Anderson Seafoods French Sturgeon Caviar and A Food Gal Giveaway

Oh yah, this is how I like to celebrate.

Oh yah, this is how I like to celebrate.

 

If any food has celebration written all over it, it’s caviar, isn’t it?

First, it’s the anticipation that comes with the opening of the tiny jar or tin. Second, the delicate handling of it with a mother of pearl spoon so as not to impart any unwanted metallic taste. Third, the arranging of the accoutrements of minced onion, hard-boiled egg and sour cream on teeny, pillowy pancakes. And fourth — well, it’s the price. Let’s face it, if caviar cost the same as popcorn, we’d be eating it all the time. Instead, it’s a splurge, leaving it reserved for only the most special of occasions.

With Christmas and New Year’s Eve coming up, now’s the time to indulge if you can. I did just that when I a chance to try a sample 2-ounce jar of French Sturgeon Caviar from Southern California’s Anderson Seafoods.

For more than 35 years, the company has cultivated close relationships with fishermen and fleets all over the world, in order to source premium seafood that’s delivered right to your door. Find more info on the company on its Pinterest page and on Twitter @AndersonSeafood.

French Sturgeon caviar is a more sustainable alternative to that from the Caspian Sea, where wild sturgeon are on the brink of extinction. In contrast, the French caviar is from farm-raised sturgeon.

Spoon up some French caviar.

Spoon up some French caviar.

The tiny black eggs pop softly on the tongue with a mild brininess.

Since I don’t often have caviar in my house, I went all out — I made a batch of fluffy potato blinis using a recipe from Chef Edward Higgins of Bix restaurant in San Francisco that’s featured in my cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” (Lyons Press).

I dolloped creme fraiche on top of each, then spooned on the caviar before garnishing with the tiniest frond of dill.

I devoured one immediately. Then, another. And another. With a glass of sparkling wine, of course.

After all, the holidays call for celebrating with abandon when you can.

CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a $300 gift card to Anderson Seafoods. You can use it to purchase caviar or a variety of fresh seafood. Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Dec. 20. Winner will be announced Dec. 22.

How to win?

You’ve heard me swoon over caviar already. Tell me what food or ingredient most makes you want to celebrate — and why. Best answer wins the prize.

WINNER OF LAST WEEK’S CONTEST: In the previous Food Gal contest, I asked you to tell me about a splurge you made that was well worth the price. The winner will receive a free Snake River Farms American Kobe Gold Grade Ribeye Roast (a value of nearly $400).

Snake River Farms American Kobe Gold Grade Eye of Ribeye Roast.

Snake River Farms American Kobe Gold Grade Eye of Ribeye Roast.

Congratulations to:

Blake Gray, who wrote, “I was backpacking in Europe on a very limited budget and I wanted to see the Isle of Skye. On the boat there, I met a fellow American who planned to rent a car and invited me to come along. We spent the day exploring the island; different vistas around every curve. The people were great. A farmer handed us a newborn lamb, and I held it close to my chest; I could feel it trembling as it baaahed. We had so much fun that we didn’t stop for lunch, as there was only one main town and we went on a loop around the island, returning at night. Only one pub was open when we got back, and they had only one bag of crisps and one chocolate bar, which we split. I wished Marc well, but I hadn’t enough money for the only hotel in town, so I got out my sleeping bag and crouched in a doorway. It’s Scotland; a beautiful starry night turned to a downpour sometime in the middle of the night, and I crouched further back, wet, hungry and miserable. In the morning I could see that the luxury hotel had a buffet breakfast for 25 pounds — very expensive, about 5 times what I was usually paying per night to stay in youth hostels. The boat back to the mainland wasn’t for several hours, and if I waited long enough I could get bread and cheese from a store, but I was shivering as I watched them set up the buffet through the window, and it looked terrific. I went for it: I folded up my sleeping bag and went in, my clothes rather wrinkled and grubby from a full day of tramping AND a night sleeping outside. I had a massive plate of smoked salmon, quiche, charcuterie, salads, fruit, brown bread, and I set to it. A man in uniform came over to ask if there was anything I needed. My mouth full of salmon, I said, ‘Does this buffet come with kippers?’ I’d never had kippers. He said, ‘You can have kippers.’ They brought me a plate of two smoked kippers, which I devoured with fried eggs. Then I had another massive plate of fruit, pastries, more smoked salmon, potatoes. Finally my consumption slowed and stopped, and I felt embarrassed. I walked up to the register to pay, feeling how disheveled I looked. The same uniformed man said, ‘Did you get enough to eat?’ I thought he was mocking but I said, ‘Yes, thank you.’ He smiled, and so did two women behind him. ‘Oh good. We saw you sleeping outside when we came in this morning and we were worried about you.’ They gave me some brown bread and smoked salmon for the boat. That was perhaps the best 25 pounds I ever spent. I forgot to say WHY that was the best 25 pounds I ever spent. It wasn’t just the delicious food when I was extremely hungry, or the warm, dry room when I was wet and cold. It was also the human kindness I felt that still sustains me.”

