Tag Archives: 1001 foods

Good Eatin’ – Turmeric Waffles and Pink Peppercorns

List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die

Food items: Turmeric Root and Pink Peppercorns

I have been a bit lazy with my food list items as of late. Both of these have been laying in my spice cupboard for a few months and I just haven’t been bothered to find recipes (you know how it gets if you’re in a bit of a funk). Still, it’s amazing what some time off work can do for your goals.

This morning I resolved that today was the day that I would cross both of these off within one meal. There just had to be a way to find something for both the turmeric root and the pink peppercorns. After all, the earthiness of the turmeric and the berry-like pepperiness of the pink peppercorns should go well together, right?

Well, I couldn’t find one thing with both ingredients – so I just went for two simple recipes to have as part of one meal: steak and waffles. I mean, if chicken and waffles can work then why not this combination?

Long story short, they worked. This is the first time I’ve used my new waffle iron and I am very happy with the results, although it would have been better to have doubled the amount of turmeric to get that proper earthy taste. At least I now have a good base recipe waffles, so thank you Stay At Home Mum for that nugget of information.

The pink peppercorns were the real revelation of this meal. I’ve previously only had them as part of some white chocolate bark. I know some people like pepper and chocolate, but I’m not convinced. However, with meat I can agree that they are brilliant.

Despite their name, pink peppercorns aren’t related to other peppercorns. They have a similar look and a slight overlap in flavour profile, but that’s it. The overall flavour is sweeter and more resinous than regular pepper. Also, it has little to no heat so  – if you dump loads into a recipe like I did – your tongue won’t be on fire.

I would really recommend this recipe for pink peppercorn steak over at Recipe Geek. The sauce really tasted like something I would order in a restaurant, which is the ultimate praise for a recipe you randomly find on the internet. Probably because it contained wine and cream, but hey delicious is delicious.

Progress: 676/751


Good Eatin’ – Bomba Paella

List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You DieFood item: Calasparra Bomba Rice

Why is this rice out of the bag and in a Tupperware container? Well, the hub might have dropped this cloth bag in a pool of water so I had to quickly save the rice not touched by Fairy liquid. The bag itself was kept for purely photographic reasons.

Obviously I had to make some form of paella with this rice. It’s what they would have done in Spain after all. It’s highly possible that I had some of this when I was in Barcelona and didn’t even know it. Probably not though. I guess that’s something that would have been highlighted on the menus.

I am going to get this out there right now – I know this isn’t proper paella. For one thing it’s made in a wok so the heat distribution is off, I stirred this way too much (otherwise the hub would complain about the washing up) and I made this with a paprika chicken sausage. I guess with things like this it’s more appropriate to call this a Spanish risotto? I would say Spanish fried rice, but there wasn’t a lot of frying of rice going on here.

Now the killer question: did I notice any difference in the taste or texture with this special rice? No. Sadly I did not. It’s fine though because unlike some of the food items I’ve gotten this didn’t cost too much more than the more common brands. It’s just that I didn’t notice too much of a difference between this and Arborio or Carnaroli.

Progress: 672/751

Good Eatin’ – The Tasty Pigeon

List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You DieFood item: Squab

This was a real impulse buy. I was walking through Borough Market with a bag full of cheese only to catch a display of squabs in the corner of my eye. It was a bit like when I saw the Speciale Gillardeau oyster… but I don’t think squabs are available all the time (ready to be proven wrong).

So what exactly is squab? Well it’s a young pigeon. Like, a really young pigeon in the same vein of suckling pig for pork what poussin is to chicken.

I don’t think you see squab a lot in the UK because people find it a little bit weird to eat “flying vermin”. That doesn’t bother me though, so let’s cook us some lil pigeon.

So I followed this guide to roasting a squab substituting in ras-el-hanout and avocado oil (much like I did for the guinea fowl). I think that it helped having the earthy spices here because squab is pure dark meat.

