My Food Bucket List Suggestion: How Many Have You Had?

Number 49 on the list, handmade Coarse Liverwurst (Liver Sausage) from Kilgus Meats in Toledo, Ohio. I just eat the stuff by itself, no sandwich required.

In December 2006 shortly after starting this blog over at the Monroe News web site, I fell victim to the whole “Foodie Quiz” thing and wrote one myself. Looking back at it now I can see how ridiculous the concept is. The fact is, there’s no way to really define the thing people call a “foodie” because our cultures are different, we were raised in different environments, and to be perfectly blunt, it’s completely unfair to write any kind of “foodie evaluator” that excludes considerations for vegetarians, vegans, Kosher upbringings, or any other nuances in the culture of the person taking your quiz.

A few days ago some online friends posted a link to a so-called “foodie quiz”, one that was supposed to be a test of some “rare foods” the quiz-taker might have had. It was entirely boneheaded, completely ludicrous, including staples such as BBQ ribs, pulled pork, maple syrup … and then threw in “purple ketchup”, which is nothing more than a novelty item from Heinz. The “quiz” set my teeth on edge.

A lot of the “foodie quizes” out there, and sadly my own from seven years ago included, assume the people who score the highest are “better” at enjoying food than people who score lower. That’s simply untrue. A lot of folks who would never touch a lot of things are actually better educated about the foods they do focus on. That should mean something.

So, I decided something had to be done. Someone needed to make a list people might look at and think “Hey, some of these things might be kinda cool. I think I’ll try that.” Or maybe even “Oh yeah, I remember grossing my sister out when I ate that, and it’s real food!”

I decided to develop a list of a hundred items (frankly an arbitrary number), none of which could be called “rare” but possibly located in just few areas. These would be foods I think people should take the time to try at least once, not an actual measure of anything whatsoever.

When it came right down to it, it became what I’d like to consider to be my own suggestion for a “Food Bucket List”, a list of foods I think people should try before … well … you know …

In letting those online folks who knew about the purple ketchup fiasco know about what I was doing, I did take some suggestions from them. They’re either fellow tech writers or fellow food enthusiasts whose opinions I value. Some of their suggestions did make it into the list.

After releasing the Food Bucket List on November 7th I got a nice surprise. My own score on the list, also the number of items on the list that I’ve tried (the items that are bolded), is currently 54%. However, my son Adam who’s now a U.S. Marine ended up with the current high score of 57%. Part of that is not only my insistence that my kids try everything at least once, but also that since his orders have taken him to Japan and Korea, when he was in Okinawa he’s actually had a meal of real Kobe beef that was stuffed with foie gras. And then … ummm … drizzled with chocolate. He picked that over shallot butter. Go figure … But regardless of that, he specifically ordered a food that I may never be able to enjoy since it’s only available there. That makes me proud of what I’ve taught him about food.

On the other end of the spectrum is one of the tech writing leads (says she’s a “Manager” … supposedly that’s a better title …) at Symantec Corp. She’s a vegetarian and scored 9%. I might give her a hard time about that (and I do!) but the honest truth is that she does seriously enjoy food her way, and her own Food Bucket List is going to look completely different from mine. And that’s fine with me. Just don’t tell her I said that.

There are no right or wrong answers in this one. But remember, if you don’t try something just because you’re squeamish, there are people around the world who likely eat that particular item on a regular basis because either that’s their culture and heritage, or they’re simply so poor that that’s all that’s available to them. Think about it before dissing something completely.

So check out my Food Bucket List and use the comment section below to let us know how you did. And maybe why you scored a certain way. Because when it comes right down to it, that’s really the interesting part.


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  1. BTW, some of us are both technical writers *and* food enthusiasts 😉

  2. The bucket list was great I was at 49 ….but felt good about it…also it pointed out things that I haven’t tried….I loved it!

    Some of the food seemed gross..ok ..I said

  3. 73% — I guess I qualify as a foodie — and like Char — a technical writer.

  4. I got 55! woohoo!!

  5. I got an 11% -_- lol.

  6. 70 … A note about sauerkraut: we have a kraut making crock we bought from a local potter here in Vermont, and just last week we salted and packed three heads of cabbage (about 11 pounds) and put it down in the cellar to ferment. My wife checked it today and said it was now officially at the stage where it has be put far away for the next few weeks. I think she’s afraid that the low-lying gasses might kill one of the dogs …

  7. 90. I was in Japan once and my host said after 3 days “You sure are not like most Americans, you’ll eat anything.”

  8. charlena crutchley

    76% here i have traveled quite a bit across the Us and a little in Canada also enjoyed Anchorage and outer lying areas where my knowledge of survival foods increased along with what could be eaten from the ocean and streams .LOX is one of my favorites from there but the true treasure is the handmade backwoods jerky and smoked salmon many different varieties YUMMY.Enjoyed a few of the Hawaiian Islands where i encountered the use of all types of nuts and fruits used in stir fried type dishes my favorite back in earlier 80’s&pregnant,was Polynesian Pork dish with Mandarin oranges ,coconut,raisins and peanuts,delish!. All four corners of the US coastline,been to the gulf,outer banks where I discovered I am allergic to shrimp imported from the Philippines 🙁 ,Las Vegas,Miami,been along the mid-western roadways north to south east to west and east to west all three routes northern mid country and southern also on east and west coasts roadways entire lengths.been to Canada’s western borders traveled the Al-Can highway ,been to Montreal,enjoyed a Shakespeare’s festival in Avon ,Canada where I tried French food for first time.Wow good! my background was rich growing up with hundreds of food influences from Mexican,Chinese,Japanese,Korean,
    Polish,Scottish,Irish,German,Danish,English,and deep south backwoods of Kentucky and Tennessee plus a huge Michigan and Ohio influence from grandparents.thanks to my husband of 33 yrs now I learned the difference in crabs and he changed my mind.I love Maryland bay blue crabs steamed with old bay seasoning .hasn’t changed my mind about the lobsters clam oysters and others yet doubt he ever will on the lobsters.I just do not like them and I have tried them any and every way made to date sorry yuk for me.Most of the other exotic foods as my middle child calls them are from family and friends throughout the years that I tried, some force-ably not by my choice,others by trickery if I do not know what it is before hand is a better way to trick my brain to agreeing with taste buds,been surprised that way rabbit for one I ate being told it was chicken loved it!other items haven’t faired so well in my tummy food intolerances suck and allergies are worse
    i will shut up still expanding my food horizons! Enjoy

  9. Loved the quiz I scored 73 percent, yep many strange things I’ve eaten and still have many to try.

  10. Average score 40.99%
    Your score 30%

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