How to Eat Caviar the Right Way
Whether you’re a high flyer and used to the luxury of Caviar or you’re trying something new and splashing out for a special occasion, there are a lot of myths around these pricey little eggs.
This post will debunk the common confusion with Caviar and tell you what you need to know for buying, serving and eating this delicacy in the most appropriate way.
Let’s start with the basics…
What is Caviar?
Caviar is fish eggs (commonly known as roe), which are cleaned to remove fatty tissue and membrane, and then lightly salted in non-iodized salt.
Traditional Caviar comes from the sturgeon fish and most of the world’s Caviar comes from just three species of this fish: Beluga, Osetra and Sevruga. But as these fish become increasingly scarce, due to overfishing, other kinds of roe have become popular, such as Salmon. However, Caviar from other fish is not considered ‘true’ Caviar.
Caviar, whether ‘true’ or the less traditional roe, is actually better than a superfood. It has the highest grade and easily absorbed protein and is loaded with good vitamins. Mean to say is that those eating it get a nutritional power boost with every mouthful.
Types of Caviar
Where Caviar is concerned, size does matter! There’s a quick and easy measure of the quality of Caviar and that is simply by how large and firm the spheres of the eggs are. The bigger the better, i.e. they are of a higher quality.
There are two grades of sturgeon Caviar:
- Grade 1 – roe is firm, large and intact with a fine colour and flavour
- Grade 2 – roe is still delicious, but not as perfectly formed
Colour also plays an important role in the quality of Caviar. Colour doesn’t impact the taste of Caviar, but light colours are rarer than dark colours and as a result they are more expensive.
The rarest and most expensive Caviar is known as royal Caviar, which is golden; this is only found in one in 1,000 Osetra sturgeons.
The Right Way to Serve Caviar
There is a right way to serve Caviar and that is ice cold – which is why you will find many places serve the tin of Caviar on a bed of ice. You should try to serve it at 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Caviar won’t freeze until it hits about 27 degrees F so ice cold doesn’t mean it will be ice. You should never freeze Caviar because it will compromise the texture.
And, when serving Caviar you shouldn’t use anything metal based, i.e. a metal bowl or spoon. Caviar will absorb the taste of the metal through it’s fine membrane. Always choose utensils that are made of alternative materials, such as glass, bone or mother of pearl or if you are flush with cash, even gold. Wood is not an idea substitute as this can absorb other elements, which can be imparted into the Caviar.
The amount of Caviar you take should be no more than a bite; smaller than a tablespoon’s worth. Any more and you may find it overwhelming and it is considered rude to take too much!
How to Really Taste Caviar
For the purists Caviar should be experienced on its own. And, in order to taste the butter of the fat you shouldn’t chew it. Rather you should use your tongue, this is where your taste receptors are, and enjoy the flavour.
Caviar coinceurs encourage you to taste Caviar like you would a fine wine. Take a small spoonful, smell the aroma before you go to taste, then tip the Caviar beads onto your tongue and savour the flavour. Breathe through your nose while you absorb the texture and taste in your mouth.
Caviar, just like wine, has different tasting notes and the flavours may linger when you swallow, enjoy the sensations and aroma before you take a drink.
Or if you don’t want to put a spoon in your mouth, you can choose to taste Caviar like the Russians. Place a little on the back of your hand, near your thumb, where we have a natural bowl and eat it in one from here. This is the same place you put the salt when taking a shot of Tequila.
Whichever way you choose to consume it, as long as you follow the above, both are correct.
The Best Accompaniments
There is a lot of contradiction about what you should and shouldn’t pair with Caviar, lemon for one, but here are a few of the absolute classics that it seems everyone agrees on.
Blinis – Russian by origin these are small buckwheat pancakes and these with a dot of sour cream or crème fraiche are a perfect accompaniment to place a small dollop of Caviar on top of.
Oysters or Fois Gras – if you’re aiming for high indulgence, pairing Caviar with either of these will most certainly achieve luxury. And, they are both a perfect match.
Cucumber – both fresh and light, this vegetable provides a good accompaniment to help showcase the flavour in Caviar.
And then we come onto what to drink. Depending on your origin, you may be swayed towards either Vodka or Champagne.
Vodka is a very traditional choice, as it is very clean and clears the palate well and tends to be favoured by the purists. However, Champagne adds a little more luxury to the occasion and is a popular option for celebration. If you choose Champagne, dry is best, because it will bring out the saltiness of the Caviar.
If you keep Caviar at the correct temperature – discussed earlier in the post – it can last up to 6 weeks if it is unopened. However, once opened you need to keep the air out and seal the Caviar well before refrigerating. In this instance, it should be eaten within 2 or 3 days. Any longer and the Caviar will spoil.
Follow the tips and advice from above and you should enjoy Caviar in the best way possible. Bon Appetite.
- How to Eat Caviar – WikiHow
- The Right Way to Eat Caviar – Celebrity Angels
- How To Eat Caviar, According To An Expert. Wash Your Hands First – Huff Post