How to eat caviar?

There are very few people who have never heard of caviar. It’s an extremely popular delicacy not just in the United States, but all around the world. Caviar’s reputation begs the question — why do people like it so much? What is so special about it?

Caviar is a magnificent natural product that amazes people with its unique and delicate taste. It is really a one-of-a-kind food that leaves you with a feeling that no other food can leave you with.

Here’s some information on how to eat caviar properly — general and essential tips on how to get the most out of this product’s taste, how to distinguish between types, and how to appreciate its flavor.

caviar serving

Caviar is a special product. A jar of caviar can turn your late Wednesday meal into a romantic dinner for two. 

A few jars of different caviars will be a brilliant idea if you want to impress all, even the most demanding guests at the party. And even when there’s no reason for you to show off, caviar is just a perfect, unusual, and scrumptious option to add to your menu.

So, you’ve bought a couple of jars, opened one of them for the dinner, and… What’s next?

How should you eat it? How can you taste all that brininess, creaminess, and nuttiness which the description on the jar promises you?

Let’s get back to the moment when you’re taking the caviar from the fridge, and make out how to serve and eat caviar properly.

Before You Open the Jar

Before you open the jar or tin, decide how you want to serve caviar: on its own or with other foods. And while you’re making this deliberate decision, make sure the jar or tin is in the fridge. Unlike many products, caviar should be served chilled and not at room temperature.

After you make your decision, prepare the tableware and pairings. Remember that if you’re going to enjoy caviar as is, without accompaniments, you need a bowl of crushed ice or an ice pack. You’ll sit the bowl with caviar onto the ice to keep the delicacy cool all the way during your quite romantic dinner or big family party.

When everything is ready and before you open the jar, wash your hands. Make sure the kitchenware you’re using is absolutely clean.Now, you can open the jar and continue serving. Find more serving tips from Marky’s here.

Why Does Tableware Matter?

Whether you’re serving caviar in a glass bowl, inside crepes, or on buckwheat pancakes, you should never opt for metal or wooden tableware. Fish roe beads absorb the strong flavors of steel, silver, and wood just like they absorb salt to become caviar. So, if you want to taste the natural brininess and butteriness of caviar, choose mother of pearl spoons. Mother of pearl is a natural composite material. 

caviar plate

As the name implies, it’s produced by some mollusks to form an inner shell layer and protect themselves from outer parasites and foreign objects.

Mother of pearl utensils will have no impact on the pure caviar flavor. Plus, they aren’t something rare and exquisite. 

You can find the collection of high-quality caviar tableware at the Marky’s online store.

Off the Hand or With a Spoon?

Even if you decided to pair the caviar with other foods, there’s an unspoken rule to try a little bit of caviar on its own before mixing it with other foods. 

Sure, you can eat the caviar from a mother of pearl spoon. You won’t break the etiquette. But there’s one more way to enjoy the treat. And you’ll probably find it more interesting and funny. You can eat caviar off your hand. To do it, spoon some caviar onto the back of your hand, between your thumb and index finger. 

Caviar aficionados believe this is the best way for the very first tasting, when you’re so new to the savor of caviar. 

The clean skin doesn’t give any additional flavor to the delicacy, so you can enjoy it in its purest form. And one more important thing here. However you and your guests prefer to eat caviar – off the hand or with a spoon – remember to wash your hands before the meal.

To Chew or Not to Chew?

To taste all subtleties of caviar without feeling jaded, you should have it in small bites. But as soon as the caviar beads touch your tongue, don’t try to chew them like you may do with other foods. 

Try to roll the beads around in your mouth with your tongue, and don’t use your teeth. So you’ll feel the “pop” and taste all flavors of the juice that will feel your mouth.

Caviar will reveal all its tang, saltiness, creaminess, and nuttiness to the fullest. 

What to Choose for a Perfect Match?

If you’re going to pair caviar with other foods, choose the ones that don’t have strong, pungent aromas and tastes. 

