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Mon Apr 30, 2018, 07:29 AM

What rare and expensive foods have you tried? How are they?

Iím sitting here this morning with a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain estate coffee. Itís nice. Itís smooth. But Iím not sure if I like it more than the Dunkin Donuts coffee I get in giant bags at Costco.

This has often been my experience when I get to try some food or drink thatís super duper rare, expensive, or hard to get.

Black truffle is kind of fungusy and funky, certainly not something Iíd go out of my way for. Actually, itís something Iíd prefer not to have shaved over my pasta.

Expensive wine tastes remarkably like cheap wine.

Toro tuna is nice but I wouldnít pay those prices for it.

Niman Ranch all-natural organic lambógive me a break, itís a lamb chop.

This sort of underwhelming experience has happened often enough that I sometimes wonder if Iím missing taste buds or if some foods are just over hyped..

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Reply What rare and expensive foods have you tried? How are they? (Original post)
spinbaby Apr 2018 OP
hlthe2b Apr 2018 #1
unblock Apr 2018 #2
Staph Apr 2018 #15
PoindexterOglethorpe May 2018 #20
mitch96 May 2018 #29
WhiteTara May 2018 #33
PoindexterOglethorpe May 2018 #34
WhiteTara May 2018 #36
TlalocW May 2018 #28
PoindexterOglethorpe May 2018 #35
samnsara Apr 2018 #3
Major Nikon Apr 2018 #4
hlthe2b Apr 2018 #7
Major Nikon Apr 2018 #8
hlthe2b Apr 2018 #9
spinbaby Apr 2018 #10
Major Nikon Apr 2018 #12
Major Nikon Apr 2018 #5
cpamomfromtexas Apr 2018 #6
spinbaby Apr 2018 #11
The Polack MSgt Apr 2018 #13
Saviolo Apr 2018 #14
irisblue Apr 2018 #16
revmclaren May 2018 #27
Retrograde Apr 2018 #17
Freddie Apr 2018 #18
japple Apr 2018 #19
PoindexterOglethorpe May 2018 #21
dem in texas May 2018 #22
PoindexterOglethorpe May 2018 #23
spinbaby May 2018 #25
Cuthbert Allgood May 2018 #24
Major Nikon May 2018 #31
Marthe48 May 2018 #26
procon May 2018 #30
Texasgal May 2018 #32

Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 07:44 AM

1. wild morel mushrooms growing up, that my Father and uncles knew how to safely id & locate

which to buy (where you can buy) go for more than $8/lb. Certainly not the world's most expensive mushroom but still pricey. But, though I've not had them since childhood, I can still remember how delicious they were and would love to have them again.

Bluefin tuna--yeah it is good but too costly

Kobe steak--yeah it is good but too costly and I rarely eat red meat now

Cavier, I suspect it was Beluga, given the setting, but I just couldn't get past how salty it was, how pretentious the "presentation', so, not worth it to me

Foie Gras--no, just no. I had to try a tiny taste to be polite, but NO.... just no. Be kind to geese and ducks (and other animals).

Saffron: I brought some back from India when I worked there and still treasure it. I eek it out in very small amounts to make special food items when I entertain. Yeah, it is worth it.

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee--- I finally got to try YEARS AFTER I brought back 2 pounds from Jamaica, but which disappeared when i made a move cross country a few months later. It always aggravated me not to know what happened to that VERY expensive coffee. Well, I had a single cup when Starbucks brought a tiny quantity in as a special event. Good, but not worth the $$ in my opinion.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 07:50 AM

2. as for wines, i've been on enough plant tours to know

personally, i'm a teetotaler (alcohol gives me migraines) but i've been told quite authoritatively from every purveyor of alcohol whose plant i've visited (part of my job -- finance) that "it's all marketing".

seriously, they take the exact same formula for beer or spirits and market it as a premium drink in one country and as the common man's everyday drink in another.


as for food, i've had kobe beef, ok, a bit more tender than usual but within the normal variance of non-kobe cuts.

i took mrs. unblock to gordon ramsey's "the london" in new york for our anniversary once. once-in-a-lifetime experience. i say this because it ain't happening ever again. it was undeniably an awesome dinner, but there's just no way in hell i'm ever spending $700 for one meal for two people every again.


best meal i ever had was a 9-course dinner on a business trip in reykjavic, iceland. i had no idea what i was eating. every course included a mousse of some sort it was amazing. some of them i could identify, like carrot mousse, but others were like... omg how can you make a mousse out of beef??? but it was all amazing. i'm glad the client picked up the tab on that one

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Response to unblock (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 03:15 PM

15. I'm not a wine drinker myself.

But a friend of mine who knows her wines says that there is a difference between the 10 dollar bottle and the 50 dollar bottle, but little or no difference between the 50 dollar bottle and the 500 dollar bottle. And she recommends staying away from the really old expensive wines. She thinks they taste like vinegar!


