So it seems that Helen from Grab Your Fork has found my blog and has invited me to tag myself for Melissa’s 5 Things to Eat Before You Die, which in turn I will distort and pretend that it was a direct tag. You know, for sanity reasons.
There is a certain irony to this though. On one hand, I wanted this badly and I though that this was a fantastic idea. On the other hand, how can anyone come up with only 5 things! This has been torturing me all day. Ideas of what to include or exclude, and the fear that I’d miss or forget the most important things.
So, amidst all these foods and memories, these made the cut. It was incredibly hard to select only 5 and to choose these amongst so many others. These are in no particular order and may very well change in time. But today, this is my list.
1. Heirloom tomatoes. The black ones are just like heaven.
2. A real, whole lamb mechoui. I had the pleasure of attending a mechoui when I was a child, and it as marked me for life. It was at my friend’s cottage, and the whole thing was a big event with tons of people attending. I remember the lamb roasting for hours, smoking and filling the air with succulent scents. I remember my best friend and I eating lamb until we were full, and then some. I remember digging into the carcass for tender meat hidden between bones. Before I die, I want to experience a mechoui again, with many friends at a lovely location in the country.
3. White nectarine. Enough said.
4. My dad’s bread. If you’re ever in Knowlton, QC, go to Panissimo and eat some real, damn good bread. You can’t find stuff like that easily!
5. New Zealand delicacies! But specifically: A) Fish n’ chips. Just North of Paihia on the North Island, one can find the best Fish n’ Chips in New Zealand. And frankly, I’ve never had better. Never frozen, the fish is as fresh as it can get – it’s even guaranteed that there’s less than 2 hours between the fish being caught and it being served in your plate. Perfectly battered, immensely tender and juicy, the fish and the scallops were simply perfect. Sitting on the side of the ocean with a beer and Stray friends, it’s really hard to beat. B) Melt Pizza, Auckland NZ. Melt is not conventional pizza – it’s true kiwi style. Fresh ingredients and stuff we’re not used to gladly get put on pizzas down there and the result is fantastic. I would gladly travel back to NZ for a taste of the Thai Chicken Satay or the Tijuana Pizza. Because they are that good. C) Tip Top ice cream. Tip Top makes the tastiest ice cream, again, with the focus being on fresh local products. The standard is called “Hokey Pokey”, which is a mix of creamy vanilla ice cream with chunks of caramelized Manuka (local) honey. And then there’s the passion fruit flavour, made with real fruits and seeds. And what’s more? It’s ridiculously cheap. D) Kumara sweet potatoes. There’s no sweeter potato out there!
These next ones didn’t make the cut, but they are very close to my heart: dumplings in a dirty hole-in-the-wall restaurant in China, real buttery croissant, a Bière LaRue beer in Vietnam (from the bottle with the printed-on label), poutine, fresh strawberries right off the field, goat’s cheese, my mom’s infamous Christmas doughnuts (because even though she lost the recipe when I was a child and I never got to taste them, I’d still like to know what the hype is about!), Montreal bagels, cheese cake, roti canai in Malaysia, sticky rice on a long bus ride in Laos.