HOW TO SERVE CAVIAR
While caviar is a delicacy that is typically enjoyed on its own, there are popular accompaniments and garnishes that can enhance the experience. These include creme fraiche, lemon wedges, chopped hard-cooked eggs (separately yolks and whites), mini potatoes, minced onions, blinis, and lightly buttered toast points. However, it’s important to note that higher quality caviar is best savored in its pure form or paired simply with toast, blinis, or unsalted crackers.
When serving a variety of caviar types, it is customary to present them in order of taste intensity. Begin with the milder and more subtly flavored options, such as White Sturgeon, progressing towards the more robust and intense flavors of caviar, such as Sevruga. This sequence allows guests to fully appreciate the nuanced differences and progression of flavors as they indulge in the caviar selection.
Serving Sizes For Caviar
Allow at least 14 g (½ oz) to 28 g (1 oz) of caviar per person. Refer to the caviar serving chart below:
If you are looking to enjoy non-sturgeon roe, specifically, salmon roe, we recommend allowing for at least 28 g (½ oz) of caviar per person. Refer to the roe serving chart below:
To maintain the freshness and quality of caviar, it is crucial to store it correctly. Caviar should be kept refrigerated within a temperature range of 26-35°F (-3 to 2°C). When unopened, sturgeon caviar can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.
When it comes to serving caviar, minimizing exposure to air is essential. It is advisable to purchase caviar in smaller containers that can be consumed in a single sitting or caviar service. However, if you have leftover caviar, gently spread it flat with a mother-of-pearl spoon, ensuring that none of the eggs break. Cover the caviar with plastic wrap, pressing down lightly to remove any air trapped between the eggs and the cover. The remaining caviar should be consumed within the next 3 days to maintain its optimal flavor and texture.
It’s worth noting that the presentation of caviar in traditional European settings can vary, particularly in terms of tableware and beverage pairings. In Russian culture, caviar is typically served in bowls made of metal, porcelain, or glass, without the use of ice. Guests are provided with special spoons featuring a blade shaped like a caviar spoon, often made of silver or gold-plated material. On the other hand, in European tradition, caviar is often presented in a dedicated caviar bowl placed on a bed of crushed ice inside a specific vase, creating an elegant display. In some cases, unique caviar bowls made from pearl shells may also be utilized, adding a touch of sophistication to the presentation.
Beverages To Pair With Caviar
Caviar presents an excellent opportunity to explore the world of alcoholic pairings. In traditional Ukrainian and Russian cuisine, caviar is often enjoyed alongside ice-cold vodka, creating a classic combination. However, in European culinary traditions, champagne and wine are often preferred companions for caviar, especially when served as a dessert. Furthermore, certain types of caviar can be enhanced by specific varieties of wines and sparkling wines. Here are some suggested combinations that are known to be perfect matches:
- Chardonnay & Beluga, Osetra, or White Sturgeon Caviar
- Cabernet Sauvignon & White Sturgeon Caviar
- Sauvignon Blanc & Golden Whitefish, Salmon, or Trout Caviar
- Brut & Any Black (Sturgeon) Caviar
- Blanc de Blanc & White Sturgeon, Salmon, or Trout Caviar
- Blanc de Noir & Beluga or Osetra Caviar
- Sparkling Rosé & Beluga or Osetra Caviar
- Pinot Noir & Salmon, Golden Whitefish, or White Sturgeon Caviar
- Rosé & Trout, Golden Whitefish Caviar, White Sturgeon, or Any Black (Sturgeon)
Caviar should always be served chilled, but it should never be frozen. Keeping caviar at room temperature can negatively impact its true taste and aroma. To ensure the optimal temperature throughout your meal and to preserve its authentic flavors, caviar should be presented on a bed of crushed ice. It is considered improper, and even impolite, to take large portions of caviar at once. When enjoying caviar at a social gathering or event, it is customary to consume smaller amounts, equivalent to or less than a tablespoon, to savor its delicate and distinct flavors. It is important to remember that caviar is not typically served as a main dish due to its intense flavor profile. Incorporating it as a component of a larger dish may compromise the overall tasting experience and can be quite costly if used in large quantities. Therefore, it is recommended to serve black caviar as an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre, following the traditional serving approach.
When it comes to serving caviar, it is preferable to use mother of pearl spoons and forks. As previously mentioned, these non-metallic utensils prevent the caviar from oxidizing and acquiring a metallic taste. Additionally, bone, horn, glass, and wooden utensils are also acceptable. By using such materials, you can fully appreciate the intricate flavors and delicate aroma of the caviar, ensuring that your sense of taste is not compromised by any metallic undertones.