Book review: 100 food experiences to have before you die

To die for

“100 Food experiences to have before you die” by Stephen Downes, is an easy book to read in short bursts as each food experience is only a page or two long (which is perfect for my daily commute on the train). Many of the food experiences described can only be had overseas, so it would be hard to replicate, although you might be wishing you were there. Some of the mini-chapters contain interesting food trivia and tips on cooking the perfect dish.

Stephen’s ‘perfect 10s’ food experiences are:

  1. Murray River pink salt
  2. a home-grown tomato
  3. freshly opened Pacific oysters
  4. proper chocolate
  5. Japanese rice crackers at a Shinkansen Station
  6. minutes old sashimi carved from your own catch
  7. caviar
  8. fresh lychee
  9. raw-milk cheeses
  10. a ripe mango
  11. charcuterie
  12. lady in pink (apple)
  13. raw fugu fish

The stories of each experience are entertaining and humorous. The section on the fourth mango might even make you blush!


Emma’s top food experiences are:

  1. Matt’s bbq on the Weber
  2. Mum’s roast ham with scolloped potatoes and carrots
  3. Fondue with secret sauce
  4. Lamb chops
  5. Lindt dark chocolate
  6. Italian pizza with a thin crust
  7. Tagliatelle with ragu
  8. Piccata al limone (veal with lemon sauce)
  9. Chocolate mousse
  10. Yakitori chicken with perfect steamed rice

Matt’s recommends the following food experiences:

  1. Bacon butty with HP sauce, pot of Yorkshire tea
  2. Fish and chips with mushy peas, Fullers ESB
  3. Italian wood fired oven pizza
  4. Pork goulash with dumplings, Pilsner Urquell
  5. Beef in stout with dumplings, Guinness extra stout
  6. Tagliatelle with ragu, Montepulciano D’abruzzo
  7. Roast lamb, potatoes and Yorkshire pudding, Black Sheep Ale
  8. Knackwurst in beer, Schneider Weisse German Ale
  9. Trifle
  10. Cioppino

What do you recommend? Send your top 5 to the Traveller’s Lunchbox who is compiling all the suggestions.

3 thoughts on “Book review: 100 food experiences to have before you die”

  1. Hi there big M and little m, it’s nice to see another Aussie blog!

    I love this book – great fun to read. You should link to the 5 things to eat before you die meme from the Traveler’s Lunchbox (even tho you’ve listed 10 each!)

  2. I’m still working on mine.
    problem is to narrow it down to ten. I just like food.

    1. Frenched Lamb Cutlets, beans, carrots, mashed potato.
    2. Roast Pork, crackling, roast vegetables (particularly pumpkin), gravy, apple sauce.
    3. Turkey, avocado, brie and cranberry sauce sandwiches.
    4. Baked Ham and scallopped potatoes.
    5. Crumbed lamb chops with mushroom sauce.
    6. Pate and hot toast
    7. Herb omelette
    8. Home-cooked corned silverside with parsley sauce and boiled vegetables.
    9. Lemon and asparagus risotto
    10. Cheese and Maggie Beer’s quince paste

    I can think of lots more but it’s interesting that I have are no sweets among the top 10.

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