I never know what I'm going to find when I go into a Dollar Tree. The place is loaded with surprises - like this stuff: Giovanni's Shrimp Spread.
I'm a big fan of patés, potted meats, and confits both commercial and homemade, so I put this into my shopping cart without a second thought.
The photo at left really doesn't do justice to the awesomeness of the spread's pumpkin-custard-orange color. Despite having a very strong "dockside" aroma, it looked like the center of a pumpkin pie.
The flavor was quite unique. Shrimpy, yes, but with a faint livery taste like lobster tomalley (even though there is absolutely no lobster or liver in this paté.) Savory and not very salty, it paired well with the crackers we spread it on.
The dogs and I were the only ones with much appreciation for it. Maryanne told me it "wasn't bad" but declined further samples, and Lynnafred just flat out called it "another disgusting chapter in your food shenanigan journal." Criticism notwithstanding, I would certainly buy this product again. I thought it was really good as a spread, but I can also think of at least a few applications for it in other recipes:
- Mixed with a little softened butter, spread on lightly toasted baguette slices, and run under a broiler for quickie shrimp toasts
- Added as a binder to the filling for stuffed crabs
- Mixed into the stuffing for deviled eggs
Look for it at your local Dollar Tree. You can also check out Giovanni's Appetizing Foods on their Facebook page.