Five things to eat before you die

1. A pound of middling from a smoked whole hog
Grilling is metal bars over fire. Barbecue is smoke. And whole hog barbecue is another thing entirely. A piece of pork, shoulder, ham, or ribs, will take smoke and taste beautiful. A whole hog smokes differently. The skin catches the melting fat so the meat stays juicy while the hog smokes slowly for 20 or more hours. And with a whole hog, you get… a whole hog. If you want ham or tenderloin it’s there. If you want ribs or shoulder or pork chop, it’s there. It takes a special man to put in the 20 or more hours it takes to make this culinary masterpiece. Memphis is the barbecue capital, but west Tennessee has a small group of dedicated pit masters who still go whole hog.

2. A real fried green tomato
Dredged in corn meal, salt and pepper and fried in hot shallow oil – none of that funky flour batter deep-fried stuff or red pepper coulis or any of that. Just a tomato slice with a crisp coating that’s cooled just enough to keep it from burning your tongue too badly.

3. Indian food in London
It sounds so wrong, but it works. Besides, it’s worth the trip to find out.

4. Sassafras tea
It tastes like root beer, but it’s definitely best when made from a freshly peeled sassafras root that you dug up from a tree you found yourself. My grandpa used to fix it for me. We would go find a tree on a walk in the woods and dig to the root, only taking enough for us without hurting the tree. Those were good days.

5. Snow cream
It used to be so good, but it would probably kill you now. I don’t know from global warming, but it used to snow a lot more back when we were kids. When the snow piled up good, we would take a bowl and scoop all but the bottom inch or so. Flat surfaces and drifts were the best. We would take it in the house and add a couple of eggs and some sugar. That was the best ice cream ever. Obviously back then we weren’t thinking about acid rain or salmonella either.

Guide to the Globe

We got the idea to do this from Sam, the queen of nosh. The whole project, The Food Blogger’s Guide to the Globe, was started by Melissa at The Traveler’s Lunchbox. Her inspiration came from a remarkably bland list from a BBC programme. I’ve done 42 of 50 on this list. There is a list created by The Observer that goes just as far in the opposite direction, a list that would be impossible for all but the richest of jetsetters to complete. I’ve done four and two halves of the 50 on this list. Bouchon instead of French Laundry has to count for something. And you might as well give partial credit for a Nathan’s dog in the Atlanta airport on the way to San Francisco while you’re at it.

Now it’s our turn to tag some friends.

Memphis Wine Events
I can’t wait to see what Collin has to say.

See, Sip, Taste, Hear
This is cheating, but I want to hear from La too.

Seriously Good
Kevin is a personal chef from the bumpy part of Tennessee. Hopefully we’ll see a slightly different angle on the south.

Mean Things They Say to Me
Sorta Sister Squirrel doesn’t write a food blog, but we subject her to our cooking. Even better, she is a California girl living in Tennessee now. The introduction to sweet tea alone…

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4 thoughts on “Five things to eat before you die

  • August 30, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    my husband and I worked in a winter homeless shelter that used to close on April first. In May we had pig roasts and treated the homeless population to a picnic. It would be put on coals the evening before and we sat up with it all night. Volunteers and people in the neighborhood brought side dishes. It was really wonderful. Today the shelter is open year round and the neighborhood has gentrified into one of the highest priced areas here. Pig roasts rule…it’s sooo good.

  • August 31, 2006 at 7:39 pm

    I can relate to the indian food in london only too well. unfortunately i haven’t had the pleasure of relating to any of your other suggestions… at least not yet…

  • August 31, 2006 at 9:05 pm

    Indian Food In BIRMINGHAM. Much better than London, but then who in the heck really travels there!

    I love your list, its so SO SOOOO perfect.

  • September 1, 2006 at 3:23 am

    Great list!!!
    The sassafras tea sounds awesome.
    Ours will be up soon.

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