Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In an alternate universe ...

... I am be walking around in the streets of Prague

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wearing this ...

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with this in one hand ...

cotton candy ♥
one of these in the other ...

by Natalie Spencer Photography
and this one somewhere by my side.

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In an alternative universe, I am dancing to tune of the winds ....

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tough Love

My father sent this forward to me today and it has been bugging me ever since. 

Written by Charles J. Sykes
Published in San Diego Union Tribune

Unfortunately, there are some things that children should be learning in school, but don't. Not all of them have to do with academics. As a modest back-to-school offering, here are some basic rules that may not have found their way into the standard curriculum.

1. Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teenager uses the phrase, "It's not fair" 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids.

2. The real world won't care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does. It'll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain it's not fair.

 3. Sorry, you won't make $40,000 a year right out of high school. And you won't be a vice president or have a car phone either. You may even have towear a uniform that doesn't have a Gap label.

 4. If you think your teacher is tough, wait 'til you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he's not going to ask you how you feel about it.

 5. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word of burger flipping. They called it opportunity. They weren't embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around talking about Kurt Cobain or Britney Spears all weekend.

 6. It's not your parents' fault. If you screw up, you are responsible. This is the flip side of "It's my life," and "You're not the boss of me," and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you turn 18, it's on your dime. Don't whine about it, or you'll sound like a kid.

 7. Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning up your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. And by the way, before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your bedroom.

 8. Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn't. In some schools, they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. Failing grades have been abolished and class valedictorians scrapped, lest anyone's feelings be hurt. Effort is as important as results. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

 9. Life is not divided into semesters, and you don't get summers off. Not even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For eight hours. And you don't get a new life every 10 weeks. It just goes on and on. While we're at it, very few jobs are interested in fostering your self-expression or helping you find yourself. Fewer still lead to self-realization.

10. Television is not real life. Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems will not all be solved in 30 minutes, minus time for commercials. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs. Your friends will not be as perky or pliable as Jennifer Aniston.

11. Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.

12. Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you're out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That's what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for "expressing yourself" with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.

 13. You are not immortal. If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven't seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.

14. Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school's a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you'll realize how wonderful it is to be a kid. Maybe you should start now.

I hate how true this is! I hate it. It totally burst my bubble today! 

"While we're at it, very few jobs are interested in fostering your self-expression or helping you find yourself. Fewer still lead to self-realization."

Are you kidding me? I am so sad to hear someone else telling me that it's NOT all about finding myself. My father has lied to me my whole life then! (It's ironic that he sent me this forward!) 

I hate this piece of text. I hate Charles Sykes, whoever he is. It's so sad because somewhere within, as much as I hate to admit it, I know that all this is true. I hate that I know this is all true!!! Is this what growing up feels like?


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Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Lush Bath and Body Works Shop to Cliniqually avoid Bed Head and other such nonsense

Since my post on my make-up rituals was so well received, I thought I would do a follow-up post on my entire "beauty" regime. So here's what you missed on Glee.

Oops. Wrong forum.

So here are the things I use.

1.TIGI Bed Head Foxy Curls Conditioner: I don't know if it foxifies my curls, but it does smell great! (Here's a message from my hairdresser: USE CONDITIONER!!!!!ALWAYS!!!!!)

2. Kerastase Specifique Shampoo: My other hairdresser made me buy this, promising me that in exchange for the money that I handed over to her (which was a lot), she would give me something that would halt my seemingly inevitable progress towards being bald. I'll tell you if it works in a few years.

3. Clinique Pore Minimizer: This is something that I should be using, but I never do. I am hoping that one day all my pores will just open up completely and join so that I end up with a thinner face. Does that make sense?

4. Avene Soap-free Gel Cleanser: This is awesome! I don't break out half as much now. (Break dance. Don't break out! Can you believe I said that? Me neither.)

