Note: All prices in US Dollars
Search by Keyword
Russians particularly deserve credit for that most sublime combination, blini and caviar, as perfect a culinary marriage as bacon and eggs or tomatoes and pasta. The best way to eat blini is to slather butter on the already buttered pancakes, drop a spoonful of caviar in the center, and roll the whole thing into a tube. Today, Russians will often substitute a layer of sour cream for butter, an even greater indulgence. But when they eat caviar on toast, it is always with a smear of butter.
Classic caviar service is simple and elegant. Keep caviar refrigerated until ready to serve. Ideally nestle the entire open tin or jar in a bed of crushed ice, with the lid alongside. This is not only attractive, but also informative to your guests. Accompany caviar with fresh toast points, with or without butter.
Again, caviar should be kept as simple as possible. Accompany caviar with toast, blini, or potatoes. Perhaps a touch of creme fraiche, but nothing more to mask the intense and bewitching experience of eating caviar. Caviar's traditional beverage partners are iced vodka or chilled brut champagne. However, with the availability of less expensive, domestic caviars, it is not only perfectly acceptable, but FUN and delicious to experiment with various recipes using caviar.
Any spoon made from a natural resource (horn, wood, bone, mother-of pearl) can be used to serve caviar. Just beware of using sterling silver, as it oxidizes when it comes in contact with caviar. It imparts a metallic taste, and caviar will discolor the silver.
If you do not have a caviar server, put the caviar in a small glass container placed in a larger container filled with crushed ice. Ice and water should never come in contact with caviar.
There is a consensus about the best alcoholic drinks to serve with caviar. Dry vodka, semi-dry and dry champagne are the most often preferred, followed by dry white wines and mineral water. However, modern gourmands agree that an icy cold, light beer goes well with caviar, also.
Rule of thumb: REFRIGERATE, NEVER FREEZE!
Freezing your caviar will burst the roes once thawed, thus losing the essential qualities of the product. Fresh sturgeon roe should be kept refrigerated between 28 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 15 days unopened. Once opened, caviar must be consumed within 2 to 3 days. Pasteurized caviar will maintain its freshness for up to three months unopened. Caviar is a highly perishable item and should be treated accordingly.
Fresh caviar that has been opened and left in its container should be covered with a sheet of plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface before being placed back in the refrigerator. The tin should be flipped over each day to keep all eggs moist.
What is the nutritional value of caviar?
It can be said that caviar is actually good for you. Through chemical analysis it has been revealed that caviar does contain 47 vitamins and minerals. There are 68 grams of fat in a pound (16 ounces) of caviar, consisting of 25% cholesterol and 75% lecithin. There are only 74 calories in an ounce or 1,188 calories in a pound of caviar. Caviar is a good source of Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Iron, Magnesium and Selenium.
Sharpness and odor
One of the most common defects for both sturgeon and salmon caviar is sharpness in taste with slightly detectable sour aftertaste. This condition eventually develops into unacceptable and offensive sourness and sharpness. It is often accompanied by a fishy smell and taste.
The sharpness and sourness is mainly caused by microbiological and enzymatic spoilage. In the early stages it shows as a deterioration in taste; later it is followed by an offensive smell and loss of elastity of the egg membranes. As decomposition proceeds, egg shape collapses and a sticky slimy juice appears between the eggs and on the product surface.
Bitter aftertaste in caviar has many possible causes. Firstly, bitterness is noticeable in over-salted products or when poor quality salts, which contain excessive magnesium and calcium impurities, are used. Some preservatives may cause a slightly bitter or tangy aftertaste.
Bitterness may be result of fat oxidation and hydrolysis. Bitterness caused by fat oxidation and hydrolysis is easy to distinguish from bitterness caused by poor quality or excessive salt. If bitterness is caused by oxidation it has a tickling effect in the throat and is long lasting. If the problem has other causes, the bitterness is short lived.
Other off tastes
Caviar may have mild to strong off-tastes which are specific to the fish habitat or feeding patterns. The best known are the grassy or muddy off-tastes of sturgeon caviar. This off-taste appear swhen sturgeons are caught in shallow, stagnant waters overgrown with weeds.