10 Delectibles to Try Before You Die

As Marcus Aurelius said, “Death smiles at us all. What can a man do, but smile back?” Or, as Seneca said, “Bibamus. Moriendum est,” “Dying is unavoidable. So let’s go get wasted.” A Christmas Bucket List!

1. Macallan 25-year-old Scotch
Speyside, Scotland


A fifth of 25-year-old Macallan will run you about $600, but if you ever taste it, you’ll want more, never mind the price. It’s like drinking a campfire that hugs you and wants to be your friend.

2. Spotted Dick
London, England


It is also called Plum Duff, and it is a dessert pudding with dried currants, custard, and rum. In the best restaurants, they add a generous douse of your favorite rum on top.

3. Churrasco
Belem, Brazil


Churrasco is no one dish, but a particularly Brazilian and Argentinian style of serving meat. These two countries are internationally known for great steaks but have equally great pork, lamb, mutton, chicken and seafood. Some restaurants serve all you can eat, sliced fresh off the grill, along with corn, rice, and fresh fruits, especially mangoes. Belem is nicknamed “City of the Mango Trees.”
If you’ve always wanted to see the Amazon Jungle but don’t want to get eaten when you go into it, Belem is perfect. It is on the coast, but only 20 to 30 miles inland, you can charter cheap ferries down the Para and Tocantins Rivers. They are not technically tributaries of the Amazon River, but they are part of its estuary, and with just a short jaunt in a schooner, you can see all the jungle you ever wanted.

4. Pizza
Napoli, Italy


Pizza was invented in Napoli (Naples), by the poor class who had money only for bread dough, tomatoes, and cheese. So they put it all together and baked it.
Today, the most traditional pizza in America is still in New York City, but if you want it truly traditional, Napoli is the only choice. Any quaint, family-owned-and-operated restaurant in the city will serve you pizza to die for.
The reason pizza is the best in Napoli is because the tomatoes are San Marzano, grown on the south slopes of Vesuvius, in extremely fertile, volcanic soil, and the mozzarella cheese is made from the milk of the Campanian water buffalo, or “Mozzarella di Bufala Campana.”

5. Fire-Roasted Lamb
Stavros, Crete


The Greeks know how to have fun, and if you can’t decide which you like more, mountains or a beach, just settle for both. Photographers have noted that they rarely employ their polarizing filters to enhance the colors of their photographs in the Aegean Sea. The ocean is nowhere bluer than it is around Greece. The woods and hills have their colors, and you’ll need sunglasses to handle them.
Lamb roasted on a spit outside is a Grecian tradition, and you haven’t lived until you’ve tried it cooked by Grecian grandmothers. It is typically rubbed with apples several times during cooking and served with ghanoush, vegetable-stuffed grape leaves, Greek red wine, and homemade baklava (not that junk you’ve eaten in most American restaurants). There are plenty of quaint beachfront restaurants in Stavros, in the shadow of the Akrotirian mountains. You’re free to climb them and see the ruins of the 5th or 6th Century Catholic monastery founded by St. John the Hermit.
Before, during and after supper, as you will be eating with friendly strangers, locals and tourists, you’ll be encouraged to drink ouzo, a Greek liquor that tastes like aniseed.

6. Sachertorte
Vienna, Austria


Vienna is world famous for its desserts, and sachertorte, at the Sacher Hotel, is world famous among the world famous desserts. It is a dry chocolate cake, with apricot jam between layers, and dark chocolate icing on the top and sides. The only place outside Vienna where you can find it is a Sacher shop in Bolzano, Italy.
It is served with whipped, heavy cream, which balances its dry flavor. While you’re there, pay your respects to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Strauss, et al. at the Central Cemetery. Mozart is buried somewhere in St. Marx Cemetery but has a monument near Beethoven and Schubert’s graves.

7. Trockenbeerenauslese
Bavarian Alps


Germany has its fair share of a claim to the world’s wines. Trockenbeerenauslese is extraordinarily sweet, white wine, with so much sugar in it that it’s syrupy. If you’ve had a taste of bad wine and lost your liking for it, this will get you back on track.
It is expensive but can have as much as 300 grams of sugar per bottle, which will give you diabetes if you want it to. Alcohol content is therefore quite low as wines go, which means you can drink quite a lot before you get drunk. It makes a great dessert in itself, and goes very well with a local pretzel, a fresh, big one, with salt to cut the wine’s sweetness.

8. Lobster and Cracked Crab
Pink Beaches of Harbor Island, Bahamas


Perhaps you aren’t as big a fan of mountains as you are of the tropics. Harbor Island is world famous for its pink-sand beaches, and Dunmore Town caters to tourists with outstanding seafood restaurants.
Have your fruit of the sea brought out to you on the beach in the late afternoon, and the sunset will be behind you, over the palm and coconut trees. There is a lot of quartz in the sand, and the sunlight makes it glow, lighter where it’s dry, and darker in the surf.