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10 comments

  • Oh my goodness! Caviar is one of my favourite things ever! 😀

  • My favorite food that makes me celebrate is sweet potato pie. My grandmother would always use the same technique when she made them, and every Christmas when she visited, she would make a sweet potato pie for the family. She has since passed, and I miss her every Christmas. My mom still uses my grandmother’s techniques for creating the pie, and she taught me. Now, everytime I make or think about sweet potato pie, I think of my grandmother and the times we used to celebrate Christmas together.

  • Nothing makes me want to celebrate more than cake! I still vividly recall the birthday cake that my parents ordered for me every year when I was growing up in Southern California. I remember the pretty pink frosting flowers, delicate green frosting leaves and sweet white buttercream that decorated the white layer cake. Blowing out the candles, waiting for my parents to cut a slice, then devouring my piece of that yummy cake is among my favorite childhood memories. I don’t remember the birthday gifts anymore. But I still remember the cake.

    To this day, I still love cake. I’m always the one to get a cake for my co-workers when they have a birthday. For my son’s 1st birthday, I made him a birthday cake shaped like the number 1. From birthdays to anniversaries to weddings, cake says to me it’s time to have a party and celebrate!

  • As cliche as this might sound, the one “food” that makes me want to celebrate is, champagne. This is the one ingredient that has ALWAYS been at every important celebration in my life. The birth of my beautiful son was celebrated at the hospital with a wonderful glass of chilled champagne, my middle sister’s engagement also celebrated with champagne (Dom Perignon), my older sister’s wedding, every New Year’s Eve, every job promotion, my mom’s 50th birthday…big or small, it’s the one “food” that is always a part of our celebrations.

  • To me, the food that makes me feel happy and always signifies a celebration, is King Crab. I was born and raised in Chile, a Pacific coastal country with over 4,000 kilometres of beaches. During our special occasions, I distinctly remember my father, who was a generous, warm, and lover of good cuisine, announce the arrival of this delicate, white meat with the aroma of the sea as something fun, but extravagant…“the King of the sea is here!” Today at 60 years old, living in the United States for over 30 years, I keep my loving father’s traditions alive by celebrating with King Crab for all special occasions.

  • Fried Chicken! There is nothing more satisfying than a delicious juicy fried chicken, a guilty pleasure of delight. It’s the meal we eat after a long grueling work week to relax and celebrate the end; it’s the meal that tells us to just let it go indulge. There’s nothing quite like it — you know it’s probably not good for your heart, but it’s great for your soul. It’s the center of attention at the holiday meal, everyone craving a fresh bite and no one can get enough. The crunchy skin, the moist fatty meat inside, there is nothing else that brings a smile to everyone’s face, young and old. I love how when I go to other cultures birthday parties or holiday potlucks, fried chicken is always there and presented with a unique family recipe but always delicious. It’s the dish of happiness, the dish indulgence the dish of a happy family.

  • When the inviting smell of rice cooking infused with savory lap cheung (Chinese sausage) wafted

    through our motel room, my siblings and I would be compelled to get up, dance, and celebrate.

    This modest meal meant that our immigrant family had somehow found the means to have a rare vacation. None of us minded saving money by eating in and simply, we were jubilant for time together in a different locale. From Disneyland to Lake Tahoe, steamed lap cheung over jasmine rice in the rice cooker Mom would bring from home was an object reminder for the merriment and festivity we were enjoying.

  • Sorry – my entry’s formatting was off in the previous post!

    When the inviting smell of rice cooking infused with savory lap cheung (Chinese sausage) wafted through our motel room, my siblings and I would be compelled to get up, dance, and celebrate. This modest meal meant that our immigrant family had somehow found the means to have a rare vacation. None of us minded saving money by eating in and simply, we were jubilant for time together in a different locale. From Disneyland to Lake Tahoe, steamed lap cheung over jasmine rice in the rice cooker Mom would bring from home was an object reminder for the merriment and festivity we were enjoying.

  • I am embarrassed but admit to saying that I literally fell asleep at my computer last night whilst writing my entry. Yes, I’m getting old. Please take my entry into consideration.

    Being my mother’s daughter, I was blessed with growing up loving food and loving to entertain. As long as I can remember, l saw my mother preparing and perfecting a wonderful spread of food. It was a thing of art. She would plan for days what would be on the esteemed menu. There would be the main course, an array of fabulous salads/side dishes, and dessert. However, my favorite and most memorable part of every wonderful party she threw was the appetizers, particularly the cheese. Yes, cheese. A very common, mundane thing for some, but my mom took it to another level. There were no cubed cheddar bits at my house. Every time it was a celebratory situation, I would go with my mother to a fancy cheese shop and we would pick out 3 different cheeses: one buttery and soft (it would usually be Brie, which he would later bake with apricot jam and phyllo dough), then a nutty hard cheese like Asiago, and to finish off the trio would be a pungent blue. Although my mother lives far away from me now, I still keep the tradition of collecting and perfecting a beautiful spread of premium cheeses for any celebratory situation.

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