Caviar is frequently associated with fine dining. It's rare; it's sophisticated; it's luxurious-but that doesn't necessarily mean it's unattainable. Many people can enjoy premium caviar in the comfort of their home, but may lack the information on where to get it or how to serve it properly.
If you'd like to try the best caviar but you're unsure about where to start, you've come to the right place. This in-depth guide to premium caviar will walk you through all the details about this delicacy, step by step, ensuring that you can experience unforgettable dining.
What Is Caviar?
Caviar is the unfertilized eggs of fish from the sturgeon family. Also known as roe, these eggs are also harvested from other types of fish, including trout, salmon and flying fish. However, caviar exclusively comes from sturgeon.
How Is Caviar Made?
Once harvested, caviar is filtered into different size classifications before being cleaned and rinsed. Next, it goes through a salt-curing process that helps to preserve the flavors and the freshness. Different amounts of salt are added to create different flavor profiles.
Lastly, the caviar is dried before being graded based on its texture and color. Once those steps are completed, the caviar is packaged that will remain airtight until it is ready to be served.
What Does Caviar Taste Like?
Caviar does not have a fishy taste like you might expect. Instead, the flavor of caviar is typically smooth and rich. The delicate flavors vary slightly depending on which variety you select, but most are slightly buttery in taste.
Types of Caviar
- Beluga caviar: This is the rarest type of caviar. It features a light-gray to charcoal gray color with tender pearls typically about the size of peas. It's particularly full flavored, with buttery, creamy and nutty notes.
- Osetra caviar: Although Osetra caviar is not as rare as Beluga, it's actually the most popular type of caviar in the world. The pearls are slightly larger and firmer, and the color varies from dark amber to deep green. Osetra has some of the nutty richness associated with Beluga, but it also has subtle briny notes in the flavor profile.
Where to Buy Caviar
You won't find caviar on your typical grocery store shelves. If you do, it's likely not a high-quality product. Instead, you need to either visit a very high-end gourmet food supplier or, like most caviar shoppers today, order online.
The Wagyu Shop™ is an excellent resource for buying caviar online, featuring exclusive products sourced from Asia, Italy and regions near the Caspian Sea. Options include Kaluga Osetra caviar, which has a particularly creamy taste, and Karat Russian Osetra, which has a nuttier flavor. The Wagyu Shop™ also offers premium a Beluga Hybrid with a buttery and rich flavor profile.
How to Serve Caviar
Once you've received your caviar, you might be wondering about the recommended way to consume it. For your first taste, don't feel the need to overthink it. Caviar can be enjoyed straight off of a spoon without any fuss or fancy accoutrements. A smaller spoonful (about a half teaspoon) is ideal since this delectable food should be enjoyed in small bites to fully savor the flavors. A mother-of-pearl spoon is preferred since it does not hold or transfer any flavors, ensuring that your caviar tastes exactly as intended.
If you want to impress guests with a classy hors d'oeuvre or simply create a memorable meal at home, here are a few additional tips for serving caviar:
- Place caviar serving dishes over ice to keep it cold.
- Use non-metallic spoons for serving and eating.
- Pair it with unsalted crackers, toast points or blini.
- Add a bit of crème-fraiche for a light, creamy accent.
- Champagne, vodka and white wine are well suited to caviar's flavors.
Even if you've never tried it before, there's no reason to be intimidated by caviar. Anyone can enjoy indulgent bites of caviar, especially with this guide to walk them through the ins and outs of selecting and serving this exquisite food.