Weekly Challenge #3

The third weekly fall challenge is to eat something you’ve never tried before. For example…

Try a completely new food: Drink coconut milk right from a coconut. Knock back a shot of wheat grass. Order tripe!

Or put a spin on your favorite food. Avocado toast. Avocado with goat cheese. Avocado vinaigrette. Avocado pasta. Avocado salad. Avocado popsicles.

Or do a weird pairing: Potato chips on tuna sandwiches. Dark chocolate with Parmesan cheese. The New York Times just recommended peanut butter and pickles!

Thoughts? We can report back here next Thursday, and in the meantime, bon appetit!

(Graphic design elements by Rachel for Cup of Jo)

  1. Last week I went to dinner with my husband and his beloved business associate, Yukisan. Yukisan is an older gentleman from Japan and he ordered our entire dinner. Sección Amarilla

  2. Why doesn’t anyone wanna try Durian? Its awesome!

  3. As a brazilian chick living in Rio, it’s funny how something so familiar to me as drinking from a coconut can actually be different and exciting for you guys in America. I do it almost everyday on my way home from work! So I guess I’ll try that dark chocolate with Parmesan cheese pairing.

    Loving your fall (spring here) challenges!

  4. I totally participated! This weekend I tried chicken hearts! It was at a Halloween party, so it was supposed to be spooky and creepy, but I gave em a go! They reminded me a bit too much of the human hearts I’ve handled (I used to be in medical school), so I don’t think I’ll be going there again, but I’m glad I tried!

  5. Last week I went to dinner with my husband and his beloved business associate, Yukisan. Yukisan is an older gentleman from Japan and he ordered our entire dinner. I’m an adventurous eater and easy to please, so it was a exciting to experience sushi more authentically.

    We tried sea urchin, a delicacy in Japan. Never before, in my entire life, have I eaten anything like sea urchin. It had a pretty brown color and was wrapped into a little sushi present. One bite and I was in for a ride. My entire body became part of the experience. It didn’t taste bad, it didn’t taste good. It was a bit like swimming in the depths of the ocean, and then the strangest thought came into my mind.. the texture was bizarre… I thought… maybe this texture is what cunnilingus feels like on the giving end – I couldn’t believe all this was happening from a bite of food. A bite of food that I had to experience in front of a respectable Japanese businessman that I had just met. I’m pretty sure I won’t try it again, but it was something I’ll never forget. Sea urchin. Wow.

  6. I think you’ll find this funny, but after spending 2 weeks in California; there were actually a couple of foods I tried that I had never eaten before: mac n’ cheese; avocado & cheese sandwich; new york steak; crispy noodles; pancakes with maple syrup; BJ’s burgers.
    Being from Europe, these are meals we simply don’t eat, even though they’re the most regular on american family tables.
    The funny twist is, I eat regularly (on a weekly basis) codfish salad; blood sausage with rice and apples; chicken soup with liver and heart; rabbit rice; grilled boar; seafood bread purée. Which probably are foods most of your readers never tried. Culture is an amazing thing ;)))

  7. Emily – quince jelly is one of the BEST things on the planet..a total favorite. Order online, or maybe locate at a middle eastern market.

    I’m still a bit stumped on what to try, but I will suggest a Thai dish called Laab Esan. It’s a salad made of dry ground meat with lots of cilantro and spices, served with cucumber salad and sticky rice. I remember the first time I ate it…it was almost like my brain was confused by the flavors, but in the end I loved it!

    Or you could try a few odd food traditions from my youth: sliced green olives and cream cheese on toast; sliced bananas in a bowl covered with OJ (eat like cereal); waffles with cooked bacon inside (place bacon in a X shape, pour batter over); a slice of braunschweiger topped with sauteed spinach and mustard; broiled grapefruit (sugar, broiler…you get it)

  8. Oh, and avocado shakes are good! I used to buy one whenever I had a sore throat.

  9. So many things I would love to try if I weren’t in the middle of pregnancy nausea! But I did buy a quince this week, bc I keep meaning to try quince. Any quince recipe suggestions?

  10. oh, fun! i’m gonna be lazy and try what the NYT suggests. PB+P, and maybe a fluffernutter (PB and marshmallow creme) too since i’ve always wanted to try one. my mom always liked mayo and PB sandwiches! not sure i’m ready for that.

