy.

You'll have to clean out most of the interior first but a serrated grapefruit knife makes quick work of it.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:53PM
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olga_6b

Lots of possibilities.
Chicken feet
cooked Beef or veal heart
Smoked herring
Kimchi
Kefir
Fermented lemons
Cooked buckweat grains with milk
Tvorog or Quark

Olga

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 8:27PM
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sushipup1

The national dish of Britain --- chicken tikka masala. Seriously. You can just read the speech. Perfect for the Olympics, too.

You can choose almost anything and make a funny talk about it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chicken Tikka Masala speech

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 8:54PM
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centralcacyclist

Bring a durian.

;)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 9:01PM
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teresa_nc7

What about some exotic fruits from several ethnic markets? There is star fruit, fresh coconut, kumquats, marionberries or other regional berries, fresh whole pomegranate, unusual melons, and even durian - if you dare.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:10PM
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chas045

"Bring a durian". Yeah, I see the smily face, but holy cow. Yes, it would prove a point, but do you want everyone, except for some Vietnamese in attendance, gagging and worse. And yes, I have Vietnamese relatives, that's how I know. By the way, my DIL takes the oath to become a US citizen tomorrow morning!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:13PM
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annie1992

Best wishes to your DIL, chas.

I think gefilte fish is a good idea, I actually like the stuff, although not the gelatinous stuff that it's packed in.

You could also bring quinoa or falafel, tabbouleh or the aforementioned kim chi.

That's an interesting exercise, I'll look forward to seeing what everyone brought.

Annie

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:24PM
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dcarch7

I think the durian fruit they sell here is not the variety that smells to high heavan.

--------------------------------

I would think you want to avoid foods which some may consider yucky.

In another very popular food forum, someone posted a very nice thread about many kinds of mushrooms in China. Fascinating!

You can get some of them here in an Asian store.

That would be very interesting and enjoyable for most people.

I bought this the other day.

dcarch

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:35PM
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centralcacyclist

I had an encounter with a durian a while back. It smelled like garlic and garbage to me. I didn't taste it. It was also partly frozen. But really, my wink icon was to indicate that this was a joke.

Breadfruit would be an interesting choice.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 1:02AM
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donna_in_sask

I've heard someone describe durian as the most luxurious custard eaten in the world's filthiest bathroom.

How about some sushi, or at least some nori (seaweed) snacks?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 2:22AM
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publickman

I would take wakame, or a Japanese seaweed salad. As for Chinese mushrooms, I like the dried wood-ear variety, which is easily reconstituted for soup or egg rolls. Tofu is not all that common in American diets, even though I eat much more tofu than I do beef.

For exotic fruits, I like guanabana, mamey, and cherimoya. If you can find cherimoya at a Chinese market, it will be a real treat, but a bit expensive. Yucca root is another possibility. I peel it, chop it, and then saute it and serve it with marinara sauce, but there are a lot of ways to cook it, and it has the advantage of being a medicinal herb. If you eat freshly cooked yucca root, it will ease the pain of tendonitis - this is an old native American remedy for joint pain.

Lars

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 5:23AM
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nancedar

Pickled herring in sour cream - both my kids loved this and still do now in their late 40's

My step-grandchildren will not even taste it.

Nancy

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 7:00AM
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dcarch7

Lars has some very good ideas, especially medicinal aspect of food. I am very interested in the health benefits of foods in various cultures.

The wood ears are said to have blood pressure lowering and cholesterol-lowering properties.

I like yucca roots, I use them like potatoes. I go the a Spanish store not too far to get them.

I forgot to post this when corn silk was discussed: Corn silk, pork panceas soup with various other seasonings is delicious. This soup is a traditional Chinese folk medicine for the control of diabetic condition. Interesting that this came before the discovery of insulin.

Annie's artichoke (a thistle) post reminds me of a Native American remedy of using Yellow-Spined Thistle flower for skin sores.

dcarch

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 7:20AM
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bbstx

How about fried chicken livers? They are easy to find, and easy to cook, but not part of most Americans' diets.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 8:14AM
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jadeite

What about a tofu dish? It's a staple for many Asians, eaten widely by vegetarians and vegans but most Americans still find it exotic. I've converted many naysayers with mapo tofu. You can make it vegetarian or include some meat, either way it is delicious. Most reactions are of the "I never thought tofu could taste like this" variety.

Cheryl

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 9:12AM
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Olychick

What about romanesco? It's very popular at our farmer's market but every day I am there I hear someone remark about it because it's the first time they've seen it. You could have a beautiful whole one, then prepare one as a cold marinated salad.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 11:11AM
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colleenoz

I love romanesco broccoli. For about two years market gardeners grew it in abundance, then for some reason they stopped :-( I find it only very, very occasionally (like every two years or so) now.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 11:20AM
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pkramer60

You could always head into your garden, and find some purslane. Picked in the morning before it gets bitter and make a salad with it.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 2:24PM
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ArabellaMiller

All great ideas, thank you so much. Since we have a few Asian students, I think I will stay away from Asian foods, although if I could find a durian I might bring that in Eileen. ;)

I love romanesco too, it is so pretty. Thanks again everyone, I will let you know what everyone brings in.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 6:45AM
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agmss15

A lady from Hong Kong was a care-giver to my then 99 yr old grandmother about 2002. She prepared a durian for us - quite a production. It seemed to require elbow length gloves, a machete, knives, a very well protected table and a variety of scooping tools. We tried it - it tasted good smelled funny. She went home for the weekend and we had a bowl of durian in the fridge. The next day the whole kitchen stank of it - not appetizing - neither of us was inspired to eat it or anything else in the kitchen. The next day I triple wrapped it and trashed it. When she returned she figured out what I had done and was deeply offended. Oh dear.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 9:13AM
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centralcacyclist

The Asian market where I shop here sells durians frozen, whole, in a net bag.

E

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 10:47AM
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lindac

Mussels....you could prepare the garlic-ey wine butter stuff.... and take it and the mussels washed on ice. Then heat the garlic butter wine stuff and toss in the mussels and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes until they all open.
Yum! And I think they are something most people have never eaten.....because when I am at the fish counter buying mussels, people always ask me things like "do you like tham"...Duh! I wouldn't be buying them if I didn't like them!....how do you cook them....even "what are they?"

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 11:07AM
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centralcacyclist

Farro was something I wanted to try but had a hard time finding. I finally did. Delicious. I used this recipe. Farro isn't mainstream nor is it Asian.

Here is a link that might be useful: Farro With Mushrooms

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 11:28AM
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ArabellaMiller

Thanks Eileen, that recipe looks delicious.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:21PM
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annie1992

Oh, I just tried dragonfruit a few months ago, that was delicious and surprising.

Annie

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 5:09PM
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magothyrivergirl

Interesting ideas! I suggest Escargot -- yum!

Sounds like a very fun class & celebration.

Here is a link that might be useful: Recipe

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 5:34PM
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caflowerluver

How about unagi, freshwater eel. Japan just celebrated Doyo-no-ushinohi and on that day it is the custom to eat unagi. "It is rich in protein, vitamin A and E. Filleted and deboned unagi is commonly glaze-grilled, and it's called unagi-no-kabayaki. It's skewered and grilled with sweet basting sauce, and is popularly served on top of steamed rice. Vacuum-sealed unagi-no-kabayaki is often available at Asian grocery stores."

I have always been curious to see what it tastes like.
Clare

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 12:42PM
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riverrat1

Please bring a Durian. Eileen is so right about this one.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 11:24PM
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