The book talks about squab as being a cross between chicken and duck – but I think that underestimates the gaminess of the meat. Instead I think it would be more like duck and partridge, but with the same amount of meat as a quail. That’s kinda the problem with squab, not a lot of meat on those bones. However, the meat that you can find is flavourful; plus it is a lot of fun to be eating the meat right off the bone like a medieval nobleman.

Progress: 671/751


Good Eatin’ – Chervil and Cheeses

List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die

I swear that these list cheeses are like busses – you hope for one and then three come along at the same time. It’s not that I am complaining, but it has made a few days of high fat meals.

Food item: Chervil

What’s this? This isn’t a cheese. Well, no, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to try fresh chervil for the first time. I have had a jar of dried chervil in the cupboard for ages, but the taste is nothing compared to fresh.

It’s one of the milder herbs that I have had for the list, but there in-lies some of the charm. The herb itself looks like a variety of parsley, just with smaller leaves. However, the taste is more between fennel bulb and aniseed. Because of this chervil is closely linked to dishes containing eggs and fish.

For my own tasting I tried this in two ways: I firstly used it to make a chervil mayonnaise to pair with some crocodile burgers that we just bought. Yup, I had crocodile burgers and they were delicious with the chervil mayonaisse. Maybe because crocodile burgers taste a bit like shrimp burgers? Still, I’d recommend this combination.

As for the second use let’s have a look at cheese number one:

Food item: Camembert Fermier

I love a good wheel of Camembert, and this Camembert Fermier is no exception. The book said that this would be a more mild Camembert experience… but it could still be smelt through Tupperware and a plastic bag. Nothing to do but eat it quickly.


This is only the second time that I’ve baked a Camembert, and I have to say that it really turned out well. The chervil sprigs that I added helped to add a mild aniseed taste to the upper third of the cheese. Considering how incredibly creamy this cheese was (I’m guessing the difference between regular Camembert and Camembert Fermier is to do with the cream content in some way?) it was good to have that extra subtle flavour.

The hub chose some lovely caramelized walnut bread to eat with this… and I cannot fault him for this truly inspired choice.

Food items: Ricotta Romana and Fiore Sardo

The other two cheeses that we found today are some very specific varieties of Italian cheese.

Ricotta Romana is different from regular ricotta because it is made from the by-products of pecorino cheese. This is meant to give it a different flavour from regular ricotta, which of course is true and I’ll find it hard to go back to plastic tub ricotta again.

This is creamier and fresher than regular ricotta with a slight grassiness that I was not expecting. There is also a real difference in texture with the Romana not being completely smooth, but actually slightly grainy. It actually made for a nice surprise to not have this ricotta as a pure paste.

I also saw on the web that I should try the ricotta with honey… so instead I tried it with some syrup from the green walnut gliko jar. Oh wow that was delicious and I am doing that again.

Finally there is a the Fiore Sardo. It’s a type of pecorino cheese that comes from Sardinia and, if my reading was correct, is the cheese that is used to make the infamous and illegal Sardinian maggot cheese. Obviously mine didn’t have any maggots in it. I hope.

Even though the Fiore Sardo is a hard cheese it is deceptively easy to slice. Since I got the young version instead of the mature version (which I do now regret) I probably missed out on some of the more overt flavours. However, what I did find that despite having a slightly sharp nose it turned out to be very buttery and mild.

A big surprise with the Fiore Sardo was the complete lack of a lactic acid. Considering the way that this cheese sweated when I took it out of the fridge I really expected more of a lactic kick. This is a cheese that would form part of an excellent cheeseboard.

Progress: 670/751

So, if you’re counting, I am now left with 24 cheeses on this list. It sounds like a lot, but we are talking about a lot of very specific (and getting rather expensive) types of cheese. One of them is technically illegal… so we’ll see how that ends up.


Good Eatin’ – Cretan Olive Oil

Oooooh the devil’s food number. It’s a pity that I didn’t save up the boulette d’avesnes for this number (due to it’s nickname of ‘the devil’s suppository’), but would have been a good two years of waiting… and it was no guarantee that I would reach this point.

