Taramosalata - Greek caviar

Mediterranean cuisine, and Greek cuisine in particular, are among the most familiar and wholesome cuisines in the world. The emphasis on olive oil, wine, grains, herbs, vegetables, fish, meat, and a variety of other natural products make for a rich assortment of dishes with considerable health benefits. Over its lengthy history, Greek culture has been the source of many dishes that have entered the public consciousness far from their source. However, many delicacies are still only known locally, and they are well worth being brought to light. One such food is Taramosalata. Though it is usually written in English as "Taramasalata," a more accurate transcription of the Greek is "Taramosalata," with an "o." The name comes from the Turkish "tarama," meaning "fish roe," and the Italian "insalata," or "salad."

What is Taramosalata

Taramosalata is a paste dip made of Tarama caviar – cured Carp roe, Cod roe or Grey Mullet roe, depending on the most readily available fish in the region where it is made. As with any national product, Taramosalata features man regional variations, which use different combinations of ingredients depending on local tastes and the available ingredients. The fish roe used to make this dip varies, as does the starchy base. The traditional base is some dampened old bread without the crusts, but some alternatives are boiled mashed potatoes, beans, or even almonds. Furthermore, once the mashed roe has been combined with the starch base to form a paste, a variety of other ingredients can be added to produce an exciting range of flavors; popular options are minced onions or pressed garlic, white pepper, spring onions, or local greens. All these products are carefully combined and then intensively blended, with the addition of pure olive oil and lemon juice.

So Taramosalata is an emulsion similar to mayonnaise, but made without eggs and considerably more wholesome.

The Krinos Taramosalata  we proudly offer is a form of this dip made without a starch base, using only the krinos tarama combined with oil and lemon juice into a delicate, soft, and creamy paste. The carp roe used in this product is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and of course olive oil is a well-known source of wholesome monounsaturated fats.

This salty, flavorful caviar spread with its tang of lemon and rich sea flavor is very popular among Greeks year-round, and is served as a part of the traditional meze (a set of appetizers set out on the table) during the family dinner at home or at dinner with friends in a Greek tavern. It is perfectly combined with the crispy pita triangles, fresh bread, toasts, crackers, fresh vegetables and anything else that can be dipped or have something spread on it.

Taramosalata is a particular feature for Greek families on Clean Monday or Kathará Deutéra, the first day of the Great Lent, the forty-day fast that precedes Easter in the Eastern Orthodox Christian church.