5.Kumkumadi Thailam: Any glow that you saw on my face on my wedding day was because of this innocuous little thing. Well, this and the diamond facials that I did. But this is oil with saffron infused in it and it truly is excellent for your skin. It is also bloody expensive. So if you can get your hands on it, don't let go. Apply it on your face for half an hour and wash it off. If you ever come to Kerala (or to India) go to Kottackal Arya Vaidyasala and you'll get this stuff. Shhh. This is my biggest beauty secret.

6. The Body Shop Blueberry Body Butter: How can you go wrong with something that is so named. I love all of their Body Butters. Strawberry and Cocoa Butter both make me go wild and I start eating up my own arm; so I stay away from them. Blueberry is safer. I wanna be embalmed in this stuff when I die. It is that good!

7. This is not what it seems.Inside this container is T'eo the dry deo from LUSH. I love this brand. They look good, so they make me look good. There I said it. T'eo's awesome though. Hands down.

8. Bath and Body Works Body Wash in Sweet Pea: I love this thing. Sweet Pea is such an amazing fragrance! I want everyone to call me sweet pea henceforth, understood.

9. The Body Shop Bath and Shower Gel in Almond: I am such a shower gel fiend that I have around twenty different kinds. This and the Coconut Cream one are my favorites from Body Shop. Sometimes, I mix them both up and go totally wild!

One last thing.

I use these bath gloves and they completely changed by life. They are like an extra pair of hands. I'll never use a loofah again, I think.


And.... I'm done. Now it's your turn to tell me your secrets. Spill. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Perfect foods

God crafted these things with his own hands; try as you may, they cannot be improved on. And while 100 things that you must eat before you die lists are socially and culturally of great significance, I truly believe that you haven't lived if you have not eaten these foods at least once. 

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They are

1. Mangosteen
2. Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake or an equivalent with equal amounts of Butter and Cream.
3. Bacon
4. Nutella
5. Alphonso Mango with Cream
6. Condensed Milk
7. Mashed Potatoes with Butter, Salt, and Pepper
8. Liqueur Chocolates (Anthon Berg, anyone?)
9. Hollandaise Sauce
10. Buttercream   

I am dying of gluttonous feelings here! Care to join me with a list of your own?

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Beauty and the beast

If anyone that I know in real life reads this post, they will laugh at me because I am not the wake up and put on my make up kinda gal. Technically, I'm the kinda person who would have no right to talk about make up. But I gotta tell ya... I've been making all kinds of efforts these days to brush my hair and be more... um... lets say, conscientious about the way I look and this is what I do for that. :)

1. L'Oreal Infallible Le Rouge in Bordeaux Bold: This. Is. Foxy. It makes me more than who I am on my own.

2. M.A.C. Technakohl Liner in Graphblack: I use this every day. EVERY day. Except when I am pretending to be sick. Because when I want to look sick, all I need to do is not wear this. This is my secret weapon. 

3. M.A.C. Studio Fix Powder + Foundation: Love this thing. Changed my life. No shine for 3 whole hours these days! 'Nuff said.

4. M.A.C Prep + Prime Face Protect: Of all the things in this list, this is probably what I would recommend the most. I use it in place of sunscreen and before I apply foundation and somehow, my face just looks instantly clearer and more toned. Primer is seriously underrated.

5. L'Oreal Resist and Shine Titanium Nail Polish in Scarlet Red: I don't know how we all lived without red nail polish in that weird period between 2000 and 2005.

6. M.A.C. Tinted Lip Conditioner in Petting Pink: Looks good, tastes even better. It unchaps my super chapped lips like none other. {Coconut oil comes a close second for this purpose.}

7. Yves Saint Laurent's Young Sexy Lovely: This parfum is what helps me day after day, unquestioningly and unconditionally, on my my journey to becoming more young, sexy, and lovely. I am fighting all odds, including time and nature. Watch my journey, live, on your local sports channel.

8. Maybelline Moisture Extreme in Chocolate Delight: Seriously. I love this color. The lipstick lasts for like 10 minutes and it smells like old feet now because I bought it ages ago, but this lipstick shade is my favorite eva!

