I consider early spring the best time of year. Not because of the bud break, no; because of the shad roe. The egg sac of a member of the herring family, shad roe is my very favorite food. Right now, when shad migrate upriver to spawn, they're culled not only for their bony, white fillets but for their crimson roe, which grows inside cleft-shaped sacs, one pair of lobes per female. Shad roe is so delicious that through the rest of the year, I pine for March spawning season. But populations have been so depreciated from habitat loss and overfishing, it doesn't feel right to eat it for any more than one meal a year. So, I try to make it a good one.