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Response to Staph (Reply #15)

Tue May 1, 2018, 11:11 PM

20. My older sister once said, that if you go for a bottle of wine

between $12 and $20, you will hardly go wrong.

She's right.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #20)

Wed May 2, 2018, 04:11 PM

29. Two thing I've learned about selecting wine...

If it's "vinted and bottled" at the same place the vintner usually takes better care of his product. As opposed to someone who buys a bunch of grapes or grape juice and puts it in a bottle.
The lower % of alcohol the sweeter the wine, conversly the higher the % alcohol the dryer it is..
I like your $12 to $20 rule also. My fav this month is 19 Crimes "hard chard" (16%) chardonnay... $11.99. Very smooth going and coming in the mouth...

m

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #20)

Sat May 19, 2018, 12:10 AM

33. my rule is that white wine must be younger than 2 years and

red wine must be older than 2. I also look at the percentages and anything under 12% tastes like swill and if it's 14%, stay home and enjoy. Country of origin also means something as some countries are not wine countries.

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #33)

Sat May 19, 2018, 01:55 AM

34. That seems like another good rule.

I'm not a white wine person at all, but the slightly older reds makes sense to me.

And yes, some countries do a better job than others. Although at least part of that is what we prefer ourselves. I won't trash any country, but I have learned that for me certain countries (or states in our own country) are more reliable for me than others.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #34)

Sat May 19, 2018, 10:22 AM

36. I'm not a white wine drinker myself

real women drink red cause we're not scared of spilling.

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Response to Staph (Reply #15)

Wed May 2, 2018, 02:57 PM

28. As a tee-totaler

I have an unhealthy fascination with sommeliers, as I think they're the biggest scam-artists out there, and double-blind tests have proven me right. Undoubtedly when told what a wine is, they have some knowledge of the area it's made and what traditionally has been done in the area. For instance, if a vineyard exclusively uses a certain kind of oak barrel... *Sip* "Yes, the fruitiness of this particular wine is counterbalanced nicely by hints of oak...." But then give them the same wine later on without telling them, and they'll describe it differently.

Dave Barry did wonderful column on them years ago.

http://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/dave-barry/article1936835.html

The first event of the evening competition was a blind tasting, where the sommeliers had to identify a mystery wine. We in the audience got to try it, too. It was a wine that I would describe as yellow in color, and everybody at my table agreed it was awful. "Much too woody, " said one person. "Heavily oxidized, " said another. "Bat urine, " I offered. The others felt this was a tad harsh. I was the only one who finished my glass.



TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #28)

Sat May 19, 2018, 02:10 AM

35. Sommeliers are not scam artists.

They are people who have a kind of knowledge about wine that most of us don't.

Several years ago, listening to a call-in show on my local NPR station with a local wine expert, someone called in and said essentially, "I just don't get it. What are you talking about? I see no differences between wines." The local expert replied, "You are right. Those of us who get all fixed on these various things are the exception. For most people, you like this wine, you don't like that. Please go with your own assessments and don't let people like me influence you unduly." What a wonderful thing to say!

The wine expert in question is Doug Frost, who is in the Kansas City area. I'm not sure if he's still actively doing wine stuff, but here's another story about him.

Around the same time, a couple of days before Thanksgiving, at the same NPR station, he was holding a wine tasting. This was in the early 2000s, and I tried to find the show but couldn't, however I'm sure it's out there. Anyway, he's opened two or three bottles, the staff has tasted, and his point is that you don't have to be an expert, you don't have to have some sort of "refined" or "educated" palate, but you can learn what you like. Then he opens the next bottle, and he starts to say something, then stops himself. Each one of the staff samples the wine, and each one says, "I guess there's something wrong with me, but I don't like it." He lets each one say exactly the same thing, and then he says, "As soon as I opened this bottle I could tell that it had gone bad. And this is why I want you to have faith in your own taste. What you tasted wasn't simply something not to your liking, but something that had gone bad, and you could tell."