9. The Body Shop Super Volume Mascara" For va-voom volume," they would say, and its kinda true.

Now this is what these products actually look like. Look at the pink on seven. Blush!

I gotta tell you, I am writing this post simply because this is a peek into my life; I think it's fun to know the things that other people do.Voyeuristic pleasure is the fifth best of all the different kinds of pleasure, if you ask me.

Now tell me... what goes in your house? ;)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Life or something like it

Can I puh-lease tell you about this new found learning that I've got that has blown my mind, metaphorically of course. This insight has changed how I see the world in entirety, and particularly, how I look at men. This is what happened.

Recently, Thom turned to me ingenuously and asked me, "Babe, we got married on the 30th of August, right?" My initial reaction was sheer bewilderment; 6 months after getting married, how could he mistake our wedding date for another!!! {We got married on the 31st, btw.}A myriad emotions flitted through me in quick succession—amusement, fear, rage, curiosity, and deep, dark sorrow, to name a few... How typical, I thought, and I made fun of him about it, resentfully and unresentfully. This had happened a thousand times before. He does not remember a single other important date other than my birthday (and that too, he forgets the year), which he would never forget because I talk about it endlessly. Figures that he would forget our anniversary—that was the only date left untainted by his forgetting.

Well, it was only today that something stupefying struck me. He had not forgotten my wedding anniversary or even our wedding anniversary. He had forgotten his own. "Selfishness" or "self-obsession" or "insensitivity" or "not caring" or "being irresponsible" was not the reason. This whole thing, in fact, had nothing to do with me. He forgot a significant event in his life, which means a) that dates are not important to him in any way, or b) he is super forgetful. Neither has nothing to do with how he feels about me or how responsible he is as a boyfriend. 

I do not know if I have explained this well enough here, but this revelation has possibly freed me from a lifetime of anger, bitterness, and tears over forgotten anniversaries and missed birthdays. I am not saying that these are not important. Signifcants days in my life mean that world to me. And I really believe that the more excuses there are to celebrate, the better it is. But maybe I will never play games about dates or test Thom about this. Maybe. Let's see what else he remembers and forgets. ;)

Photograph *** by Sergey Ivanov (Seriv) on 500px


In her quintessentially sweet and non-assuming way, Tani wrote this on her blog. It was a vital piece of education that her mother had passed on to her, and she, unwittingly, to me. "And that if you absolutely must say something negative about someone then make sure to say, 'bless her heart' afterwards." Isn't it strange and wonderful how certain things that people say stay with you... they stay with you and become an organic part of you and pretty soon, you begin to teach other people the same lesson. 

A simple act of blessing someone is such a powerful thing, and something we often do. But this piece of advice is so much more than that. In a way, it is like salve on a wound—blessing someone who has spited you, blessing someone who you just spoke badly about.

I told 3 people yesterday what Tani's mother told her. I don't know whether it made a difference to anybody, but I'm not gonna stop telling people this. The thing about advice is that while its always free, sometimes it is invaluable.  

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Do, doing, done

You need to do these now. I need to do these now. The whole courtroom needs to do these now. 

1.To begin with, Chevron stripes have my heart. These prints, made with potatoes and paint, are the stuff awesome is made of.

You start with this...

And you end up with this...

Go to Strawberry Chic for more and more and more.

2. Molly Jacques has found what I am looking fora dream job, in her own words. Plus she is super pwetty. Plus she has red lipstick.{She basically has everything I want from life!}You go girl, MJ! ;)

And she does amazingly beautiful illustrations and calligraphy. 

There are a lot of things that she teaches you about on her gorgeous blog. This is one of them and it is stunning.

Is it chalk? Is it not? Who could tell!

Well, Molly will tell you that it is made in Photoshop and then she proceeds to teach you how to do it.

And it is easy as pie!