    • Fuffernutter? Yes, try this immediately – on Wonderbread. :)

      Just say no to the PB & Mayo… (shudder)

  11. i do wheatgrass AND fresh coconut water.. oh man, i love both!

  12. Cheese and Chocolate is always delicious! I used to work at this chocolate store called Vosges and they had a truffle made with dark chocolate, walnuts, and taleggio cheese, it was amazing! It’s called the Rooster, if you live in Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles you should definitely go try one!!

  13. Thank you for this! After whining to myself that “there’s nothing to eat in the house!” I challenged myself even more to be creative with the things I already had in my pantry/fridge. With a little thought I discovered there was plenty! ;D I had a much needed relaxing breakfast on my balcony consisting of matza bread, leafy greens, cheese, apple slices and a pot full of World Market’s Maple Pecan Pie coffee:

  14. My latest food obsession, new to me and uk supermarkets, is sea salt chocolate. Can’t get enough of it.

  15. My boyfriend told me this weekend that peanut butter on a hamburger with a pickle on the side is delicious. I don’t quite believe it, but maybe it’s time to give it a try! :)

    • hmmm, now i’m so curious, too! definitely not a light dish, ha!

  16. (your blog is new to me, and I love it)
    After reading this, I tried fresh green beans in a new way, as a vegetarian dinner casserole. It was a fresh food riff on the old Thanksgiving version made from canned mushroom soup and frozen beans. Worked out great!

    • that sounds delicious!

  17. YES! I have a very ripe avocado and I wasn’t sure what to do with it so I’m definitely going to put it on toast now. I’ve also been meaning to try banana and peanut butter on toast!

    Maria xx

  18. So this is embarrassing to admit, but I’ve never tried sushi or calamari or anything particularly fishy — until last night. I had sushi and calamari salad and it was…interesting? I don’t get it, what’s the big thrill. It was all a bit bland. So, I fulfilled the challenge and was left a bit disappointed :(

  19. I love this challenge and already fulfilled it last night!
    cooked them myself and everything
    though I learned I’m not a huge fan, though I’d it again!

  20. fun! I try to eat new things when I can, though I certainly like my tried-and-true favorites. When I was traveling through Spain this summer, my friend and I made sure to order the local specialty in each town so we could really experience their specific culture.

  21. dark chocolate with parmesan cheese?!!!!!! wow!
    tonight i’m trying a new restaurant in Barcelona called Indochine with asian food, it’s said to be very good, so I guess I’m doing well!

  22. You’ve truly challenged me with this one and I thank you for that. I will spend the weekend thinking of how I might accomplish this. I love wine pairings and the dark chocolate and parmesan might be the perfect one for a great cab patiently resting in my cellar. I’ll let you know…thanks!

  23. I love these fall challenges! I am definitely going to try a shot of wheatgrass. Just saw the post on memorizing a poem. What a great idea. Your blog is one I truly enjoy reading every day. I love all the links you share and advice you give. Can’t wait for the next post!

  24. this is a really good idea.
    since “moving” to the UK I have tried lots of things including Haggis (def a funny taste), black pudding on a number of occasions (not something I like too much iron or something), liver (not a fan)my bro in law is a hunter and has loks of things to try, things I love are vension and rabbit.
    If you can get our hands on it. Vegemite and plain chips sandwaich is awesome (thats something from Australia) or vegemite and cheese sandwich.
    But I’ll have to think about something I can have thats different.
    I think a trip into London might be on the cards to find somewhere selling different foods.
    Definately a think need
    Good luck everyone. I hope you enjoy your new tastes

  25. I am teeerrrible at this! Honestly – I always seem to go for the same, safe options just because I am quite a picky eater and am afraid that I’ll dislike something, I might just challenge myself to this too!

  26. I know in the States you have Halloween and Thanksgiving to celebrate first, but here in Australia all the Christmas goodies are already available in store.
    Growing up my (British) Dad said they used to top a slice of dark fruit cake with a slice of cheese- specifically Red Leciester. I have never tried it before and think I might.

    Cannot wait to see everyone’s experiments.