It was a wonderful example of how we all do need to have confidence in our own palate, and that a wine gone bad is a wine gone bad, which is different from something we just don't like.

I've only once ever opened a bottle gone bad, but plenty of times I've opened a bottle that I didn't like very much.

Anyway, your point about blind tastings is correct. The reality is, we all like somewhat different wines, although (as I said above) a wine gone bad is a wine gone bad.

Too often people who like wine and know a little bit about wine will lord it over others and too often mock their tastes. "You like sweet wine??!!" with the unspoken "What's WRONG with your" hanging in the air.

That's just ignorant. So what if someone likes a sweet white and someone else likes a dry red? Bit deal. It only matters if you've been asked to bring a wine to the Thanksgiving dinner and you want to make sure you bring what the crowd likes. Otherwise, buy and drink what you like, and to heck with anyone else.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 08:21 AM

3. Jamaican Blue is not that great...I even got a box at the local Discount Grocer

...i will never buy organic...too much $$ for nothing, The only great wine i have tasted was at an obscure winery in wash state. The owner was like a hobbit..barefooted and bearded gave us tastings right from the barrel. The absolute best I have tasted and could only buy futures in it. I couldnt even afford the wine vinegar in the 'gift shop'.
I agree..truffles are too musky and i hate fungi anyway. The oil I have tastes like motor oil.

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Response to samnsara (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 09:06 AM

4. Most of the stuff you see labeled as Jamaican Blue is a blend with a low percentage

I've had single origin Jamaican Blue from several different farms and haven't been overly impressed by it.

The two biggest flavor factors for the beans themselves are how high they are grown and how they are processed. The soil they are grown in and the climate has less of an impact. Aside from the beans themselves, how they were roasted, when they were roasted, and how they are ground and brewed also has a much bigger impact on flavor.

Personally I prefer higher altitude coffees, but that's just me.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 09:50 AM

7. Yes..exactly... They include the name and bamboozle people

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 10:02 AM

8. Jamaica Blue itself is quite pretentious

There are many variables that affect the final product in a great prepared coffee. Where it came from is just one of those variables.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 10:18 AM

9. Most expensive food and wines are, but I commented similarly on the coffee upstream

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 10:43 AM

10. I bought mine in Jamaica

From what seemed like a reputable vendor. And, while it was certainly a fine coffee, wasnít worth the $54 I paid for a pound of the stuff. Iíll stick with Dunkin.

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Response to spinbaby (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 10:48 AM

12. I bought some coffee in Costa Rica I thought was quite good

I bought it from a shop that roasted it on the premises and they knew what they were doing. Otherwise buying coffee while on vacation is generally a recipe for disappointment. Kinda sad really as the idea of buying local is a good one.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 09:22 AM

5. I've had a few different such things

I've had truffles and a few similar types of mushrooms prepared with various dishes. I find if done right it's well worth it.

Saffron is quite nice in certain dishes, but for me has limited use. I do like it with eggs.

I'm not a big wine freak, but I had a very fine Cabernet Sauvignon aged in the cellar of a friend of mine in France that I thought was the best I've ever had by far.

I've had a genuine Kobe beef stake properly aged and prepared. I found it very intensely flavored and not really my idea of a great stake although I could sense the attraction to it. I think it would be much better prepared in smaller quantities as an accent to other foods, but I haven't tried it that way.

I've had Kopi Luwak coffee. I wasn't overly impressed by it and found it not worth the expense, but if you're a coffee freak it's something you have to try at least once.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 09:49 AM

6. Fiddlehead ferns cooked in butter and garlic. Amazing

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Response to cpamomfromtexas (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 10:44 AM

11. Anything cooked in butter and garlic is amazing

Iíve not had fiddlehead ferns.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 11:32 AM

13. Most rare/expensive foods I've eaten were in Japan

Fugu (Blowfish) sashimi. Tasted fine, not a really strong fish flavor - reminded me of raw sole. But the traces of venom gives your mouth a tingling sensation and subtly alters the flavors of what ever you eat or drink for a couple hours.
Makes hot Nihon-shu taste amazing BTW

Kujira (whale). Gamey and SUUUUUPER fatty. This was in the early 80s. Right before one of their periodic moratoriums on whaling.
4 of 10 - would not recommend

