Ready to challenge your taste buds?

I have to confess that I am one of the fussiest eaters out there! It’s true! You may well think that a fortysomething-year-old professional woman who’s a wife and mum might be a bit more grown-up about trying new foods but I am shockingly bad. So, it seemed rather apt for one of my ’50 things to do before I turn 50′ challenges on my bucket list to be trying 50 new foods that either I’d never eaten or I hadn’t tried since I was a very young child.

Over the last year, I’ve been listing new foods or drinks. You may look at the list and think “Really? You mean you’ve never eaten that?. How old are you?!” It is actually a little bit embarrassing but, warts and all, here’s what I’ve tried…..

Fruit and vegetables:

melon, kiwi, pineapple, mango, coconut juice, broccoli, beetroot, water melon, cherry tomatoes, Mexican green chilies, sweet potato, Borettane onions, butternut squash, olives, kohlrabi, leek, celeriac, bubble and squeak, pumpkin

Meat and fish:

calamari, Parma ham, coppa, Napoli salami, beef bourguignon, king prawns, haggis


falafel, koftas, sourdough bread, chocolate pizza, salted caramel, coleslaw, Brazil nuts, chutney, tiger bread, potato dauphinoise, Hollandaise sauce, elderflower, pickled egg, Quorn chicken, Pimms, mulled wine, quinoa, chickpeas, deep fried Mars bar, sweet potato fries, black truffle vichyssoise, morels, gnocchi, confit legs croquette

During this time, I’ve been lucky to try out some fabulous restaurants including the Duck and Waffle in London (which is open 24/7 and gives incredible views over the city), The Rock Bank Restaurant at the Chelsea Flower Show and the Treehouse Restaurant in Alnwick, Northumberland. But I think the most fun place was the Rollercoaster Restaurant at Alton Towers where your food gets delivered by…… rollercoaster!

Looking ahead, I’ve got three places still on my bucket list to eat at, two of which have been on there for well over a year. The first one is No Man’s Fort off the shore at Portsmouth where a boat takes you over to a 19th century sea fort to enjoy a sumptuous meal. In fact, you can also stay there but I’m more than happy with just the meal. The other long-standing bucket list restaurant is Dans le Noir in London where you eat in the dark! Yes, you find out afterwards what you’ve eaten but there are various categories/menus to choose from including vegetarian. The idea is that you focus on the taste alone rather than prejudge how something might be based on its appearance.

The latest addition to my bucket list is the most amazing experience coming to London this summer: Mamma Mia the Party! It’s at the O2 arena which is converted into the most enormous Greek taverna and you end up in the middle of a show being performed all around you whilst eating. No doubt there’ll be a chance for a bit of Greek dancing too! You can find a really exciting trailer for it here and there are still tickets available.

What have I taken away from this challenge? It turns out that nothing bad happens if you try to excite your taste buds and sample something a little bit beyond the comfort zone! So, time to become a bit more adult, create new culinary experiences and not just click on ‘favourites’ when ordering food for the weekly home delivery. On that note…….lunch time!

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