List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You DieFood item: Greek Monastery Olive Oil

So how did I get my hands on this can of olive oil? Honestly it was a complete surprise to be given this. It was one of those happy accidents of having a generous mother go on holiday to Crete and buying me a souvenir because of my love of food.

This came fresh of her doing an olive oil tasting (something I’d love to do) and then gushing to me about how amazing this was compared to the olive oils you get in the UK – not including the exceptional Spanish Olive Oil I found in Waitrose.

Having tasted this olive oil for myself I would agree this is great quality olive oil. Obviously this olive oil from Crete doesn’t speak for all Greek Monastery Olive Oil, but this particular brand has a lightness and a grassiness that is refreshing. It’s one of those oils where I could see myself drinking half a bottle via many dippings of bread into a bowl containing said oil…. then feel violently sick because of oil I had just consumed.

This is the fourth time I have made Greek salad (without raw onion, because if it isn’t those fancy Rose onions then I cannot stomach raw onion) and I have plenty more olive oil left in the can. I know I should probably glug on the oil, but I want to make this last. Also calories. Always with the calories.

Between this and the Spanish estate olive oil, how am I meant to go back to regular store brand olive oil? Truly the big danger of doing this food list is the raised bar for food quality.

Progress: 666/751


Good Eatin’ – Shiro Shoyu

Merry Christmas… as I write this post the temperature is 30°C and it is actually the middle of June. I moved to 5 posts a week because I was writing over 6 months ahead. Thanks to a resurgence in my film watching I am back in this position again.

I guess it speaks to the level of obsession that some of these lists have become. Just imagine the lead if I was diligently making my way through the classical music list (my last post for that was about a month and a half ago).

Still Merry Christmas everybody – let’s eat some soy sauce.

List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You DieFood item: Shiro Shoyu

If you haven’t heard of white soy sauce before you are probably in the majority. It’s not something that you find in regular supermarkets and I struggled to find it in nearby Asian markets. It was only after a proper search that I found a bottle of it in the Japan Centre.

As you can probably tell from the picture, I have already started to use this rather liberally in the place of regular soy sauce. Only when cooking mind, not as a condiment.

My favourite cooking use for soy sauce is to combine it with oyster sauce and napa cabbage. We had some leftover bacon and soya beans as well, so figured it would be worth inviting them to the party as well.

Now I bet you are wondering whether there is a difference between white soy sauce and the light and dark black soy sauces. Well there is, especially in the smell. White soy sauce has a smell that is somewhere between beer and Bovril whilst having that whiff of being just that bit more fermented.

The difference comes from the different percentages of soya to wheat in the recipe – the white soy sauce being primarily wheat-based. This makes it a sweeter and mellower alternative to darker soy sauces, whilst also being just that bit meaty. It’s also worked out well as a marinade ingredient for fish, so would really recommend picking up a bottle of this if you have a chance.

Progress: 665/751


Good Eatin’ – Pheasant Egg Sandwich

List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You DieFood item: Pheasant Eggs

Oh pheasant eggs, how long it took for me to actually find you! Having missed the brief window for gull eggs, I was determined that I would cross off the other remaining bird eggs from the list. Where buying goose eggs was a simple case of slipping my mum £7 and getting it ordered on her weekly food shop – it was a bit more involved for pheasant eggs.

Let’s start off with their seasonality. Pheasant eggs are only around for 3 months a year (April-June) and are, usually, a by product of people breeding pheasants for shoots. Therefore the number of pheasant eggs available are fairly limited and not too available outside of farm shops.

However, this being the modern age, the good people at Clarence Court supply pheasant eggs to some outlets. They are also very friendly people and gave me a list of places where pheasant eggs could be found.

Over the course of 2 weeks I systematically visited all the locations – to find that I had missed out. This included a few visits to the Wholefoods UK flagship store where I ended up being a bit of a nuisance asking bemused people about the existence of pheasant eggs. It was Harrod’s to the rescue where, relieved, I found pheasant eggs.

Sitting in their little egg carton I felt a real fondness for these eggs. About half the size of a chicken egg, they were the colours of camouflaged clothing. Makes sense if the pheasants want to keep their eggs concealed from unwanted attention.