3. How crazy cute are these spoons and forks!

Imagine them hanging from your kitchen shelves. Imagine yourself ladling out French onion soup with them. Imagine throwing them up in the air and catching them. Imagine giving someone a massage with them. Ok, maybe it's time to stop imagining now, but you get my point: you can do anything with these spoons and forks.Or you can make them and give them to me. This is how you make them.

4. Yarn + Bottle + Glue =

5. Eggs are awesome to begin with. Painted eggs are even better. Look at these...

Now, painted eggs with messages inside them... that's what I want.

egg note
Taye Diggs, now's your time. What do you wanna say to me?

6. This is an infomercial; be warned!

"Can't find a mug that says what your heart wants to say? Or maybe your mind is as fickle the notes from a fiddle and it wants to say a new thing everyday. Look no further. I'm about to teach you how to do exactly that with the new and improved "Chalkboard Mug"! It's cute, it's pretty, it's pretty cute, it's smart, it's cheeky, and the coffee in it will make you do cartwheels. To make it, all you need is love and some paint. Amongst other things, that is. Remember, life's a cup. You gotta drink from it to the lees. Ciao!"

DIY chalkboard mug
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7. And last and certainly the least, this is how you tie a bow (tying a bow is nothing compared to painting spoons or making chalkboard signs!!!).

How to tie a bow
And then you can peobably graduate to making these bows.


After you have mastered that, you can apply for the job currently occupied by Queen Elizabeth II.

Which of these are you gonna do today?

Friday, May 11, 2012

10 things that are making me flippin' happy

1. I won something!!! I actually won! There was an amazingly fun contest at Felicity's lovely blog Gifts of Serendipity as a part of which she asked everyone to list out their favourite words. Then she made word clouds out of them and we had to choose one of the lines and make sentences using the words on the line. This is one such cloud.
Isn't it ingenious?And aren't the words lovely? These some of people's favorite words. And this was my sentence: "She was walking through the 'gully,' 'naughty' thoughts swarming through her head, when she tripped on the bow that held up her 'kimono' and it all came undone." You are right, my name was picked from a hat!

But I won! Go have an apple crumble in my name. :)

2. My guest blogging stint at English Muse. The posts are hereherehere, and here.

3. The weekend is coming! Yaay! I plan to cook and eat and sleep and watch New Girl and cook and eat and sleep. I plan for it to be splendid!

4. My nails! They are long and well-shaped and perfectly fuchsia (Thom painted them for me!) and they totally make up for my badly shaven legs and undone eyebrows.

5.  The itsy bitsy boy who crossed the street in front of my car and gave me a salute of thanks as he walked by. What a gentlebaby!

6. My wedding ring. It is the simplest of gold bands with my loverboy's name etched onto its insides, but every time I look at it, my heart swells just a little. It is the symbol of the greatest show of devotion I could ever make and it is a source of immense strength. It is my cape and my sword, my elixir and my shield.

7. These jeans.They have grown on me like second skin and I love them! Zara makes me happy. I think I'll buy a plant and name it Zara.

8. A cuppa tea. It never, ever fails me. It always makes me feel happier, healthier, more rested, and more alive. Tea, like water, is perfection.

9. My family:1. They are always there for me. 2. They are the only people I can be absolutely myself with (at my screaming, shouting best) 3. They are generous and sweet and kind and cute.

10. The angels that surround me all day and all night. Today I asked for good music on the radio while driving back, and guess what I got? Baby got back, All the single ladies, Judas, and Papa don't preach. What more can a girl ask for? 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wilde's Words

My father did me a huge favour when he bought me this phone. I downloaded the Kindle App, and on it, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, and I am all set to go. These new phones are phenomenal! What is it that they cannot do! Of course the charm of feeling and smelling a tattered paperback can never be replaced but some reading is undoubtedly better than no reading. 

I just started with the book and it is quite captivating. This is what Oscar Wilde says about art and artists in the preface:

The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things. The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.

 Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

The nineteenth century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass. The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass. The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art. From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor's craft is the type. All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. 

Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.
All art is quite useless.