Wagyu (Kobe) Beef Shabu Shabu. The meat was great. but I wish we had ordered it grilled. Shabu Shabu is a small hot pot (usually with a candle under it to keep it simmering) filled with broth. You take very thin slices of meat and dip them into the broth for a few seconds to cook and eat with rice.
Delicious, but because of the wet, fast cooking and thin slicing - just about any good meat will taste fine. Felt like I wasted money

21 year old Hibiki Single Malt Whisky. Delicious. Just a gorgeous glass of liquor all around. In real life, the money I spent on 2 fingers on the rocks would pay for a fifth of normal tasty whisky. 12 Year old Glenmorangie Nectar d'Or costs less than that glass of whisky did. BTW Nectar d'Or is awesome https://www.wineglobe.com/products/glenmorangie-nectar-dor-single-malt-scotch-whiskey-sauternes-cask?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&variant=31175522249&gclid=Cj0KCQjw_ZrXBRDXARIsAA8KauQXUr7lffbsTDrn8plnQw6zS61QJN1KPomVF2SnvB0Gvxr7vyK3M4MaAoQfEALw_wcB



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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 11:50 AM

14. I've had a lot of rare or unusual foods

Hubby and I are adventurous eaters. It's all in the preparation.

I've had fine steaks cooked to hell by a shoe-leather making chef. I went to a sushi place that had abalone, and it was overcooked and tough. I've had pricier wines be pretty meh, and I've had little microbrew beers that were awful.

But I've also had duck, foie gras, maple sausage that blew me away. I've had CAD13 bottles of local wines that blew away $50 bottles I've had elsewhere. I've had gator, emu, wild boar, etc...

And I've also had humble ingredients elevated. A local place used to do a beef tongue grilled cheese sandwich and they braised the beef tongue and sliced it paper thin on a deli slicer, put it with creamy havarti and rich swiss with some fresh dill on super buttery brioche, and it was just to die for.

So, for me it's not about the rarity of the ingredient, it's all about the preparation and presentation.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 03:34 PM

16. Iranian Caviar 1988

The physicist & I shared some on toast that his family sent to him. It was pre first Gulf War.

Added I just looked up prices.
Still it was amazing at the time.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #16)

Wed May 2, 2018, 02:36 PM

27. My mother gave me a jar of Iranian caviar in 1974...

It was wonderful!



Only! 2018 - 2020.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 04:06 PM

17. I'll try anything once

well, just about - I still draw the line at poutine, and I'm not fond of gall bladder (or whatever that dark spongy thing a local Chinese restaurant puts in their otherwise excellent tripe stew).

Good quality ahi is worth the price to me - when you can find it. I've had actual Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee many, many years ago, when it was still possible to get the real unadulterated beans fro less than a mortgage payment, and yes, it was very good.

I confess I have eaten whale in Norway. Once was a free sample of whale sausage (which tasted just like the reindeer sausage which tasted just like the beef sausage), and once at a restaurant that specialized in local foods - that tasted like horse. The drawback to eating whale in Norway is that there an accompanying lecture on how it's sustainably caught. (It's sold in fish markets: it's weird to see a big chuck of red mammalian meat in the display with the normal fish).

I've had real Kobe beef in Japan (on someone else's expense account) and it was good. I can still taste the foie gras I had in Paris in 1999 - it's that rich. I'd like to someday have enough black truffles to be able to taste them.

My current vice is Cowgirl Creamery's Red Hawk cheese: it's good that it's too expensive to indulge in frequently, so it stays a treat.

I'll pay a premium for better quality meats, and eat less of them as a result.

Where I really see a difference in quality between cheaper and more expensive is with chocolate: cheap chocolates - especially the leftover Halloween ones - taste vaguely of chocolate but seem to just pique my chocolate craving. With the more concentrated premium ones I can eat one square a day and that's sufficient.

As for wines, my cellar is a mix of higher end Californian wines saved for special ocassions or for drinking with friends, a case of Two Buck Chuck for cooking, and whatever Trader Joe's had on sale.

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #17)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 05:12 PM

18. Yes to chocolate

Good chocolate is worth it, and indeed less is more.
DH likes his beer. Friend of ours always has expensive/foreign/exotic beers to impress. DH drinks them to be polite but really prefers Yuengling Lager or (yeah, I know, ďcorporate swillĒ) Miller.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 05:59 PM

19. I tend to prefer locally grown stuff. The wild asparagus that comes up here every year

are descendents of the plants that my Mom & Dad put in back in the early 1980s. Thanks to the birds, we have some amazing propagation. Every spring, usually in early April, I start harvesting the asparagus. I cut the first spears on a Monday and by Saturday, we have a couple of pounds that we roast with olive oil and salt and serve up for family at Sunday noon. This is absolutely the best food I have ever eaten and it's free!