Okay, so there are better ways to eat these. I know this. But it was breakfast time and I had no urge to make a full salad. Also I had a submarine roll left over from when I made philly cheesesteaks, I figured what the hell.

I made myself a sandwich from soft-boiled pheasant eggs (3 minutes) with some light mayonnaise and a sprinkling of celery salt. I would really like to thank the foods book for turning me onto using celery salt with eggs, honestly this has been a huge game changer in my egg eating.

The yolks of these eggs were creamy. Weirdly creamy for a bird egg. The whites, on the other hand, were fairly standard… so I guess it is the yolk and the colour of egg shell where the difference between bird eggs can be found.

If I had to compare these pheasant eggs to other eggs it would be somewhere between quail eggs and hen eggs. Other then eating them as a curiosity it makes better sense to buy Burford Browns instead of pheasant eggs.


Progress: 664/751


Good Eatin’ – Titaura from Nepal

On the final day of a four day stint assisting a training event I got the following text: Got a package for you from Nepal.

This text was the best news I had received all week. I know it’s a bit pathetic, but I was so excited to come home and open it. I mean, how often does a package arrive from Nepal?

A few weeks earlier I had ordered myself some packs of titaura from Titaura.biz. This is a type of sweet that can only be found in Nepal and thanks to many a fruitless Google search for a British vendor I just buckled and imported some. I somehow cannot see me visiting Nepal (this could change) so if I am to complete this food list I had to import it.

List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die Food item: Titaura

To make the most out of the import price I made sure to buy three different types of titaura. Going clockwise from the top you have ‘Round’, ‘Lamo’ and ‘Lapsi Chatpat’ – there are flavour differences between them and I will get to those in a second.

In order to keep with the description in the book I made sure to go for titaura made from lapsi fruit. It’s a fruit that grows well in the cold mountainous areas and, if Wikipedia is anything to go by, look like green potatoes. Although that could just be the picture.

To make the titaura the lapsi fruit pulp is mixed with sugar, salt and spices before being dried and made into the candy pieces. As a European it is the addition of spices that made this a food item to be sought out and it is worth noting that the amount and types of spice depends on the candy.

Starting off with the flat ‘Lamo’ variety – this is the least flavoured of the three varieties I bought, therefore gives me the best taste of the lapsi fruit. There is a sourness and sweetness to the fruit that makes this piece of candy taste like dried apricot. There is a hint of salt and an afterburn of added chilli.

Next is the cubed ‘Lapsi Chatpat’. The heat of the chilli is kicked up a notch with there being an immediate burn that is complimented by spices that are both earthy and aniseedy. The sourness of the fruit is still there but it takes a bit of a backseat. Of the three this has the most satifying chew.

Finally is the ‘Round’ candy which looks like a narrow fruit rollup. This is the one with the most complex spice profile and I would not be surprised if panch phoron spice mix (especially nigella and cumin) had been added to this. It is the driest, least sour and least salty of the three. This probably has the same amount of heat as the lapsi chatpat.

Of the three I think the ‘Lamo’ was my favourite because it’s the fruitiest, but the others are still interesting. Now excuse me as I get a glass of milk because eating all this titaura has turned my mouth into a furnace. I never thought of candy as spicy… turns out I was wrong.

Progress: 663/751


Good Eatin’ – Oh Goose Eggs

List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You DieFood item: Goose Egg

Two things come to mind when I hear the phrase ‘goose egg’: the harpsichord line from Joanna Newsom’s song ‘Goose Eggs’ and whether Spongebob would say ‘goose eggs’ as a swear word if the TV show was based on a farm. Together they’re quite satisfying to say when something’s not quite gone your way.

Back on topic – goose eggs are one of three eggs on the 1001 food list that are seasonal. The window is a few months long around about the time spring turns into summer, which about the same time as pheasant eggs (also on the list) and a lot more forgiving than gull eggs (whose window is about 1-2 weeks long).