On Guilt and TLC

Wash your face
This is something that is incredibly hard for me to accept, but I am totally guilty of letting myself go after I got married. It is one thing that I have put back on an incredible amount of weight, but what makes me feel even worse is the way I treat my skin. {Yesterday, I used rubbing alcohol instead of soap and water to wash my face. Gulp! But you do that too, right?}

So today, I woke up feeling all inspired to give some much-needed TLC to my skin. So far, so good, huh? And this brings me to the time before my wedding when self-provided TLC for my skin was in plentiful supply. Here's what I did.

1. I'd wake up to a glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon and a few drops of honey. If not in reality, this was a regular ritual that I partook in, in my dreams.

2. I'd apply a face mask at least once in two days. I did do this religiously for about a year. I am certain that it made a considerable difference because in that period, I was in Kerala where my typically face breaks out like mad, and this did not happen that time around, thanks to the copious use of face masks.

While I make zillions and gazillions of face masks, my favourite one is this:

Mix oatmeal, yoghurt, honey, egg white, and mashed up banana together. Apply on your face and when it is dry, wash it off. You will grow like the moon, minus the craters of course.

Also, any time I ate a fruit, I would take a piece or the fleshy part of the peel and rub it on my face. The same is true for eggs; the left over egg white on the egg shell has to go on your face. And after you squeeze a lemon, dip it in a bowl of salt and it becomes and excellent scrub for your face. You gotta get down an dirty to be a serious player in this business.

3. Body Scrubs: When God gave Paris Hilton money to get expensive spa treatments, he gave me salt and sugar to make the same scrub at home. It is that easy.

One part oil + Two parts salt/sugar = Basic body scrub

The oil can be almond, apricot, avocado, coconut, grape seed, jojoba, olive, or sesame oil and the salt/sugar can be of any kind. Remember that salt is harsher than sugar and that brown sugar is milder than white sugar.  After mixing this up, feel free to go wild with this. You can add a few drops of any essential oil, your favourite fruit mashed up, or even some yoghurt and honey. My favourite scrub is made of extra virgin coconut oil, brown sugar, avocado, and vanilla essential oil. Luv-er-ly!

Isn't it awesome to know what goes on in other people's bedrooms?

I hope that none of you are like me and that you all do all you can to look as pretty as you can. Remember... pretty is as pretty does, but to be pretty on the inside, you do not need to not be pretty on the outside. And I will remember that hair on the legs is never cool and that a little bit of vanity never hurt anyone.



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Shakespear on love

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This thought is undoubtedly beautiful, but it's hilarious! For starters, ShakespearE , I am certain would never speak this plainly even in real life. Shakespear, of course, is entitled to his opinion! Have a good day, lovelies!

'Coz Seuss says so

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Picture me upon your knee...

There are so many great ways of displaying photographs (and don't we all love photographs!) that there is no excuse  for any of us to have bare walls any more (unless it's by design, in which case, soldier on, sista!).

I, for one, should take a hint from these and spruce up my bare-bottomed walls. Here are some ideas

Draw frames on the wall and stick photos in them.

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This is a wallpaper, but you could very well draw on the walls. Find the wallpaper here.
Display them on a ledge.

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Arrange them in a circle and put up clock-hands in the centre.

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Fuse them all together to form one giant display.

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Shape them into a heart.

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Put them up using clothes-pins in a frame.

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Bottle them up.

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Tape them onto the wall.

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Put them all up in a giant frame and prop it up.

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Use the color in the photos to accentuate the colors in the room

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Wouldn't it be lovely to have a house filled with memories on walls?

Find all images and their sources here.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Live to Eat

These culinary Gods and Godesses talk about the one thing that you must eat before you die.

