2011 In Retrospect ~ New Foods

Yes, I know Gentle Reader, but it is That Time, and upon occasion I jump on the trend. So here we have, 2011, in review.

  • Number of Conventions: 6
  • Number of appearances/signings outside of conventions: 12
  • Interviews (online/offline/podcast/virtual): 28
  • Comedy Shows: 2 (both to see Greg Proops)
  • Books Written: 2
  • Books Published: 8 (includes translation editions)
  • Dear Lord Akeldama Posts: 11

My New Years Goal for 2011 was to eat a new (to me) food each month. Some kind of fruit or vegetable or whatever I had never tasted before. Here’s what I ate . . .

1. Black Cabbage

Tastes like very mild cabbage, a little tough. I like that it’s dark in color so might be a bit healthier in general. But it’s not something I will seek out on a regular basis. I’m not a huge fan of cabbage generally.

2. Sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke)

These I loved. In fact I’ve had it a few times since. They are hard to prepare as you need to peal the awkward shape completely but what you are left with tastes like a mild artichoke heart. Yummy. They can be roasted or boiled.

3. Longon

Like large grape-sized lychee. I’d eat them more except you can only buy them in very large bags, and I can’t eat that many.

4. Green Tea Salad

I ate this at Burma Superstar in San Francisco (Inner Richmond) and loved it. I’ve never considered eating the leaf of the tea before, but why not? I’ve ordered it twice since and intend to get it anytime I can when I am in town.

5. Jack Fruit

For my adventures with Jack Fruit here’s the blog entry on the subject. I’ve had the flavor before in a bubble smoothie, but never fresh. It tastes like juicy fruit gum and has a very strange texture. You eat the flesh around the seeds, a yellow to dark orange in color. Nope, this isn’t Durian, although they are similar looking on the outside. Durian is smaller and, of course, very stinky.
6. Jack Fruit Seeds

A two for one with jack fruit for I learned I coudl also eat the seeds. These I pealed and boiled. A pleasing look to them. They taste like very very mild chestnuts, and were not all that exciting. Interesting for the experience but not exciting.

7. Mangosteen

My favorite of anything I tried this year. I’ll be eating the queen of fruit any time I can in future. It’s a juicy tropical tangy deliciousness. I’d had it dried but never fresh. Impossible to compare the flavor to anything else, it is it’s own taste.

8. Dried White Mulberries

Nasty, sugary and flavorless, I didn’t keep the container. Fresh might be better but I’m wary.

9. Green Pea Shoots
Delicious, I sauteed them lightly in a little olive oil and garlic. And I had them fresh on salad, a very mild pea flavor. I’ll eat or order them anytime I can, refreshing greenness. Yummy!

10. Finger Limes
These are wonderful! I adore citrus. I’ve been trying to get my hands on them for ages, finally one of my friends found them at a farmer’s market. The insides are like lime caviar. I can’t wait for more to hit the markets so I can experiment with recipes.

11. Apfelschorle & Liverwurst

Two for one in Germany, as I don’t thin Apfelschorle can really be counted as a new food. It’s all processed. But it was yummy, and nice mix of apple juice and spritzer much less sugary than we would get in the US. Liverwurst is like patte, so, of course, I loved it.

12. Huge Grapes
These massive grapes turned up this fall, I’d never seen nor heard of them, nor could I find a proper name. The largest ones were ping-pong ball sized., two or three bites for each grape! I adored them, just like a fire grape in flavor and seedless.

I had so much fun with this goal the AB and I have decided to do another similar for 2012. We will be trying a new (healthy hopefully) recipe each month, perhaps more frequently. I shall try to remember to conical them for the accounting this time next year.

For your amusement, the Bugle‘s year end summation, Episode 176, The Best of 2011 (most recent podcast) is fantastic.

I wish you all a wonderful New Years, and here’s hoping for the best out of 2012.

Book News:

Japanese cover art for Blameless.

Quote of the Day:
“He had the proper outlook for a young Victorian officer: the belief that ‘marriage was ruinous to the prospects of a young officer’, a fierce desire for military glory, and the conviction that all English gentlemen were born courageous.”
~ Byron Farwell on Garnet Wolseley


Posted by Gail Carriger

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