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1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover’s Life List

Mimi Sheraton

By Jesse Kornbluth
Published: Sep 15, 2015
Category: Food and Wine

The business model of is Amazon. It’s that simple: Commission from sales on Amazon is the site’s only revenue. Which you can increase: Whenever you feel the urge to buy anything on Amazon, come to On the upper left side of the main screen, there’s a “BUY IT FROM AMAZON” button directly under the picture of whatever it is I’m featuring that day. Click on it. Now you’re in Amazon. Look up. In that vast white line, type in whatever you want to buy. Buy it. Want more stuff? Go right ahead: lawn tools, wedding rings, pet food, whatever. Everything you buy during that session gives a commission of 7% to 8%. What doesn’t work: putting your selections in a shopping cart and leaving them for 24 hours. Then gets nothing. Which defeats the point of this exercise, yes? Thank you.
Mimi Sheraton, once the restaurant critic (the first female restaurant critic) of The New York Times, is the ultimate authority on food.

It’s easy to be flip about what she’s created here and call “1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die” a 5-star bucket list for foodies, but it’s more than that.

It’s a book of dreams.

Food history, anecdotes, restaurant recommendations, great food stores, photos, and, yes, some recipes — a one-volume encyclopedia that takes you around the globe without leaving your armchair.

No way can you swallow all 900 pages in an evening. It’s too rich. Forty eight pages on English and Irish food, 74 on France, 92 on Italy, 130 on America. (And then you get into the less popular cuisines.) If you just read those pages, your head would spin. So gulp at your peril. This is a book to sip and savor. [To buy the paperback from Amazon, click here. For the Kindle edition, click here.]

Let me give you an an almost random guided tour — a few dishes and sentences that caught my eye.

Bangers and Mash: Did you know they’re called “bangers” because, after World War I, water was added to sausages to fill out the scarce meat, and, when fried, they burst?

Roast Beef: “Roasted to a turn, the beef turns a silky American Beauty rose-red, trickling juices at once salty, beefy, and with a mellow edge of flavor, while the outer fat becomes bacon-crisp.” Now that is writing.

L’Ami Louis, the great restaurant in Paris: “If you toss your coat on the rack above your table, realize it will exude the faint scent of garlic until its next visit to the dry cleaner.”

Omelettes: “Although the recipes call for a vigorous beating of the eggs, in fact they should be stirred gently and lightly broken up with a fork.”

Affogato: “vanilla ice cream that is ‘suffocated’ in a bath of espresso.”

Castagnaccio: “a cake so spare and simple it used to be served as a first solid food.”

Insalata de Ovoli e Tartufi: a salad made with two ingredients: white truffle and an egg-shaped orange mushroom, topped with grated Parmesan and a sprinkling of lemon juice and olive oil.

Hot dogs mean Katz’s, tuna salad is served on Pepperidge Farm Original White, pigs come in a blanket, and you’d better believe you freeze that Milky Way.