A Complete Guide to Buying and Eating Caviar
Caviar is simply the roe of sturgeon that is lightly salted and cured. Traditionally served on blinis topped with crème fraiche, caviar is a wonderfully versatile food that can enhance and compliment a wide variety of dishes.
Caviar is synonomous with “Celebration” and there is simply no better way to celebrate and honor your guests than to serve the finest caviar.
The Russian term “Malossol” translates to “little salt” referring to the traditional Caviar production process where only a minimal amount of salt is added to best enhance the flavor and preserve the caviar.
Always store caviar in the coldest part of your refrigerator until ready to open and serve.
Caviar Shelf life
To enjoy caviar at its peak of freshness, consume within 7 to 10 days following purchase, and once opened, utilize immediately.
How Does Caviar Travel?
Caviar, when packed in a Caviar Russe Thermal Gift Bag with Frozen Gel Ice (on top and bottom of the caviar) and packed in the Caviar Russe styrofoam insulated and lined shipping box, may be transported for up to 48 hours.
What Do You Use to Serve Caviar?
The world’s most precious delicacy deserves equally unique serving pieces. Serve caviar in a caviar server or présentoir, along with mother of pearl utensils to elevate the overall experience. Traditionally, caviar has been best served using instruments crafted from bone, horn or shell, as serving pieces made of sterling silver often cause a reaction with the caviar, imparting a metallic flavor and tarnishing the caviar experience.
Suggested Portions for Caviar Service
1.75oz (50g) makes 20 canapés for 4 persons.Hors D’Oeuvres (self served):
1oz (28g) - 1.75oz (50g) per person.
Dining first course:
1oz (28g) - 1.75oz (50g) per person.
Caviar makes a wonderful “Thank You” gift. We suggest 4.4oz(125g), as a perfect gift size, and a gracious quantity for 1 to 2, while still appropriate for 4.
Caviar & Sturgeon
The female beluga sturgeon takes up to twenty-five years to mature and produce eggs. Beluga caviar is the largest-grain caviar and varies in color from light to dark gray. These Beluga pearls are the most delicate and have a mild buttery flavor. Beluga was banned from further import to the United States, as of fall 2005. For those who prefer the inherent mild buttery richness of Beluga Malossol caviar, we suggest the extremely rare Platinum Osetra caviar.
The female Osetra require up to ten years to produce eggs and offer medium-grain caviar of a light to dark brown color with golden highlights. These eggs are firmer in contrast to Beluga and have a nutty flavor. Golden Osetra caviar is a rare form of Osetra that is golden yellow in color and has abundantly rich flavor.
The female Sevruga sturgeon is generally smaller than the Osetra, maturing after 7 years and offers a small grain caviar that is light to dark grey and most flavorful. Sevruga Caviar was once the most plentiful of all Caspian Caviar.
Female Sterlet mature after five to seven years and produce a small-grain caviar. Sterlet caviar is light to dark gray in color and has a distinctively strong and intense flavor.
Female Siberian Sturgeon mature after 5 or 6 years and provide a small to medium grain caviar that is predominantly dark brown to black in color offering great concentrated caviar flavor.
Most commonly indigenous to the Northern Pacific Coast, and most prevalent in the Snake, Sacramento, Columbia, and Willamette Rivers. The Pacific sturgeon is considered the largest of all the domestic sturgeon. The caviar derived from the transmontanus overall is medium to large in grain, light grey to black in complexion, and generally very mild in flavor.
Shovelnose / Hackleback
Also known as hackleback or sand sturgeon, shovelnose are the smallest domestic sturgeon, reaching upwards of about one meter and are mostly populated in the midwest of the United States. The shovelnose weigh up to twenty-five pounds, and the female begins to produce caviar around the age of seven, offering a small- to mid-sized, rich and flavorful sturgeon caviar.
Caviar which is judged unsuitable to be served as whole-grain (or zernistaya) becomes the perfect candidate for Pressed Caviar. Through a gentle curing and pressing process, pressed caviar achieves a highly concentrated consistency, suitable for slicing and spreading. Historically known as payusnaya, pressed caviar provided the alternative to czarist ice-block storage in times before refrigeration.