    • Oh I had fruit cake and red leicester at a wedding not long ago. In the words of Peter Kay (comedian) It’s a tast revelation!!! (although he was talking about cheesecake or garlic bread)

  27. What a coincidence: We have a reservation for a local restaurant for tonight, they are offering a South African menu as a special theme today (the owners are South African based here in Gibraltar) – This will be my challenge done, especially if they have managed to get ostrich steak! :)

  28. I recently made spaghetti squash for the first time in my life and I completely and totally LOVED it!

  29. I’m also going to try peanut butter and pickles, because that sounds surprisingly good to me!

  30. I’m going to try Banh Mi, which is something I’ve been eyeing on the menu at my favorite cafe for a while now. I don’t know how I’ve never tried it before! :)

  31. oh i’m definitely in on this one! i love these challenges, the poem now is stuck i my head and it’s so fun!

  32. Try DURIAN, I dare you ;) This awesome and delicious fruit from Asia is my favorite. Many Americans think it smells n tastes like garbage or stinky socks. But give it a try.

    If you live nearby Indonesian restaurant, give it a try. You probably will get addicted to it.
    Highly recommended: Chicken/Beef Satay, Gado-gado (salad with creamy peanut dressing), Chicken/Beef Soto (clear soup with vegetables)

    Gosh talking about Indonesian food makes me miss home even more!


  33. I just tried kimchi and it was delicious! I want to put it on a burger!

    • My boyfriend just started to make kimchi and we have a fridge full- I might have to put some on a burger tonight!

  34. My daughter recently made avocado tortilla soup, so I will try that this week!

  35. I just tried raw milk today and it is fantastic!

    • oh i’ve never tried it! but my friend swears by it. i might try raw milk too:)

  36. peanut butter, white cheddar, agave granola, & banana on a flour tortilla. talk about yum.

  37. i plan on trying a VODKA martini. i may go REALLY crazy and garnish it with little cocktail onions instead of olives. wheeeee !

  38. Some kids I babysit for love PB&J sandwiches with Nacho Cheese Doritos on them. It sounds disgusting but they made me try it one time and it was great! Highly recommended.

  39. Potato chips on tuna fish sandwiches is not a weird pairing. I eat it all the time. Maybe for this challenge, I will cook kale. If I’m going to try something new, it might as well be something healthy!

  40. oh wow! i’m definitely going to try this. i already eat a lot of weird things though, like fruits with salt, or pigs intestines. i also had pork blood noodles in taiwan, and seacucumber. i might try that parmesan and chocolate pairing, two of my favourite things!

  41. I’m just jumping onto your fall time challenge’s “bandwagon” and I love them! I’ll for sure try a new food!

  42. There’s a place in san francisco that has alligator tacos that I’ve been dying to try. Now’s the time!

  43. Ooh trying new foods! Maybe it’s time I finally try lamb, or something that my (very non-vegetarian) boyfriend has suggested.

    I’m guessing that trying a new blend of tea isn’t adventurous enough. I do that all the time!

  44. I’ll have trouble coming up with something … I’ll eat basically anything, and I’m always trying the new produce at the grocery store, just to find out what it is like (also, I get bored easily).

    • Oh it is DELICIOUS! Go find a local Mexican restaurant and order “Menudo”, it’s a spicy soup with beef tripes in it. Delish! Trust me ;)

  45. Great idea :) And to anyone who can stomach a wheat-grass shot! Good on you! :D

  46. I am going to try eating avocado on pizza. I see it all the time here in NY but it does NOT look appetizing. I guess I will give it a whirl :)

    • dc says...

      I make a Mexican pizza with salsa for the sauce, refried beans, smoked Gouda, black olives, onions and roasted green chiles. After its cooked we add sliced avocado. It’s really yummy!

  47. Eating someone new sounds like fun!
    There’s so many yummy things out in the world that I definitely would love to try.
    So many delicious foods, so little time.

    I can’t wait to either try something completely new or some sort of new combination. I must be completely honest though. Peanut butter and pickles? That doesn’t exactly sound like the most delicious combination ever. I could be wrong though. I guess we’ll just have to see!
    Off to go eat something yummy…
    Can I get three cheers for food? :)


  48. I eat tripe all the time cant have that lol but i will try the wheat grass my friend wants to try it anyway. i want baby octopus soup so thats something i will do this weekend!

  49. If anyone wants some unusual food in LA, I found they have fried alligator in Hermosa beach at the cajun place, crickets & scorpions at Typhoon at the SM airport, and if you want to get crazy down in Long Beach in Little Cambodia you can get pork blood porridge, and my friend said they have squid that you eat alive in K-town! I’d try pretty much anything except for worms and balut.