Nigella Lawson, kitchen goddess
Deep-fried shredded pig's ear. As with all great food experiences, the essence of this is contrast. The ear, once sliced finely, is blanched, and when cold and dried, seared in a deep panful of hot fat. Inside, it is seductively resistant to the bite - just chewy but still toothsome; outside, all is crisp crunch and palate-searingly hot. Scatter these upmarket pork scratchings on to a plain watercress salad: the ultimate lunch for one.
Nigel Slater, food writer
Hot sausages and raw oysters. The salty, quivering oysters and the hot sausages work sensationally, both in flavour and texture. The sausages must be very hot and juicy and cooked till they are deep golden brown and sticky outside, the oysters spankingly fresh and ice-cold. Eat a bit of banger first then an oyster immediately afterwards. Then do it the other way round.
Richard Ehrlich, Guardian food columnist
Veal marrow stars in ossobuco, beef marrow in steak bordelaise. Best of all, however, is beef marrow on its own, roasted or poached and spread on toast with a sprinkling of coarse salt. It's fatty but delicate. You eat just a little bit. It is a brief moment of heavenly indulgence.
Ken Hom, chef and writer
Everyone should try Peking duck just once. Crispy skin and moist rich duck meat and no fat. It is the best of all worlds.
Greg Wallace, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Veg Talk
Everyone should have tasted a strawberry, preferably a Cambridge Favourite or Pegasus, straight from the bush with the sun shining. Or it could be any English variety of strawberry - there are over 300 - which all have subtly different flavours and which no one would recognise because all anyone ever eats is the Elsanta variety. Every shop stocks Elsanta because of its shipping qualities - it lasts - but it also loses flavour hour by hour and tastes of nothing after a few days.
Clarissa Dixon Wright, cook, food writer and field sports campaigner
Wild boar prosciutto made by Peter Gott of Sillfield Farm in Cumbria. We had a cameraman who had been vegetarian for 17 years and he relapsed over this. The smell was so wonderful, he ended up eating the whole packet and has been eating meat ever since. I've had wild boar prosciutto in Italy and it was all right, but Gott's is utterly fabulous.
· Available at farmers' markets nationwide. Call 01539 567609 for details.
Richard Corrigan, chef patron at Lindsay House
Alphonso mango with English forced rhubarb and vanilla ice-cream is a superb combination. The Alphonso mango only has a short season, May to June. It has a sweet, deep ruby or orange flesh. You lightly stew the rhubarb and then lay the peeled mango over it and top with a scoop of freshly made vanilla ice-cream. We drop the sugar content of the ice cream because the mangoes are just so sweet. You don't need pastry chefs when you are working with things like this!
Matthew Fort, Guardian food editor
The great boiling sausage of Ferrara in northern Italy, la Salama da Sugo. It's a very large sausage made from secondary cuts of pork - cheek, shoulder and belly - which are soaked in red wine and then packed into the cleaned bladder of said pig and hung up for not less than a year. The sausage is then boiled gently for about two hours and served with unsalted mashed potato seasoned only with parmesan. The flavour is stupendous. It is the monster sausage, a colossus of the sausage world.
Nina Planck, founder of London Farmers' Markets and author of the Farmers' Market Cookbook
On a dark, rainy autumn night, I like raw milk buffalo cheese made in Somerset to a central European recipe with cumin. Add a dead ripe, nutty Russet, some cobnuts, and very dry cider, another Somerset treat. The champagne method of bottle fermentation was invented in the west country for this drink, then exported to France.
Rose Gray, chef-owner of the River Café with Ruth Rogers
Radicchio di Treviso is a bitter, long, purple-leafed vegetable from around Verona and Venice and is only available in winter between December and March. It tastes fabulous: bitterness from the leaf and sweetness from the stalk. Roasted and served with a piece of grilled or roast turbot, it is the most divine meal on earth.
Jeffrey Steingarten, food critic on American Vogue and author of It Must Be Something I Ate
How can one possibly decide? I'll choose just the most recent wonder. In Paris, on rue Bonaparte, at the pastry shop of Pierre Herme, there's a pale, cloud-like, weightless macaroon flavoured with the white truffle of Alba. Yes, tuber magnatum pico. Even better, a dozen of them.
