Caviar has long been revered as a luxury food; each bite is bursting, literally, with delicious flavor. Each variety of caviar has a distinctive flavor and texture. Despite many assumptions, determining the “best” caviar is really a matter of personal preference rather than judging by the size of the egg or the price.
This holiday season you can find a selection of fresh caviar at the ShopRite of Greater Morristown’s Cheese Kiosk. We sat down with Steve, the store’s cheesemonger & industry expert for some caviar Dos & Don’ts and pairings
How to taste:
- The best caviar should be devoid of smell, and should taste clean, buttery, and not overly salty.
- To test the freshness, take a spoonful and use your tongue to press it against the roof of your mouth. You’re looking for the pearls to “pop” because that means they’re fresh. If it’s slimy or soggy that’s a sign that it is older
How to serve & pair:
- Buy a mother-of-pearl spoon to scoop the caviar, don’t use metal because it adds an unwanted flavor to the eggs
- Use a dab of crème fraîche, which marries the buttery rich caviar and the toast or Blinis as well as the saltiness of the caviar. If crème fraiche is unavailable sour cream can be substituted.
- If you’re serving with toast or Blinis lightly coat of unsalted butter
- Classic caviar pairings are champagne or chilled vodka. Beer lovers can enjoy a wheat beer or lager, but avoid anything darker that will overwhelm the caviar’s flavor
- serve crackers or fine potato chips with caviar—the hard texture is inappropriate for the delicate eggs.
- Forget the ice! If you’re serving caviar from the tin or as part of a buffet make sure it’s chilled
Steve’s Pairing Menu
Caviar, Blinis or Toast Points, Crème Fraiche, Chopped Egg, Chopped Red Onion
Caviar, Salmon Roe, thin sliced Pumpernickel, Cream Cheese, fresh Nova Salmon
- Spread cream cheese on pumpernickel slices, add fresh Nova Salmon, lightly coat with more cream cheese, top with caviar or salmon roe
Caviar, Red Bliss Potato, Crème Fraiche
- Hollow out the potato, fill with Crème Fraiche & top with Caviar
Caviar, Tart Shells, Creme Fraiche & Scallion garnish (garnish is optional)
Caviar is popping up on lunch and brunch menus, especially during the holidays and for special occasions highlighted with scrambled eggs!