Luckily the eating of goose eggs has become mainstream enough that you can find them at some of the more upscale supermarkets – such as the one I got from Waitrose. However, it is worth noting that a goose only lays ~40 eggs a year so the supply is limited (ergo the price of about £7 per egg).

I had one shot at cooking this egg, so I went for the classic method of soft-boiling it with soldiers and celery salt.

Of course I hadn’t thought about an egg cup for this massive egg. The only suitable vessel that I had was a measuring cup (1/3 cup to be precise) in my Joseph Joseph nesting bowls. Did the trick beautifully, although that didn’t stop me from repeatedly burning myself as I cut the top off.

Thanks to a mix of nerves and a LOT of conflicting advice on how to soft-boil a goose egg this came out more solid than I had first hoped. I still had some yolk to dip the soldiers in, but I was probably only one minute away from having a hard-boiled goose egg.

The first thing I noticed when taking the top off was just how much smoother the shell had become, then I took a look in my pan. It appears that as the egg was boiled, the rougher outer part of the shell had come away and left a chalky residue in the pan. Not too hard to wash off, but just a bit weird.

Another thing of note is the ratio of yolk to white in the goose egg when compared to the chicken egg. People talk online about how much richer a sauce or a cake is when using goose eggs – something that can be understood when you see just how much yolk is inside, and just how yellow the yolk is!

Tastewise, the yolk doesn’t taste too different to a good hens egg like the Burford Brown. When you eat both the yolk and the white at the same time, however, you can taste the difference. The white has a stronger taste and the whole thing feels just that bit more luxurious.

If it wasn’t for the price I would be interested to see what a goose egg omelette would taste like. Might give this a go once I successfully buy a gull egg within that ridiculously tiny window (that I missed this year because I was in Tallinn). A goose egg omelette feels like an appropriate way to celebrate.

Progress: 662/751


Good Eatin’ – Double Dates and Wild Strawberries

I have been on the hunt for pheasant eggs in the past week. With it currently being June I know that pheasant eggs are coming to the end of their season. I will cover the search when I actually eat the blasted things, but for today’s post I would like to thank Harrod’s for having food that I didn’t think I would find so easily.

List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You DieFood items: Khalasah Dates and Barhi Dates

Starting with the Khalasah dates on the left – these are dates that I had resigned myself to never finding. The book made it sound like these were rarely exported from the Middle East, so finding them at Qatari-owned Harrods actually makes a lot of sense.

When eating the Khalasah dates I followed the advice from the book by letting the date slowly melt away in my mouth rather than just chewing it up. I can really see why you would want to do this. These dates really taste like a dark, spiced honey. There are hints of toffee to it as well.

These hints are nothing compared the taste of the Barhi dates.  For a date this tasted surprisingly like caramel. If it wasn’t for the soft fibrous texture it would be very easy to mistake what I was eating as melted muscovado sugar. I think I prefer these ones over the Khalasah dates… which is good for me as the Barhi dates are cheaper.

My main issues with dates has historically been that I find them too sweet and sticky, this has not been the case with either of the dates. The Barhi dates were sweeter than the Khalasah dates, but neither were as sweet as those you tend to find in the supermarkets. I would be included to eat more dates if they were like this.

Food item: Alpine Strawberry

Oh my God I spent £14 on 100g of strawberries. I swear you can buy street drugs for less than this. Right? You know what I have no idea. But at least I can understand the high price for these. These fruit that are incredibly perishable and, by the looks of the box,  foraged.

So I think you can get how I would jump at the chance at some alpine strawberries. These have other names such as wild strawberries or fraises des bois (literally strawberries of the woods) and was one of the earliest cultivated strawberries. However, with the rise of the garden strawberry.

Considering the difference in size and  ease of cultivation I can see how these fell out of use, but it’s a real shame. Think of the flavour of a strawberry. Magnify it, make it slightly more sour and that’s what you have with the alpine strawberry. In terms of texture these are ridiculously soft with the many seeds adding a nice crunch.

Were they worth the £14 when the two bags of dates came to £7? Probably not, but at least I can say I am getting that much closer to the next landmark number.

Progress: 661/751