  50. head to an asian supermarket and try durian! :)

  51. dc says...

    I have a new recipe I’m trying, insalata di finocchio con pere e fichi. Doesn’t it sound wonderful? Translated its fennel salad with pears and figs.

  52. I tried llama at a Chicago sushi restaurant recently. Yep, llama…and that was the special for the evening. Kangaroo is a staple on the menu but the waitress recommended the llama. I do not.

    • Next time you go, do try the kangaroo. I’m from Australia and I can highly recommend it.

    • I am also from Australia- Kangaroo meat is supposed to be one of the most nutritional red meats out there- very very little fat.
      I have tried it, it is definitely interesting!

  53. Tuna and potato chips are not a weird combo, that’s my childhood! :)

    • Same here! Slash it’s the only way to go ;)

  54. Yes! These challenges are so creative and fun. Thank you!

  55. ha! Peanut butter & pickles made me giggle: it is my 11 year old nieces favorite sandwich and has been since she was five. My sister is eternally embarrassed when she goes to friends houses’ and requests this as her lunch. Love the NYT’s!

  56. I have actually never had coconut water, even from a package, so I may just try that! So many things to try! :)

    • Fresh is 100x better than the coconut water in the juice box. I find that the water in the package is a bit sour, weirdly.

  57. This is the perfect challenge! I just made a pumpkin rice pudding dessert- something totally new for me, so we’ll see how it goes!

  58. I LOVE PB and pickles! My mom always made us a sandwich and she’d slice a dill for us so it would lay nice and flat. Now, of course, Vlasic makes “sandwich stackers” that are perfect. One of my favorite sandwiches of all time, and my boyfriend won’t even try it! Ha, more for me, I say!
    This week, I may try rabbit. They sell it at my farmer’s market, and I’m sort of curious!

  59. My boyfriend has an obsession for trying strange fruit. You know those bins in the produce sections that have unidentifiable mystery fruits? Yeah, he loves those. Think: rambutan, dragon fruit, durian…

    • Rambutan is good! I ate loads as a child every summer visiting my grandma. She’d prepare a bowl of it when I visit!

    • I love all of those!

    • Oh my! Those are fruits I grew up with. The best durians are those from Malaysia. There are actually tour packages constructed just for eating Malaysian durians.

  60. I love dark chocolate with Parmesan cheese! It is so delicious (and European. ;))

    No idea what I’m going to try yet…but I am loving this challenges. Too much fun!

    • these*

  61. I tried Goji berries… theyre gross!!

  62. There is not one thing you could pair with peanut butter that wouldn’t taste like a party in my mouth. I dare you to try to find something that I wouldn’t try with peanut butter (unless it’s meat because I don’t eat meat, but I bet if someone every forced me to eat meat again I’ll make sure it’s with peanut butter!) Peanut butter is like a best friend, a warm hug, a cozy sweater. It’s just so, so, so, so good. I love it. The end.

    • haha, this comment made me laugh out loud:)

  63. I actually really love this, I often stick to the tried and true, but thanks to you I’ll step outside of the box and try something new!

  64. I tried something new today before I even knew about this challenge! Does that count?! It wasn’t very adventurous – I was out of kale so I put swiss chard in my smoothie instead. Perhaps I will try a new fruit. There are so many exotic fruits at the grocery store that I would have no idea what to do with!

  65. Ooooo this one will be a cinch! My husband and I made a pact this year that we would go to all the little tiny food places that are a bit hidden from the mainstream. So far so good! Lots and lots of interesting plates we’ve had! But it has been oh so much fun!


  66. I’m turning 21 on Tuesday. So I might be inadvertently fulfilling this challenge. Any suggestions for first drinks? I always thought it would be ridiculously romantic to make it champagne.

    • KJ says...

      I definitely think you should make it champagne :) My favorite cheap champagne ($8/bottle) is Barefoot Bubbly with the silver label. Happy 21st!

    • oh you HAVE to have champagne! that’s so romantic! :)

  67. I will NOT eat blood sausage.
    I was once given the advice to buy a fruit or vegetable that I don’t ordinarily buy, or one I don’t know how to prepare, and then go home and look it up and cook and eat it. Good advice. Don’t always stick with tried and true. One of my friends just admitted on Facebook that she has never eaten kale. Kale! Are there seriously people out there who have never eaten kale?

