Bison burger

image

One thing I wanted to try in America was bison or buffalo. You see them roam the great plains of the country in epic movies such as Dancing with Wolves. At a burger restaurant in New York I chose a bison burger. The server said the meat is leaner than beef, so have it cooked a little less than you’d normally like. I asked for medium rare.

The burger patty was huge and definitely home made. To my surprise it was cooked all the way through, but I was hungry so I dug in anyway. It was definitely on the dry side, but not overly so. Taste wise I didn’t think it differed much from beef. Had I not known what it was I would have probably said it was beef.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 7

Advertisements

Dill pickle chips

image

I’ve been traveling again lately as you can probably tell from my recent posts about Korea. Today I find myself in New York, the perfect place to try some American snacks. I arrived at my hotel just before midnight. Too late really to go out for dinner, so I just went to he nearest convenience store to pick up a sandwich and a bag of chips.

The chips of choice were dill pickle, and I can tell you they were a-ma-zing. They were briny and acidic and tasted just like actual pickles. The flavor was there with each handful, not only in the beginning. Adding to that were the chips themselves. They were super crunchy and ribbed for extra pleasure. These might just be the best chips I’ve ever had.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 10

Scrapple

image

While visiting the States the past week I was particularly interested in trying out traditional local foods. In New York I tried some bagels, cheesecake and deli sandwiches. In Philadelphia you might think I’d order a cheesesteak, but instead I tried some Pennsylvania Dutch food, including scrapple.

Scrapple is one of those dishes invented for using up every last scrap, hence the name, of the animal like head cheese. Offal, the head and other bits and pieces of a pig are boiled until the broth and meat become one big mush, which is then left to congeal. It’s then often sliced, crumbed and fried, usually for breakfast.

It was indeed breakfast time when I tried this dish. My blogger friend Paul took, who lives near Philadelphia, took me to Pennsylvania Dutch diner, but he wouldn’t touch any scrapple. That made me a little hesitant, but I tried anyway. It wasn’t exceptionally tasty, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It kind of reminded me of a meat croquette that we eat in Holland, made with a ragout that’s then fried as the scrapple was rather soft and mushy on the inside as well. It didn’t have a very strong flavor, but that could be a good thing.

Fear Factor – 5 / Taste Test – 7

Purple potato latte

image

I’m not a big coffee drinker, I only have it on occasion, but this one I could not pass up. In the fridge of the 7-eleven at Seoul airport was a purple potato latte. That completely threw me off my game. That’s not something I ever dream of finding anywhere.

You can imagine I was, to put it mildly, a little skeptical. Especially when I opened the can and the smell of roasted sweet potato entered my nose. That was the worst part though, as the drink itself didn’t really taste like sweet potato. It was a bit creamier and sweeter than normal, and there wasn’t a heavy coffee flavor, but otherwise it was fine.

Fear Factor – 4 / Taste Test – 6

Tteokbokki snack

image

I often eat Korean food, as it’s tasty, healthy and readily available in China. On of my favorite Korean dishes is tteokbokki, rice cakes and a sticky spicy sauce. I had heard about a tteokbokki snack available in supermarkets, and managed to track it down at the airport.

In shape, size and color the snacks pretty much looked like the real deal. They were also super crunchy, making for great snacking. However, they didn’t taste anything like the original. They are supposed to be rather spicy, but instead they tasted pretty sweet. It has all the makings of a great snack. They just need to change their flavoring.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 6

Cola chips

image

I have eaten some pretty wild flavors of potato chips over the past couple of months, but this one is up there with the stranger ones. I saw this bag of cola flavored potato chips, hailing from Korea, in a convenience store next to my hotel in Xian, and was instantly drawn to it. Not only by the flavor combination, but also by the packaging that had made the bag look like a can of cola.

I opened the bag, and I could indeed smell cola. Low and behold these chips actually tasted like what it said on the bag. That sure doesn’t happen every day. If you ate the whole bag. I rephrase, when you eat the whole bag your fingers will be black from all the cola powder. It brought back childhood memories of being allowed to stay up late on weekends with my favorite TV show, a glass of Coke and a bag of chips.

Fear Factor – 1 / Taste Test – 7

Pine bud drink

image

In that same 7-eleven at the airport in Seoul where I bought a Hersheys ice cream cone, I also could not resist this can of pine bud drink. I like the smell of pine, but would I enjoy it as a drink?

It turns out I do. It tastes very much like one of those minty eucalyptus sweets, but without the sharpness and strength. You know how things can taste certain smells? That was definitely the case here, but in a good way. It was still sweet and sugary enough to be classified as a soda pop I reckon.

Fear Factor – 2 / Taste Test – 8

Chocolate covered shrimp crackers

image

I knew there was some pretty strange stuff out there in Korea. I’d been there before on a trip. When I had a layover in Seoul, a mad dash for a grocery store began. Not only because I was keeping my eyes peeled for something unusual to eat, but also because no other store seemed to sell drinks of any kind. It was just designer label after designer label, and duty free after duty free.

I did track down the only convenience store on site, and got my precious Coke Zero. I was browsing the snack isles when I saw a bag of chocolate covered shrimp crackers. Despite my dislike shrimps, I actually do like shrimp crackers, but still chocolate covered ones. That was taking it one step too far.

Apparently not. It worked. It actually worked. It was mainly a chocolate covered crunchy thing with a slight savory note. In essence the same as a chocolate covered pretzel. Yes, there was a hint of fishiness, but that was hardly noticeable.

Fear Factor – 7 / Taste Test – 8

 

Hershey’s ice cream cone

image.jpg

As a kid my ice cream of choice would always be a Cornetto. You know, that waffle cone filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate. Later on there would be a whole range of different flavored Cornettoes and Cornetto wannabes, but nothing beats the original if you ask me.

On a recent layover in Seoul, Korea I visited the airport 7-eleven to stock up on drinks and snacks for my long flight ahead. I picked up a Hersheys ice cream cone, reminiscent of said Cornetto. Instead of vanilla, it was filled with a rich, gooey chocolate ice cream and topped with cookie crumbles. Now I don’t hold Hersheys in the highest regards when it comes to chocolate, but they sure make a mean ice cream cone.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 8

 

Guava Juice

 

I don’t think I’ve ever eaten guava before, though I might have inadvertently had some in a tropical fruit salad. I guess that’s a future blog entry in the making. I have, however just finished a big can of guava juice from the import section of the supermarket.

For some reason I was expecting it to be sour, but it definitely wasn’t that. If anything it was sweet, but I had this odd feeling of picking up some meatiness. I know that might sound odd, but I have the same feelings about papaya. Therefore I’m going to make the assumption that a guava is similar to papaya. I guess I’ll have to try the actual fruit in order to find out. To be continued.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 6