1) Is there a food from a foreign land whose reputation led to trepidation when you had a chance to give it a try? Did you find the courage to sample it anyway? If so, were you pleasantly surprised or did you endorse the less than favorable reputation that preceded it?
Haggis certainly fits this category. I've had what I consider good haggis, at least to my palate, and yucky haggis. To me a good haggis is like a spicy meatloaf with a grainier texture.2) What food from your own country/culture gets a bad rap?
Why did I include this question? I was thinking of the poor, maligned haggis at the time, but nothing springs to mind when I consider American food. I think bad raps are well deserved for all the processed food we have here, and I think the Twinkie is overrated, but probably because I prefer chocolate.3) Of what food are you fond that others find distasteful?
It's not the food itself, but the combination: peanut butter and bacon. I grew up eating sandwiches of the same, but whenever I mention it to people I get all sorts of "ewwww!" responses. People, you don't know what you're missing!4) Is there a country’s food, not native to you, that you go out of your way to eat?
In my hometown in Connecticut there is an Afghani restaurant where I love to eat when I'm back visiting family. They have the most amazing, flavored rice, and wonderful seasoned kebabs. I can't get enough. I also visited a Brazilian restaurant in Georgetown years ago while in D.C., and enjoyed an incredible, tangy chicken dish. I've been on a quest to find that chicken ever since in other Brazilian restaurants. So far, no luck.
5) What is your guilty pleasure food?
Mac and Cheese. I've got a great recipe for it that I make when our son is home, but I resist, resist, resist making it at any other time because I know it wouldn't last 24 hours.Bonus: What was your most memorable meal (good or bad), either because of the menu, the occasion, the company, or some other circumstance that makes it stand out?
There are a host of memorable meals that are competing in my mind for mention, but I have to go with one that is a bit distinctive. "Way back" I enjoyed the very best vacation of my life, a Scottish country dance tour to dance in Scottish castles. On our last evening together we dined at Culcreuch Castle, a modest 14th century establishment that now operates as a hotel. We ate a fabulous venison stew, enjoyed excellent wine, and after dinner we moved the dining table to the side of the room and quite literally rolled up the rug in order to dance. We were traveling with a fiddler and pianist, so we had live music. As we danced into the evening the music got more vigorous and we got a bit more vocal with our whooping and enthusiasm. It was our last hurrah, after all. But alas, other guests at the hotel were not enthralled by the volume of our amusement, and some complained to management. We were asked to move our party elsewhere, which led one member of the group to remark: "Well, the next time I get asked to leave a party I'll be able to retort, 'I've been thrown out of better places than this!'"