episode 54 :: truth or dare

Considering the many new flavors and bites I’ve opened myself up to recently, I had to stop and think of how many things in my life I may have missed by simply forming preconceived opinions on them. How cheated have I been all of my life? More to the point, how cheated have you been?

In this episode, I explore the notion of accepting every single challenge that’s brought upon us – either by a friend, or by yourself. How challenging are you? Will you be able to say, at the end of your life as a foodie, that you have tasted all of the foods you have ever pondered? It never has to be a dare, but without some form of a challenge – whether by a friend, or by your own will – you may never discover the truth behind the food that surrounds us each and every day.

Bobby Bognar, host of The History Channel’s Food Tech, visits the show to answer listener questions, and proves (among other things) that he’s never one to back down from a challenge. If you needed a new reason to like this guy, he provides plenty. What a great interview he is.

Listen to episode 54

In this episode:
• Why does Superbowl Sunday have to be such a downgraded food day?
• “Mischief” from The Bruery
• Recapping the Durian Challenge, and why we all need to explore food
• Bourdain schooled by a 10 year old – WTF?
• Bobby Bognar from Food Tech visits
• Top Chef Masters Season 2 debuts April 7th on Bravo. Go Chef Ludo!
• The McItaly Burger – Goodbye, Slow Food!

Music in this episode from Nickelback. Download the song from the iTunes Store – or better yet, from their web site.

Join the Food Tech Facebook Group, and tell The History Channel why they need to return Food Tech for a second season. Death threats are absolutely unacceptable – so don’t go there, people (you know who you are – Frank & Jeff).

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Durian Challenge

Forget all of the hype surrounding Durian. Sure, it smells horrible, but it tastes great. The fruit tastes more like a creamy, perfumy custard than the comparisons that have been made to runny, strong French cheese.

Don (aka HogDawg from Dude Night) visited Jakarta recently and emailed me that he’d eaten it from a street vendor, thereby throwing down the gauntlet. He brought an entire fresh fruit to my house and we ate it – outside of course. My wife will tolerate quite a bit, but she has her limits.

Although the smell of this fruit is really bad – not unlike rotting garbage, eating it really wasn’t much of a challenge. It had a flavor that, to me, was almost indescribable. Very unique, sweet, with an almost floral flavor. I enjoyed this very much, and would definitely eat it again.

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episode 53 :: take the pain

Not a single bead of sweat managed to trickle down my face, instead pooling high atop my head. My ears were ringing. I had surges of tingling pain that came in waves maybe 45 seconds apart. For as delicious as the food was, the heat was unmistakable. But none of this mattered, because it truly didn’t hit me until I stood up.  It was then that I knew I was in trouble.

In this episode, I share the story of the hottest meal I have ever eaten. My years of idolizing the Habanero pepper as the king of “Hell on Earth” are now over. From here on out, it’s all about the Bhut Jolokia (aka Ghost Pepper). And I doubt there will ever be a Thai restaurant that will manage to match the flavors and perfection that Chef Tui at Jitlada Restaurant brought to the table for us.

Things are much different now.

Listen to episode 53

In this episode:
• Le Merle Saison from North Coast Brewing
Odonata Beer’s first release makes RateBeer’s Top 100
• Burger King and Bud/Miller/Coors finally in bed together
• Eat It Before It Eats You – Shark with drunken caper sauce
• The hottest thing I’ve ever eaten, courtesy of Jitlada in LA
• elBulli closing in 2012
• “The Future of Food” documentary (watch it online)
• Local pride and the food mecca that is California
• Mail Box

Music in this episode from Sick Puppies. Download “You’re Going Down” from the iTunes store or directly from their web site www.sickpuppies.net

Read more about Jitlada at Jo’s blog My Last Bite.

NOTE: So, Jo corrected me on something today. Chef Tui is actually Jazz’s brother. I had no idea. What a brother and sister combo – restaurateur and master chef. Someone clone these Thai genes, stat! Gourmet Magazine even ran a piece on them, some time ago. Proving, yet again, why we need it back.