Caviar 101

What is caviar?

Caviar is the salt-cured eggs or roe of sturgeon.

It is important to keep in mind that true caviar can only come from one of the 27 species of sturgeon. If the salt-cured eggs come from a different fish (such as salmon or paddlefish), it is simply known as roe.

What does caviar taste like?

The taste and characteristics of caviar vary slightly by species of sturgeon. Sterling white sturgeon caviar is best known for its buttery creaminess, light nutty flavor, and hints of crisp seawater.

What does “Malossol” mean?

In Russian, “Malossol” means “little salt.”

Why eat caviar?

On the contrary, why not? Caviar is delicious! The slightly salty, savory flavors of Sterling caviar can be enjoyed by itself, paired with complementary accompaniments, or added to dishes as an enhancement. Due in part to its rarity, caviar is considered a unique treat, most often enjoyed on special occasions. This being said, you don’t need a special occasion to enjoy caviar. Don’t be afraid to indulge “just because.”

How should I serve my caviar?

First, let’s start with the serving vessel. For optimal results, serve your caviar in its original tin or small glass or crystal dish over ice. Once opened, avoid excess exposure to air of your caviar by consuming it immediately or by placing the lid over the caviar in between servings.

Next, let’s address the spoon. Avoid silver or metal as it can cause an altered perception of the caviar with your taste buds. Best to use spoons crafted from mother of pearl, bone, wood, or even plastic.

How much do I serve?

If you are serving caviar by itself it is safe to figure that you will need 1 to 2 ounces (30 – 50 grams) of caviar per person. If you are sharing caviar as a garnish or accompaniment on top of hors-d’oeuvres, it is safe to figure ½ – 1 ounce per person/serving.

What should I eat with my caviar?

Caviar is more versatile than you think. Exceptional caviar deserves to be enjoyed on its own but for those times when you’re feeling more creative, try the following pairings and/or complements:

  • Traditional service. Caviar, blinis, crème fraiche, diced, hard-boiled eggs, diced red onions and chives. The blini is your serving vessel. Create your own combinations. Add smoked salmon, sturgeon, or crab for extra deliciousness.
  • Chips and dip. Caviar, potato chips, crème fraiche, chives. We bet you can’t eat just one!
  • From the sea. Caviar atop oysters, scallops, sashimi, etc.
  • Eggs on eggs. Try adding a dollop of caviar to deviled eggs, Eggs Benedict, scrambled eggs, or egg yolk ravioli.
  • You say “poe-tay-toe.” Potatoes of all kinds love caviar. Baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, French fries, tater tots – it’s ALL good!

What should I drink with my caviar?

While Champagne or sparkling and ice cold vodka are traditional, don’t be afraid to try the following complements: Dry, fruity, and citrusy white wine (Pinot Grigio, Albariño, Grüner Veltliner, etc.), light red wine (Pinot Noir, Grenache, etc.), dry Rosé (still or sparkling), or Pellegrino.

How should I store caviar?

Caviar is extremely delicate and, as such, is highly perishable. At Sterling Caviar, we take the utmost care to guarantee that your caviar arrives in pristine condition. Your caviar is fresh-packed at our farm and shipped chilled, arriving at your doorstep within 24 hours.

Once received, your caviar should be stored in the coldest part of your refrigerator (32° F-35° F / 0° C-1.67° C). Depending on the style of your refrigerator, this is typically in the back and may be on the top or bottom shelf but never in the door. Never freeze your caviar is it can damage the membrane of the eggs. When stored correctly, freshly-packed, unopened caviar will last up to 3 weeks. Once opened, caviar is best enjoyed within 24 hours and up to 48.

Why is caviar so expensive?

In a farmed environment, it takes upwards of seven to ten years for a female sturgeon to mature enough to produce roe for caviar. The investment of time and resources to raise a female sturgeon to maturity is the primary factor which makes caviar so expensive.

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