Caviar: The Ritual
To fully enjoy all the subtle flavours of Caviar, try the following ritual: Serve a small portion of Caviar on the back of your thumb. After a few seconds on the hand, the Caviar warms slightly and the intense taste of the caviar will be released. First, bring your fist under the nose and evaluate the fragrance; this should be almost absent, sometimes slightly evoking the sea (but it should not be associated with the smell of preserved fish). Now, let’s taste! Take the caviar in your mouth and use your tongue to trap and burst the roe against the palate (roof of your mouth). Only then, the pure taste and delicate flavour of the Caviar will be fully released and appreciated. Simply enjoy an explosion of taste…
How to Serve Caviar?
Serving Caviar the right way shall not merely please the eye, also the palate.
Firstly, Caviar should always be served on ice!
For a simple presentation, keep it in the tin, placed on crushed ice. When it comes to serving Caviar, placing the tin’s lid nearby is not only allowed, it’s customary.
Secondly, Caviar should be served with a proper spoon!
From a simple glass server to mother of pearl hand carved spoons, the “accoutrements de la table” for serving Caviar are as practical as they are pretty.
A mother of pearl or tortoise shell spoon is used to lift the delicate egg up vertically to avoid crushing it. Of course, it is not obliged to use mother of pearl spoons. However, be forewarned: Caviar connoisseurs believe metal utensils spoil the subtle taste of Caviar and they prefer to rather use plastic ware than risk sabotaging the savoury delicacy
Finally, the drink should not overwhelm the Caviar!
What to drink? Traditionally, ice cold vodka (a neutral vodka, not spiced or flavoured) or dry champagne accompany Caviar. The rule of thumb is not to serve any beverage or food that will overwhelm the Caviar taste.
Now simply ENJOY…
Preservation is key: keep Caviar cool & fresh
Freshness is what differentiates enjoying delicately flavoured Caviar from serving up a heap of fish eggs. As long as the can or jar hasn’t been opened, caviar will stay fresh for several months. However, once the can has been opened it will perish within about 72 hours. To store it, keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator (usually the bottom drawer) but never freeze Caviar- you’ll destroy the texture and taste.
Traditional Russian Blinis
If serving caviar is an art, then traditional Russian blinis are the perfect blank canvas.
These traditionally tiny gourmet buckwheat pancakes and sour cream are the classic complements to caviar. Dollop a cloud of sour cream on top of a warm blini and top it off with a small portion of Caviar and voilà, a traditional Caviar canapé.
Steak Tartare with Caviar
The French cuisine was the first in the world serving steak tartare, somewhere early in the 20th century.
Although a steak tartare is well-balanced and flavourful on its own, topping it with caviar brings it to the next level. The slightly salty touch of the caviar is in perfect harmony with this delicious and traditional French dish.
Pomme Moscovite literally translated as potato from Moscow, was the Tsars’ all-time favourite.
This classic dish is elegant by its simplicity. Simply, boil a solid potato in the peel and let it cool off for a moment. Then, cut it in two and spoon out both halfs. Now smash the crumb while adding some butter and chives. Eventually, fill the potato and top it off with sour cream and a nice spoon of caviar.