Mark Sargeant, head chef, Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's
Scrambled eggs finished with butter, sea urchins and sliced white truffle is an incredible way to eat eggs. Sea urchins are extremely rare and a true delicacy. Adding them to the otherwise humble scrambled egg revolutionises the dish. The final treat comes in the slicing of the white truffle on top of the dish - exquisite.
Nick Nairn, chef-owner, Nairn's
This is a generic thing, but everyone should have tasted something really, really fresh. Freshly picked, fresh out of the ocean or fresh out of the ground, there is nothing like it. A while ago I was sitting watching ringtailed lemurs on Nosy Be in the Indian Ocean when a mango fell out of a tree. It was warm from the sun and I peeled it and ate it right there; it was the most sublime experience. Most of the stuff we eat has travelled too far for too long. New potatoes eaten just after they have been lifted out of the ground taste incredible; just butter and pepper and they are fantastic.
Kevin Gould, food writer, consultant and APA journalist of the year
Glamorously fresh turbot with a rude, randy salad of oily greens, lemony grated carrots and real tomatoes. Best enjoyed as supper on Heybeliada in the Maramara Sea, hugger-mugger with sun-warm family and friends, Istanbul's glittering lights strung over the endless horizon. Just add brown bottles of Afyon water, cool Sarafin wine and pealing children's laughter.
Ruth Rogers, chef-owner of the River Café with Rose Gray
Anyone who has only tasted regular grapes should try the Italian strawberry grape, fragola. You put one in your mouth and it explodes into a taste of strawberry. They have quite thick skin, which some people choose not to eat, but I like the contrast with the delicate taste of the fruit.
Ainsley Harriott, TV chef
Although you don't often see them in the shops, I think everyone should try mangosteen, a tropical fruit with the most delicious flavour. It's about the size of an apple with a purplish, leathery skin. I like to cut the top off and eat the flesh with a spoon. It's very sweet but with acidity to it, almost citrus, and it is so, so pleasurable in the mouth, you just want to eat more and more. I have made sorbet with it, but it's bloody extravagant.
Michael Hoffmann, chef at Margaux in Berlin
At least once in a lifetime, you have to eat black truffle. With boiled, peeled potatoes, fleur de sel and olive oil, it is a real experience. To go with it, you need a full-bodied white wine like a Montrachet. Every year I look forward to the truffle season, which only lasts from December to March. Black truffles make a wonderful, aromatic, pleasure-packed start to a meal.
David Thompson, head chef, Nahm, and author of Thai Food
The durian is the most notorious fruit. You can smell it from 100m away. Some describe it as tasting like eating custard out of a toilet and as having the smell of New York in summer, but I love it. It's the foie gras of fruit. It is the most delicious thing - there's a bit of garlic about it, and saffron too. I'd sell my mother to eat it. They weigh around 50-60kg and look like rolled-up armadillos, and every year when they ripen a few unsuspecting Thai farmers are dispatched in the most undignified way. You can't drink alcohol with it, either, or you swell up.
Raymond Blanc, chef patron and chairman of Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons
Everyone should experience the taste of a properly reared chicken. When it is cooked simply with fresh organic vegetables, you really understand the beauty of this dish. The variety is important, too - Le Bresse is the very best. This Christmas my mum cooked a chicken that I had to hunt on the farm. It weighed 4.5kg and took me about 30 minutes to catch - it really took me back to my childhood. It was cooked slowly and it was totally golden and moist and it had this amazing flavour. Chickens here are reared too fast; there is no real flavour.
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This is my contribution.
Elizabeth George, reader and dreamer
At least once in a lifetime, everyone should stay on a house boat in the backwaters of Kerala and eat freshly caught fish from the river. The fish is often fried or made into a curry, but the quintessential flavour is best captured in fish that is steamed in a banana leaf in a fiery red marinade that is bursting with flavours of ginger, garlic, herbs, and spices. Finger lickin' good. 
If you had to choose one food for this purpose, what would it be? Tell me and I'll try and eat it. :D
Assembly Line (191/365)