Once processed fish eggs are salted and ready for eating, they can be consumed in endless ways. There is no exact way to eat caviar correctly but there are ways you can prepare and pair for the best overall experience. When considering how you should eat caviar, here are some items you want to note:
- What to eat with caviar
- How to serve caviar
- Caviar serving sets
Let’s dive in and learn how you can serve and eat caviar like a pro!
The "Right Way” To Eat Caviar
Many purists believe the only way to eat caviar is by itself, or with the "classic" accompaniments, however, caviar can be eaten in endless ways and is a much more common ingredient today than previous decades.
Traditionally, caviar is eaten in small portions, often smaller than a tablespoon. It is recommended to take small bites and savor the subtle flavors and texture, but most-importantly, enjoy as hors d'oeuvres or it at the beginning of a meal. Tradition also considers it inelegant to eat large portions of this delicacy but, since the industry has changed so dramatically in the past decade with farming, caviar is now enjoyed more often and in larger quantities per sitting. Being a valuable product with rich flavor, you should treat it as such and start out with smaller amounts to savor the experience.
When somebody is eating caviar for the first time, they may ask “are you supposed to chew caviar?” You actually want to resist the urge to chew. Instead, you should treat caviar like a fine wine and roll the eggs around your mouth to savor the rich flavor and unique texture. Gently press the eggs between your soft palate and tongue and let the buttery nuances melt in your mouth. Between tastings, it is recommended you cleanse your palate, which is why champagne, dry white wine, and vodka pair so well with caviar.
What To Eat With Caviar
There are many different accompaniments you can enjoy with your caviar. One of the most well-known pairings is caviar on a blini. Blinis are basically a small pancake or crépe made with leavened batter. They pair beautifully with caviar and subtly complement its flavor. Often, they will be topped with crème fraîche and then caviar to create a simple, delicious appetizer.
Crackers are also a very common pairing for caviar. A plain cracker is often used so it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the caviar. Really, any low-salt, carb will go well with fine caviar. A warm, fresh piece of bread, baguette toast-point, unsalted or lightly-salted potato or pita chips can serve as your caviar carb-base. We love caviar on fresh bread or kettle chips here at Caviar Star.
Next, you might want to add a dairy product: crème fraîche, sour cream, whipped cream cheese, or unsalted butter. Top it off with a serving of your favorite caviar and garnish with crumbled hard-boiled chicken eggs and or diced mild onions. We love to eat our naturally smoked Trout roe on a bagel with cream cheese, just like your classic bagel and lox (cold smoked salmon). Sturgeon caviar to top off the classic bagel and lox is also incredibly delicious. The possibilities are endless--it just depends on your personal taste!
When it comes to drinks, caviar is typically served with dry champagne and vodka most often because they cleanse the palate and allow you to taste the full flavor of the caviar. Avoid fruity, sweet, or tart wines, instead opt for something on the drier side that won't overpower the nuances of the caviar. Mild lager or blonde beer pairs nicely with most red caviar (roe), like cold-smoked Trout roe.
These items are some of the most common caviar accompaniments, but caviar has been used in different recipes that go well beyond just crackers and toast. Check out some of the unique ways you could eat caviar with our caviar recipes.
How To Serve Caviar
Despite the expanding usage of caviar and fish roe in the culinary world, the same handling and serving methods must be followed when the time comes to eat the product. No matter if it is at a restaurant, corporate event, or cocktail party, serving caviar properly requires the right conditions and tools when being served so that the product can be enjoyed at its full potential. The main idea is to keep the caviar chilled while serving, and ensuring your container is not left uncovered for too long to prevent the eggs from drying out and hardening. You also want to ensure the spoon being used is not made of silver or wood, to prevent contaminating the flavor. Mother of pearl, shell, or bone spoons are great options.
We have comprised the following do's and don'ts of serving caviar for anyone looking to enhance their caviar serving experience. Follow these guidelines below to help maximize the flavor and texture your fish roe has to offer, making it perfect for a fresh caviar tasting.
Caviar Serving Temperature
Caviar should be kept between 26 – 34℉. Air and heat are the greatest threat to your caviar's quality. This is especially true for fresh malossol caviar. Keep the container airtight and in the coldest part of the refrigerator until it is ready to serve, or else the flavor and texture can suffer.
Caviar is best served chilled, which is usually why certain caviar servers have built-in ice trays. Keeping the container over ice will help the product stay fresh. If it starts to warm up too much, then it can become soft and diminish flavor. Some people like to let their caviar warm up to room temperature to experience a stronger flavor and softer texture but we recommend keeping it chilled while serving to preserve the freshness and saftey. If the ice has melted and you still have leftover caviar, use some plastic wrap to cover the product, put on the original lid and return the product to the coldest part of your refrigerator for later use ASAP. Opened/unsealed, refrigerateed caviar should ideally be consumed within 3 days.
How Much Caviar To Serve
Serving portions depend on the application (in a recipe, as a garnish, or for service) and how much your guests love caviar. A good scoop for a garnish or quenelle is usually 5-10 grams. For service or portion-costing for events, we typically recommend 1/2 to 1 ounce per person.
Caviar Serving Ideas
When the caviar is the main focus of the dish being served, you will want it to stand out. By tradition, stronger flavored caviar is served with boiled egg yolks and white, red onion, chives, lemon, and other strong-flavored foods. This comes from the days before refrigeration, when caviar would essentially spoil in transit. However, the fresh malossol cured sturgeon caviar made today should be consumed with anything that won't overpower the subtle nuances of the caviar. You want to highlight the flavor profile of the caviar with carbs and dairy, and other fatty elements. Preparing the roe with a little crème fraîche (or butter) on top of a blini (or toast point) is a great way to serve the roe without masking the product's flavor. On the other hand, many connoisseurs prefer to eat caviar straight up, requiring only a spoon or even just the back of your hand (Caviar Bump).
It is always a good idea to self-inspect your caviar before serving it. Make sure it was air-tight and kept at optimum temperatures (26-34 F). Check for any musty, or off-putting smells. Sample a taste of the product before removing too much from the container and feeding it to others. Anytime you are eating directly from the caviar's original container, it is polite to avoid putting the serving spoons directly in your mouth and returning them to the product. Instead, use an old Russian technique--the caviar “bump”. Scoop the caviar from the container and spread it on the back of your hand, near the thumb joint where we have a tiny natural bowl. Bon appetit!
Caviar Serving Sets
We always recommend having your own caviar dish or caviar plate to serve on. The spoon used to serve the caviar shouldn’t be just any old spoon and should have a smaller, flatter head than classic serving spoons. You might want to use a delicate caviar spoon made from porcelain, glass, bone, mother of pearl, or shell to scoop and spread your caviar. The material of the spoon adversely affects the initial taste as it hits your tongue and the eggs can absorb the flavors of the material through their membrane. For example, using silver and wooden spoons slightly alter the flavor. Thus, any surface that comes into contact with the caviar, including all dishes and serving-ware, must be made out of materials that will not adversely affect the roe. It's always best practice to use a specialized caviar server and utensil!
With these caviar serving tips above, you will be able to ensure your dinner party will go off without a hitch!