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Food for Thought
Do not go through life without a Swedish saffron bun.

There are perhaps no terms more overused today than foodie and bucket list. In this case, though, there’s just no way around them: With 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die, Mimi Sheraton has created the ultimate culinary checklist, and anyone with taste buds should pick up this book right now and then spend the rest of their lives eating their way through it.

Sheraton has been writing about food for almost 60 years, including nearly a decade as the first female restaurant critic for the New York Times. To research a 1972 article in New York magazine, she spent 11 months eating all 1,196 items in the Bloomingdale’s food department.  

For this project, she tackled the entire world, gathering up must-try dishes, markets, restaurants and culinary traditions.

Organized by region, the book conquers everything from Ukrainian borscht to Zanzibar’s clove-scented braised duck. There’s creamy burrata from Italy, saffron buns from Stockholm and Chinese bird’s nest soup. With every entry, Sheraton tells us where to find that particular food, whether it’s an address, website or cookbook.

Sure, she includes caviar, black truffles from Le Périgord and the tasting menu at Alinea. But there’s also fish and chips, pastrami sandwiches and, perhaps our favorite entry, frozen Milky Ways.

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