The pairing must highlight the natural savor of caviar, but not corrupt or overlap with it.  Here’s the list of sumptuous matches for caviar. Choose yours, please your taste buds, and surprise your second half or guests with delicious combinations.

    1. The classic: Blinis topped with a dollop of crème fraîche and caviar, and rolled into thin tubes.

    2. Generously buttered toast points topped with caviar.

    3. Bread with fennel seeds and vinegar or traditional Jewish rye bread with a dot of sour cream and a few dots of caviar.

    4. Chopped red onions, boiled eggs, and toasts or crackers. (Separate the yolks from the whites and crush them 

into different bowls.)

    5. Chopped chives and sliced pickles. Plus a bowl of freshly boiled potato with butter. (Let the potato cool, 

and top it with the caviar as soon as you serve it on the table. So the heat of the dish won’t ruin the 

delicate texture of the caviar beads immediately.) 

    6. Just a small plate of lemon slices.

For beverages, the classic is Champagne or Vodka. But you can also opt for a sparkling wine like Prosecco or dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

Summing Up

To some extent, caviar might have acquired its status of a luxurious delicacy because of all these gastronomical requirements for serving it, spooning it, and pairing it with other foods.  On the other hand, but for these requirements, how else could we enjoy cured fish eggs?

So, we serve caviar chilled. 

We don’t use metal or silver tableware. 

We eat caviar in small portions and don’t chew it. 

We don’t pair it with foods and drinks that have their own strong and complex flavors.

Appearance and Taste Differences

Beluga caviar: Beluga is one of the most expensive and rare species of sturgeon that lives in the Caspian Sea. Containing the highest nutritional value, Beluga caviar is extremely appreciated by gourmets. The aroma it gives off is elegant and rich, practically fully lacking a fishy odor; the taste is similar to hazelnut. The large fish eggs (2.5 mm in diameter) literally melt in your mouth. This caviar perfectly pairs with champagne or heavily chilled vodka.

Tip: There’s a category of evaluation of Beluga caviar according to its color. 0 = dark, 00 = a medium-dark color, and 000 = a light, usually pearl gray color. Although this criterion is not a guarantee of the caviar’s true taste, experts continue to insist that the best Beluga caviar belongs to the 000 category.

Osetra caviar: The eggs of Osetra are smaller than Beluga ones, and they vary in color from golden-brown to greenish to grey. The quantity of product bought by Osetra caviar lovers is usually a bit more modest than Beluga caviar fans, as Osetra has a very special taste—spicy, with the slight flavor of the sea and seaweed. Nevertheless, many people consider it to be the finest-tasting caviar of all because it is delicious on its own, without any additions or garnishes. The only thing Osetra caviar really needs so that its unusual taste can be fully savored is a light amount of salt on top.

Sevruga caviar: The eggs of this certain type of fish are small and black. Although its nutritional value is not as high as that of Beluga and Osetra caviar, Sevruga caviar has a wonderful flavor and a delicate aroma. These characteristics award it third place on our list. The covers of Sevruga eggs are more resilient than Beluga eggs, but this does not detract from the advantages of Sevruga caviar. It is best served on a pedestal of ice.

Salmon roe: The eggs of salmon are so unusually colored that some call its large eggs “apricot pearls”. They have a specific, sensitive taste that comes with a mild fishy flavor. Salmon roe is often served on traditional Russian pancakes called blini.

Trout roe: This fish has slight pink or gold eggs of medium size. They can be distinguished by their vivid, salty aroma. Trout roe is very sticky, so much so that it is not particularly noticeable when served on canapés or sandwiches. Since trout roe is usually considered too salty to be eaten on its own, this caviar is excellent as an ingredient in a variety of dishes that contain cream products, including cream cheese, sour cream, and even mayonnaise.

Eating caviar should leave you feeling satisfied and happy, and the best way to do it is the right way. Know how to get the best out of every bite of your specific kind of caviar, and you’re guaranteed to enjoy it and crave more.