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.
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