9. Romanee-Conti
France


At least one supper you eat should have the greatest wine in the world. Domaine de la Romanee-Conti is a very small vineyard, only 4 acres, and only produces about 5,000 bottles a year, but those 5,000 have a taste beyond comprehension.
Rather than try to describe the taste, since I haven’t had any, suffice to say, a very good vintage will be 20 to 30 years old and cost about $900 a glass. Or about $3,600 a bottle. Some vintages have sold at auction for $14,000 a bottle.

10. Spaghetti Bolognese
Bologna, Italy


For good and all, now and forever, the greatest spaghetti in the world is in Italy, and the finest restaurants are in Bologna. Its nickname is “di Grassa,” “Bologna the Fat.”
Sure, the Chinese invented the noodles, but tomato sauces are expressly Italian. New York City ain’t got nothin’ on Bologna.
I’ve been there, I’ve had several spaghetti recipes, but the best by far, you will find at Clorofilla, Strada Maggiore, 64, 40125 Bologna, Bologne. It’s almost as good as my recipe.
Bologna is a magnificently beautiful city, and not far north of some good mountain vistas. Or you could take a leisurely drive over the Appennines to Firenze (Florence) and see the original Statue of David, among other works of art.
(source)

Workers still search for 9/11 remains, 17 years later.

Seventeen years later, more than 1,100 victims of the hijacked plane attacks on the World Trade Center have yet to be identified.

But in a New York lab, a team is still avidly working to identify the remains, with technological progress on its side. Day in, day out, they repeat the same protocol dozens of times.

Sally Regenhard, who lost her son on 9/11, speaks at a news conference with other family members in New York on May 26, 2014.

At first, they examine a bone fragment found in the wreckage of the Twin Towers. It has yet to be matched to DNA.

Cut and ground to a fine dust, the remains are then mixed with two chemical products that can expose and then extract DNA. But success is not guaranteed.

“The bone is the hardest biological material to work with,” said Mark Desire, assistant director of forensic biology at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York.

“And, on top of that, when they’re exposed to things that were present at Ground Zero, fire, mold, bacteria, sunlight, jet fuel, diesel fuel, all these destroy DNA. So you could physically have a sample with very very small amounts of DNA there.”

The 22,000 pieces of human remains found at the site since the attacks have all been tested — some 10 or 15 times already.

A flag used at the closing ceremony of Ground Zero and a traditional style FDNY “stokes basket” used to carry out the remains of thousands who died on 9/11 is displayed at the 9/11 Tribute Museum in New York on June 12, 2017.

So far, only 1,642 of the 2,753 people who died in the attacks in New York have been formally identified. The 1,111 others have yet to yield identifiable information.

Several years have sometimes passed without the lab adding a name. But no one is giving up.

“These are all the same protocol that we had in 2001, but we were able to improve the process for each of the steps, out of necessity,” Desire said.

He refused to confirm the program’s budget, but it is the best equipped and advanced lab in North America.

– Emotion –

In July, almost a year after the last identification, the lab added another name to the list — Scott Michael Johnson, a 26-year-old financial analyst who had been working on the 89th floor of the South Tower.

“I felt really good about it,” said Veronica Cano, one of the team’s criminalists.

“We are trained to not be affected, but we do get affected by it because it’s something that affects everyone in some way. But I try to be professional and try to bring closure to the families.”

The lab only dedicates part of its work to 9/11 identification and handles other deaths and disappearances.

The team’s work takes place in separate offices located about 1.3 miles (two kilometers) from what was once known as Ground Zero.

Families of victims sometimes stop by the lab.

“It’s hard not to be emotional because of the hugs and the thank yous,” said Cano.

“It’s very rewarding for me that I’m doing something for someone.”

The role of relatives is critical in technical terms because the only comparison of the DNA of the remains with a sample provided by the families can allow identification.

The forensic examiner’s office holds about 17,000 samples, but none for about 100 victims, which makes it a vain effort to pursue identification for those remains.

A very precise procedure allows relatives to decide if and how they will be informed of the identification of the loved one they lost.

“When you’re notified, it brings you back to that day, the horrific way that they died,” said Mary Fetchet, who lost her 24-year-old son Brad when the towers that once dotted New York’s skyline came crashing down.

“But it also gives you some solace that you’re able to give your loved one a proper burial.”

Fetchet co-founded Voices of September 11th, a group that helps address the long-term needs of those impacted by 9/11 and other tragedies.

In Manhattan, Desire is the only original member of the forensic team still working on the project.

“This has defined my career,” he said, a twinkle in his eye as he speaks of new technologies he’s impatient to use to test the remains.

“We’re very close with the families and that’s uncommon for forensic scientists. We’re all trained to be impartial, to be unbiased, to not get emotional. But the World Trade Center is different.”

In 2001, the head of the forensic office, Charles Hirsch, understood that time would be an ally in the effort to identify the remains, and he ordered that all the remains be conserved.

Teams from all over the world — from Argentina to South Africa — now come to New York to learn from the team.

When meeting with families of the victims, Desire said the team talks “about the future, what we’re working on right now that helps to make more identifications.”

Those who today serve as experts in his lab “were probably in elementary or grade school at the time” of the attacks, Desire said with a smile.

“But they see how important it is.”
(source)