Top 5 Celebratory Foods

There are certain foods that come to mind when we think about celebrations: splurge foods that, once they hit your palate, let you know life is good. Although we each have our own special food traditions, here are my choices for the top 5 foods to eat when it's time to celebrate. I would also love to know what special foods you turn to on New Year's Eve or other celebratory occasions.

5. Chocolate Soufflés: You know that something is good when you have to order it 45 minutes in advance. You just sat down to dinner and now they're asking about dessert? Usually in a case like this, you'd tell them to shove it, but chocolate soufflés are so good and so rare, that whenever you get the chance, you have to order one. And the recipe is tricky enough that these suckers don't come out for just any meal - you know it's exceptional feast if you're getting to end things with a decadently rich chocolate soufflé.

4. Steak: Although many people eat steak on a fairly regular basis, most of us don't eat "S"teak that often. You know what I mean. The giant, perfectly prepared Porterhouse or the $50 six-ounce Kobe beef filet mignon: the kind of steak that reminds you why you could never, ever be a vegetarian.

3. Truffles: This is one of my favorite celebration foods. I adore the earthy aroma of a truffle whether it is white or black. It's not every day that I can shell out $25 for a light sprinkling of something that grows in the dirt over my potato gratin, but when that intense duskiness hits my taste buds, I know it's party time.

2. Caviar: Although we sometimes get small tastes of lower-end caviar with our sushi rolls, it isn't very often that we break out the good stuff -- you know, the kind that you just want to eat with a spoon directly from the jar while sipping Cristal. Though I have never encountered that particular scenario, it certainly sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate something.

1. Lobster: Perhaps we just think of lobster as a festive food because it pairs so well with champagne. Or perhaps it's because it's the best food in the world. Regardless, when lobster is on your plate, it's party time. Whether it's the whole crustacean or just big chunks of lobster swirled into mac and cheese or corn dogs, it really doesn't matter. Lobster is opulent, luxurious, and the perfect way to add a big kick of celebration to your meal.

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Geri Maria Harris