Caviar Buzz

CaricatureIn today’s flourishing plastic surgery world where bodies are no longer meant to betray their birthdays, I sadly realized that, as I hit the 70 mark, I had lost my waistline !
Consequently I considered my options :
A- Gobble vitamins and join, exercise like a fiend and eat like a monk !
B- Indulge my haute couture appetite  and let caviar take centre stage in my culinary life.
My comfort zone, I decided, was to meet fate with « black magic » and a glass of champagne ! The French caviar industry has made important contributions to unlocking the mysteries of the sturgeon. So why not create a caviar cook book? I do, after all, live in the gironde, the cradle of farmed French caviar. A blog, needs daily postings… no way… to much hard work ! my style will be quality not quantity…
So, why not modify and do a « Caviar Buzz » twice a month, where I give you the low down. I also would like to create a Caviar Club with monthly tastings any takers ?
There is absolutely no reason to wait for New Year’s Eve to eat caviar… with farmed caviar prices plummeting to all time lows, the revered offspring of the sturgeon should be democratized and? used ad hoc with a varied array of ingredients.
For my next dinner party I am planning to try out :
Fresh Tagliatelli, with pink grapefruit sauce and caviar. I am going to grate some old parmesan, but am pretty certain that cheese and caviar will not blend well together… will keep you posted.
Next week : farmed caviar…trend or foe ?

A ritzy spoonful

Few things evoke the sense of luxuary as caviar does. The mood, the surroundings and with whom you share it, makes it so very alluring. The caviar industry has changed dramatically in the past 15 years. A recent study in the us has shown that gouvernment agencies apply bette renforcement of regulations and better labelling.
Retailers are under greater scrutiny and consumer scan now be confident that what’s written on the label accurately describes what’s in the tin.Most wild sturgeon stocks have been depleted and in many place the fish is near extinction. This is especially true of the Caspian which by the way is not a sea but the world’s largest lake and has now become a giant chemical toilet !
Nowadays you can purchase caviar on-line with next- day delivrery. Sustained farmed caviar has become trend rather than foe.
But what contitues a « ritzy » spoonful of the world’s sexiest pearls ?
About 15 grams per person is a generous amount, served as a canape with vodka or champagne…but no one will gripe if there is more ?
Urugayian Caviar has vatapulted its way onto the epicurean map and is poised to become the toast of the world’s gastronomes. It is the most addictive piece of seafood bliss !


Brunch caviar…What else ?

Brunch caviar a panache of lunch and breakfast is a meal/snack for the trendy and very much Anglo Saxon. European culinary tastes have at last caught on to the phenomemon, so that we can now see hotels offering « Sunday Brunches » and restaurants proposing before and after theatre « tapas ». Moreover, the snack has been elevated to new heights by food’s most venerable icon « Caviar ». Here it is quality not quantity and preseentation that counts. Nuitritionallyit has a triple a rating for its anti-oxydent and omega 3 content… not forgetting that with champagne it is a marriage made in heaven ! There is both joy and frustration in the caviar world. You never know where you might find greatness and the trail is filled with detours and pot-holes. There is no law wihich says that every producer is conscentious. Price is probably the worst way to determine quality but, just as witch haute couture handbags and art, at some point price is also a projection of desirably. Which brings us to the big question… how can you find truly good caviar ?
Simple… define greatness for yourself. For me flavour is only part of the story. I want caviar to taste good but also to have a distinct personality.I want it to have many facets, so that each time I savour a mouthful, I am compelled to go back fore more !
I want caviar to be the star guest, velvety delectable and engaging… not dull, boorishly salty or obnoxiously flashy.

When everyone encourages you to write a book… think twice !

Sure, if you are famous or have a solid bank account… go tight ahead and indulge in an ego trip. As an old-timer, pre-internet that is, my attempt at returning to the 2011 literary landscape was a real eye-opener. Forty years ago, editions called the tune. Aside from their favoutites, they were willing from time to take a risk on a newcomer. Cookbooks in those days were samll fry…not uplifting or sexy enough. Yet today, it is the only category still financially viable… sales were up 13% in 2010.
Technology has irrevocably hi-jacked the « paper word » but then consider this : is it not more convenient to spill, drizzle or splatter a book rather than your Ipad ? Furthermore your tome will continue on its extended life span and can be passed on to others whereas, your Ipad, will blink and die when doused generously with olive oil.
In order to be published, I was, told, you has to be either called Alain Ducasse or Jamie Oliver, or then terribly lucky and be unearthed amongst the million odd recipe-bloggers on the net. If you are neither, like, myself, take a hike. That was the answer I received from a dozen odd french publishers… and don’t think I just sent a piddly draft on the conrary I pulled out the red carpet and had made a 24 page, hard cover, full colour dummy with with six finely tuned recipes. I hve always approached love and cooking with reckless abandon and reading about food is the next best thing to eating it. So, with only a bargain basement budget, my unexamined passion triumphed over readoned argument. In the end I had fun, creating, cooking, tasting and simply loved preparing the photo shoots.

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