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2018, 11:13 PM

21. Coffee. It is my personal opinion that coffee is just coffee.

For me, some of the supposedly expensive good stuff is harsh and not good. Me? I get along just fine with one cup of Maxwell House Instant every morning, and I'd defy almost anyone to tell the difference between that and some supposedly fine coffee.

The only expensive and somewhat rare thing I've ever had was caviar. I honestly don't know what kind of caviar it was, other than I had it while flying first class on Pan Am back in the early or mid 1970s. I do know I washed it down with ice cold vodka and enjoyed it immensely.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #21)

Wed May 2, 2018, 01:14 AM

22. We drink Folgers cclassic

I make a pot of Folgers Classic coffee every morning I am ashamed to tell my friends my dark secret; that I prefer plain old supermarket coffee over the fancy roasts we drink when we go out.

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Response to dem in texas (Reply #22)

Wed May 2, 2018, 03:04 AM

23. Ahh, it is so nice to meet a fellow coffee renegade.

Or however we should term ourselves.

I suppose coffee is like chocolate. I love chocolate. And I'm in despair of those who claim to love chocolate but think Hersheys is just as good as Godiva.

Perhaps if I drank more coffee I'd get the nuances. But I'm not likely to increase my intake beyond the one cup in the morning, so I suppose I'm a hopeless case.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #23)

Wed May 2, 2018, 02:18 PM

25. I think Hershey's is better than Godiva

Hersheyís is a nice middle-of-the-road milk chocolate. Godiva comes in fancy shapes but is a very waxy chocolate that often tastes off to me.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #21)

Wed May 2, 2018, 08:27 AM

24. I'm more in you chocolate comment below.

I don't now that expensive always means better in coffee, but what I don't like about coffees like Foldgers is that they blend so much that all individual notes of the coffee are lost. I love African coffees--especially Ethiopian and Kenyan. The bright, acidic, floral/citrus notes are just great. You can't get that with a general coffee (or Starbucks because I feel the roast too dark to make it more uniform).

But I don't get wine at all, so I'm not one to talk.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #21)

Thu May 3, 2018, 04:43 PM

31. It's as much about the preparation as the basic ingredients

The best coffee in the world isnít going to be all that distinctive if allowed to go stale and ran through a Mr Coffee.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Wed May 2, 2018, 02:32 PM

26. I had caper berry salad

before they were easy to buy. My friend gave me a serving from a high end grocer she shops at. I had to look up what they were. I love their salty sour flavor. Hard to believe it was almost 20 years ago. I have found online grocers that sell them, and now you can buy them at Big Lots, T.J. Maxx and Kohl's. People get me jars of them for Christmas.

The salad I had was equal parts artichoke hearts, caper berries and whole roasted garlic cloves with olive oil and herbs. I figured out how to make it myself, but haven't made it for a long time.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Wed May 2, 2018, 04:30 PM

30. Caviar, escargot and a tiny square of chocolate cake wrapped gold foil.

Birthday dinner and the appetizer was three types of caviar served with assorted rounds of toast, sliced eggs, cheeses and sour cream. Can't remember what types of caviar, but they were all delicious.

I love escargot, but its a day trip, or an overnight stay, to find them on the menu at a good restaurant, so its a pretty pricey dish.

The gold wrapped chocolate cake was ridiculous, but it was served at a posh wedding we attended. While it looked pretty, the cake was dry and it was so small it only lasted for two bites. Gold has no flavor at all.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Thu May 3, 2018, 09:51 PM

32. Recently had a gold filled

doughnut made for a company party when we hit our financial goal. Apparently each doughnut was 100.00. Our department was gifted a dozen.

It was okay and ofcourse we all took pictures of eating it... but honestly I've had better tasting doughnuts at Krispy Kreme.

I've had caviar, it was also Iranain caviar. We had a friend of the family bring it from Tehran. I ate some and kept thinking...what is the big deal? LOL!

I guess the only think I can think of was a wonderfully grilled tuna steak while in Hawaii on vacation. This was over 20 years ago... it was amazing, like butter! I no longer eat meat or fish.

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