Culinary Adventures, Our Growing Edge
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Foods You Need to Add to Your Bucket List to Try Before You Die

I’m delighted to have guest blogger Bridget Sandorford from write about her own foodie bucket list. An adventurous, well traveled foodie, Bridget is a freelance food and culinary writer and has been researching sommelier training. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook. 

Foods you need to add to your bucket list to try before you die

Life is boring when you eat the same foods day in and day out. Too many salads are not good for the soul. You need variety in your life and on your plate! Not only will branching out and trying new foods help you to find new favorites, but it will also give you great stories along the way (even – and  maybe especially if – you try out foods that you hate).

My husband and I make it a point to try new foods to add fun, excitement and variety to our lives. Even when we find foods that make us turn our noses up in disgust, we’re glad we tried them – and we usually get a good story out of it. Just like you would create a bucket list of things you’d like to do before you die, we decided a few years ago to make a bucket list of foods we wanted to try before we die. Here are a few of our suggestions to get you started with your own food bucket list:


The United States has many different varieties of barbecue, which vary by region. The barbecue you try in West Virginia won’t be the same as the barbecue you try in North Carolina. My husband and I live in North Carolina, so we have front row seats to the invisible Barbecue Wars that take place in the south.

Grilled steak. Source: RGB Stock

Grilled steak. Source: RGB Stock

If you don’t know the difference between the different types of barbecue, you should – and that’s why you should add trying all the different varieties of U.S. barbecue to your bucket list. Ours is a house divided: I love the Eastern-style barbecue (which is vinegar-based) while he loves the Western style (tomato-based).


Warning: this video is not for the faint hearted, squeamish or vegetarian.

When I went to teach English in South Korean for a year, this was one of the things I looked forward to most. Sannakji is a Korean delicacy, which consists of raw or live octopus that has been cut into very small pieces and served up with sesame oil. The octopus is still squirming on the plate when you eat it. We tried it, and the best comparison is to squid. Even if you don’t like it, it will be a story you are sure to tell friends and family for years to come!

Be careful when you eat it though: There is a choking hazard since the suction cups on the tentacles are still active. We made it out alive, fortunately!

Source: Wiki Commons

A plate of sannakji. Source: Wiki Commons


The French are famous for enjoying this delicacy, which is snails cooked in butter, chicken stock or wine. They are land snails, and they are served in their shells. They are often served as an appetizer, and they may be seasoned with thyme, parsley and other flavorings.

Those who enjoy escargot describe its taste similar to clams or – surprise! – chicken. We tried out this dish hesitantly on a vacation to France, and while my husband loved it, I couldn’t stand the slimy texture. But at least I can say that I ate escargot in France!


This smelly fruit is indigenous to southeast Asia, but you can find it at health-food stores and Asian marketplaces. Durian has an overwhelming odor that some find to be revolting (this blogger included), but many are able to get past its strong scent to enjoy its delicious fruit.

I was able to try durian at a raw-foods meetup when someone brought it as a side dish. The smell was overwhelming, but the taste was relatively mild, almost like apple. Others compare it to almonds. You can eat the fruit itself or add it to dishes as a sweet or savory addition.

Sussex Pond Pudding

This British treat bakes a whole lemon with butter and sugar inside a pastry shell. Well, actually, the dish is boiled or steamed over the course of several hours. The result is a decadent treat that is sure to blow the lid off your carbs for the day.

We haven’t been able to visit the British Isles, but we did get to enjoy this treat at a local restaurant that specializes in British fare. It is an amazing dessert that is sinfully indulgent – definitely one to make life worth living!

Bucket List

There is a whole world of additional foods you can add to your food bucket list, or you can create a list that’s focused on experiences, like this one. Either way, you’ll be sure to try some exciting and delicious new cuisine — and have a few good stories to tell along the way.

What are some of the foods on your bucket list? Tell us about them in the comments!


  1. Food bucket list..what a great idea. I should come up with my own list soon. I have eaten escargot and durian and I find the latter more challenging because there is little you can do to mask the odour.

    • It’s true, but the fans of durian seem to be fiercely loyal. I’m sure there are specific genes that change and develop that allow or cause us to enjoy certain foods.

    • I’m 3 out of 5 too. I could do pieces of still moving octopus, but did you watch that video? I couldn’t do the whole octopus. What if it bites you while you are biting it? Gruesome.

  2. What an interesting bucket list! I doubt I can try the durian, and then there’s the live octopus? This is truly a challenging list (escargot in garlic butter is one if my fav’s).

      • We make escargot at home a lot in the winter; you just need a can of them, a good pat of unsalted butter, lots of garlic, a splash of white wine and some good thick crusty bread. In a small cast iron frying pan, melt the butter, add the finely chopped garlic, sauté until you smell it, add the wine and the escargot and put it into a preheated oven for 5-10 minutes until the escargots are hot. Serve in the frying pan sprinkled with finely chopped parsley and lemon wedges. Slice the bread into bruschetta-size slices, dip into the garlic butter, scoop out an escargot, squeeze a bit of lemon on it and enjoy!
        You can than me later ;)!

  3. Oh my gosh I am so afraid of slugs/snails and the idea of eating them makes me cringe. I love this idea though, I gotta think of my bucket list for food!

    • I can’t decide if it is worth the risk. Even though the risk is tiny, fugu doesn’t seem tasty enough. Now, if it were delicious like salmon, I might risk my life.

  4. I loved the octopus when I was in Korea, and I also had fugu there. It’s a very delicate white fish, and while it wasn’t particularly taste-y – we felt a bit of tingling and that was fun (no idea if that was just our imagination though!)

      • I would say it’s most similar to the translucent white-grey (as opposed to creamy like swordfish) flesh on seabream (also known as tai) – it’s firm, basically odorless (and doesn’t have much of a fishy taste, probably because it’s usually served up very fresh)

  5. The things that you WANT to eat intrigue me. Obviously as a veggiesaurus they aren’t on my list but I would love to watch you enjoy them 😛

  6. I really don’t know about durian as a bucket list food hahaha! I’m fairly certain either french fries or hash browns should’ve taken its spot!

  7. This is such a great event 🙂 I tried really hard to get it posted before May. I was posting at 11:45 but my browser wouldn’t open the link 😦 I have posted for May and am so excited to see what you do!

I love your comments! Your comments are like extra melted cheese on top.

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