We’re all familiar with the traditional bucket list: run a marathon, visit the Grand Canyon, etc. But have you ever considered a food bucket list? If not, Spoon is here to get you started with this list of life-changing ingredients you need to experience before you kick that proverbial bucket.
WARNING: Some of these little-known foods may not be available at your local grocery store. However, you can special order most of them online.
Salt is a naturally occurring crystal found in the ocean and in rocks. Strange as it sounds, sprinkling small pieces of this common mineral in or on food can enhance and improve flavors exponentially. Go ahead, put crystals on your food, we encourage it.
To those familiar with it, this silky, rich dessert is perfection and can be used in almost anything. Made from cacao beans found in the jungle regions you can’t locate on a map, chocolate is made through an intricate process of grinding and roasting the beans before combining them with ingredients like milk and sugar. The final product is often molded into bars, but can occasionally be found in bite sized pieces.
3. Peanut butter
While peanuts are technically a legume, they are often treated like nuts. Most prevalent in American cuisine, peanut butter is made by grinding up peanuts with salt, oil, and sometimes sugar or honey until the mixture creates a spreadable paste. The paste can be added liberally to sandwiches and desserts, and is said to compliment the flavors in chocolate (see #2) beautifully.
Everyone is familiar with wheat, but recent innovations in molecular gastronomy have taken things to the next level. This all begins with a delicate process where wheat is ground up with water, eggs, oil, salt, and a living organism called yeast. The resulting product (called dough) uses the yeast to rise (get big and puffy). The dough is then baked in the oven until it becomes fluffy and develops a golden brown crust. We’re starting to see this new food trend appear as a sort of amuse-bouche at all the hottest restaurants in Chicago.
It’s hard to imagine improving on the universally popular childhood favorite, grape juice, but we’re here to show you the future. A cutting edge process called fermentation turn grapes into an exciting beverage with large amounts of ethanol to temporarily inhibit your cognitive functions (like walking straight and talking good). Unlike grape juice, however, wine typically has a bitter aftertaste, along with a myriad of other flavors ranging from floral to earthy that you can pretend to recognize and appreciate.
Oh, and one last thing: Spoon wishes you the happiest of April Fools Days.