  68. Perfect timing! I’m going to a Cajun restaurant for my friend’s bday tomorrow and I admit – I know nothing about Cajun food!

  69. Someone gave me this challenge early last week. She said instead of having a peanut butter and jelly, i should try having a peanut butter and honey. At first i thought it was strange, but it was really good! Keep the challenges coming! loves the unique food ideas in here!

    • This might be an Australian thing but growing up on cold winter afternoons when I would get home from school, My mum would have a piece of peanut butter and honey toast waiting for my brother and I. The key is for the toast to still be warm. Peanut butter first then honey on top. If you are lucky the heat from the toast makes the honey extra runny so it was always really fun to try and eat it without the honey dripping down your hands. It is just one of those warming, indulgent treats that makes me think- it love was edible- it would be peanut butter and honey.

      Another crazy Australian thing (that I didn’t realise was Australian until I lived in England) is ‘Fairy Bread’. It has no nutritional value at all but you take a piece of bread, butter it and put 100’s & 1000’s (multi-coloured sprinkles used on ice cream) on the bread. It was a staple for kids Birthday parties and school class parties when I was growing up and to this day will be devoured by any group of adults I know.

    • PB and honey is delicious! I have that on-the-go all the time!
      Fairy bread is hilarious! When I visited Australia, I heard about it, but never tried. I’m pretty sure sprinkles makes everything taste better!

  70. LK says...

    This will be an easy and delicious (well, potentially disgusting) challenge! I’m always up for trying new foods! And potato chips on sandwiches are ALWAYS a good idea.

  71. My friend’s cafe serves avocado shakes! I’ve never had one but this gives me an excuse to try one!

  72. If you’ve never had some african dishes, such as aloko (fried plantain) or igname, look for the closest west african restaurant…. you never want for french fries again in your life!

  73. woah, peanut butter and pickles?? Maybe that’s what I will try!

  74. peanut butter & pickles on toasted bread… best ever!

  75. I have a feeling this may be easier for readers than the last challenge :) I’m headed to New Orleans this weekend, so I should have a (yummy) place to give something new a try!

  76. If you haven’t tried it yet, hot chocolate with a teeny sprinkle (just a pinch really) of cayenne pepper! It gives it just a little kick and I honestly can’t go back to regular. It’s a little taste of Mexico! :)

    • I love this idea!

    • Me too! I´m going to try this today

    • Yummy ooh and maybe a sprinkle of sea salt! Doing it this evening!

  77. Yummy! I love food, therefore I love this challenge. Can’t wait to try something new, the tuna sandwich and potato chips together sound amazing!! Also an avocado salad dressing!

  78. I plan on trying liver. It’s one of those things that always repulsed me… but I’ve never actually tried it. A chef I know said it’s one of her very favorite foods. According to her, the trick is serving it on a nice, warm, crusty baguette so you can mask the texture but get the flavor.

    • I’m very open when it comes to food (tripe? tongue? bring it on), but liver is one thing I don’t enjoy and it’s because of the flavor, not the texture. It’s quite iron-y, which pervades through any sauce I’ve had it in. Pate is a bit better b/c there’s other ingredients in there. So maybe stick with pate.

    • Calf not beef. Cook it Ialian style with lots of Oregano, it helps to disquise the liver taste. Add some red wine at the very end and cover for a few seconds. Make sure you get a piece sliced very thin and don’t over cook. I first tried it in my 20’s and now I love it.

    • You could also try chicken liver. Yummy with caramelized onions and a couple of slices of Granny Smith apple thrown into the pan near the end. My mother and grandmother would always make this for us when I was little. So good!

    • Just look up a recipe for New Orlean’s style dirty rice. I probably wouldn’t touch liver with a 10-foot pole, but there’s chicken liver in dirty rice, and since hubby is from NOLA, it’s one of my FAVORITE foods. Just spicy enough! I’ve tried it without the liver, and it just doesn’t have the same taste! You don’t have to go high class to try something new and delicious!

    • Remember to get organic liver. The liver filters – and stores – all the chemicals, toxins and drugs commercial animals are dosed with – so whether it’s chicken liver, calfs or beef, organic is a must.