On the Whole "100 Foods You Need to Eat" Challenges

I don't know if you all have been following the whole "100 Foods You Should Eat" challenge that has been making the rounds of the food-blog world over the past month, but it doesn't seem to be fading out yet.

The quiz fad started in August, when Andrew Wheeler, British author of the Very Good Taste blog, came up with The Omnivore's Hundred, an eclectic list of 100 foods he thought "every good eater should have tried at least once in their lives." Bloggers around the world posted their scores. Then came the vegetarian 100. The American foods list. The Southern. Etc... (And in an unrelated meme, this list of 100 foods no environmentalist should ever eat, which aimed to be thought provoking but whose sententiousness threw me into a micro-rage, only quenchable with a plastic bottle full of Diet Coke.)

Mostly because Laura Onstot has been whooping my butt at online word games, I decided to give myself an ego-boost by throwing down. All I'll say about the Omnivore's 100 is: What self-respecting San Franciscan would eat clam chowder out of a sourdough bowl? I'm giving myself a free point for that one. (I actually scored better on the 100 Chinese Foods You Should Try.)

Personally, I don't like "Things to Try Before You Die" lists because they downplay the joy of serendipity (I can guarantee you that I never planned to try curry wurst, though I'm glad I did) and are guaranteed to make you feel inadequate -- there's my Moral Moment (TM) for the day. That said, I find these damn things addictive. If you need to spend an entire day rating yourself against someone else's ideal of culinary connoisseurship, here's a Master List of Must-Eat Lists. Perhaps you should write up a blog post in which you bold all the lists you've completed, then tally up your scores to rank yourself against all the other super-competitive foodies.

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