Friday, September 15, 2006

Five Things To Eat Before You Die

I've been tagged by Dylan of Eat, Drink & Be Merry for the "Five Things To Eat Before You Die" meme. It started with The Traveler's Lunchbox and has spread like wildfire in the food blogging community. With so many great things to eat out there, how do you narrow it down to just five food that you think EVERYONE should eat before they die? It was hard, but I went with the foods that not only taste fantastic, but also created great memories for me. So here's my list!

1) A freshly baked croissant from a bakery in France

I adore croissants. LOVE the little flaky pastries. But what they call croissants here in the US are certainly not even close to the light, buttery goodness that the French call by the same name (albeit with a much cooler accent). The so-called "croissants" here come in all weights and sizes. Some are chewy and dense (sacrilege!), others are crispy but flavorless. When I finally had one in Paris and another in Nice, I realized that the true croissant is almost weightless in it's millions of buttery layers. In fact, you should be able to smoosh an entire one in your mouth with no problem (not that I'd ever do such a thing.....). There is no squishy or unbaked middle and tastes almost entirely of freshly churned butter. I wish I had one right now!

2) Freshly fried chips with Burnt Habanero Crème from Malo in Silverlake, CA

Malo is certainly not a traditional Mexican restaurant. It's more like a hipstered-out version and serves all small plates-style Mexican food. Although most of the menu items are good, their freshly fried flour tortilla chips and burnt habanero crème will start an addiction. Unlike most Mexican restaurants, you must order the chips at Malo's, but they're WORTH every penny. The still-hot, slightly chewy and crunchy chips are the perfect vehicle for the smoky, spicy and decadently creamy "salsa." I'm sure my arteries get pissed at me but I can't NOT order these when I'm at Malo.

3) White rice

You see, us Japanese have this thing for rice. Even though I spent more than of my life here in California, I have that thing. When I was about fourteen and already Americanized, we went back to Japan to visit my grandparents. My sister and I asked our Japanese friends what their favorite food was. They said "gohan." We said "Big Mac, or gohan?" and they said "gohan." "Chocolate sundae or gohan?" and yet again, they said "gohan." "Hot dogs, pizza and candy or gohan?" and they repeated robotically, "gohan." Being the American kids we were, we thought they were out of their Japanese minds! Well, after seven years of living in Tokyo in my 20's, I, too, have caught the gohan bug. Even though I grew up eating it, I don't think I got that itch until living there again. I'm sure my fellow Asians would understand- I can't go too long without rice. I can't NOT eat rice if someone serves me stir fry, sashimi, Japanese pickles or anything seasoned with soy sauce. It's automatic- take bite of soy sauce-seasoned food, take bite of rice. Take bite of katsu with tonkatsu sauce, take bite of rice. Give me a jar of furikake (a Japanese condiment meant to be sprinkled on rice) and I could eat an entire room full of rice.

4) Yogurt-flavored gelato

I had yogurt gelato for the first time when J and I went to Nice last summer. I instantly fell in love with the nostalgic reminded me so much of the Japanese yogurt I grew up eating. Slightly tangy and not-too-sweet, it is the perfect snack on a hot day. I think J and I went back to the same gelato stand everyday for four days straight just to get another cone full of that gelato. I've never been able to find a yogurt-flavored gelato of that quality here in Los Angeles but the recent crop of healthy frozen yogurt places gives me hope.

5) A really great BLT sandwich.

I guess this sounds simple, but I think the flavor and texture combination of ripe, red tomatoes, crispy, salty bacon, fresh lettuce, creamy mayonnaise and great, white bread is perfect. Throw in a couple thin slices of creamy avocado and life doesn't really get much better than that, now does it? Perch all of the ingredients on slices of lightly toasted brioche slathered with homemade mayo and you may just die and go to heaven. I've heard from numerous sources that this exact sandwich lives on the current lunch menu at Lucques, so I may just have to take a trip there, soon. Although I've never had their version, I have had great BLTs in my life and I do feel that it is the perfect sandwich when made with great ingredients.

I'm tagging Blue Lotus and Erin's Kitchen if they haven't already been.


Kirk said...

Hi TAG - A day without rice is like a day...well without Rice!

Erin S. said...

Thanks for the tag, I was already hit by someone else the other week, so I've already thought enough about death for one month :) Anyway, I like your list--I noticed the yogurt flavored gelato at pazzo last night and will have to try it.

carlyn said...

ahhhh....rice...couldn't live without it either. I must have rice at least 2 times a week or I suffer withdrawl.... My favorite with rice? Simply a fried egg with shoyu and a bowl of steaming white rice....ahhhh....

Amy said...

Thanks for the tag! I like your picks, especially rice. And I've never tried a croissant in France but the ones here in Tokyo are so good I almost didn't recognise it, as I'm used to the giant soggy ones back in Canada.