When it comes to luxury not many types of food hold the repute of caviar, a fine delicacy appreciated all over the world. Although many types of fish roe such as the ebiko from salmon or the eggs of the lumpfish are bracketed as ‘caviar’, today we are going to focus on the most exquisite of them all, the roe from the sturgeon that basks in the Caspian Sea.
Know your caviar
Sturgeon are also highly prized for their flavorful flesh
There are many varieties of caviar, even within the sturgeon family itself, so you have to be careful when considering your delicacy. Of all the varieties of caviar, the three most prized are the Sevruga, the Ossetra and the most valuable of them all, the Beluga caviar.
These three caviars have traditionally been harvested from the Caspian Sea, and they are all highly prized in Russia and Iran. Sturgeon roe can be prepared in many ways, but in most cases they are salt-cured. Caviar that is pasteurised has a lower value and tastes significantly different to unpasteurised caviar. You’ll know fresh caviar as it has a firmer texture and stronger flavour.
Variety of caviar
Sevruga caviar is one of the most expensive of the caviars and is harvested from the Stellate sturgeon, renowned for its distinctive smaller size. The smaller size of this caviar makes it perfect as a garnish for delicate dishes, where the savoury flavour of the caviar can sing. Sevruga is one of the most common caviar sold, and accounts for about half of all the caviar consumed around the world.
Wonderful flavour of the ocean
The caviar known as Imperial or Ossetra caviar is harvested from the Caspian Sea. This royal caviar comes from white sturgeon and is amongst the rarest of the caviars. In the old days, this caviar would be harvested from the Sterlet sturgeon, but with this fish now extinct, it is harvested from the White Ossetra sturgeon. The eggs are a distinctive colour, and it has a nuttier and stronger flavour than other varieties.
Rare and exquisitely delicious
Beluga caviar is harvested from the Huso Huso sturgeon and it is the most prized of the caviars. Also harvested from the Caspian Sea, the most prized live their lives on the borders of Iran and Russia. The reason for its price is not only due to its delicate flavour, but because it can often take up to 20 years for the sturgeon to mature to be harvested, so it’s a long-term investment.
How to handle your caviar
Most caviar today comes in small glass jars and is sold at around 50 grams per jar.
Most caviar are sold in smaller jars
Don’t make this one mistake handling caviar
One of the most important things about handling caviar is to ensure that you do not contaminate the caviar itself. This is why you are always advised to use a non-metallic spoon, and the most commonly used spoons sold to handle caviar are made from mother of pearl, animal horn or wood.
Metal spoons are considered to be able to contaminate the flavour of the caviar, however, modern science tells us this may only be true with silver cutlery, which is reactive. In any case, it’s a part of the elaborate story behind eating caviar that the age-old rule should still be followed to this day.
A variety of mother-of-pearl spoons
The enjoyment of caviar
Caviar can be enjoyed as an appetiser or a light accompaniment to drinks. You can enjoy these luxurious little drops of heaven with a rooftop view at Marini’s on 57 or as an appetiser to a steak at Marble 8 Steakhouse – or even for high tea at M Marini Caffé. Its versatility really shines!