The Big Q: What to drink with Caviar?
The Big A: Champagne bubbles pleasantly enhance the melting of caviar beads, and being less alcoholic than vodka champagne is the preferred drink for many.
Most connoisseurs favor Brut, though in Russia the preference is for sweeter wines and champagnes.
Champagne should be served in an ice bucket, which must contain water, rock salt as well as ice in order to chill wine effectively.
Non-oaked dry white wines such as Chablis, Soave and Frascati are also good, and for those who love German wines, a well-aged Riesling makes a sensational contrast to caviar.
Caviar is unfertilized eggs that are harvested exclusively from the sturgeon family of fish and then salt-cured. Caviar is always spherical in shape, while color can range from jet black to deep khaki green, depending on the specific variety.
It has a delicate flavor, smooth and buttery. Sometimes it can have a nutty taste similar to that of hazelnut.
Caviar has a famous “Caspian pop” which occurs when the roe bursts on the palate, I have never experienced that with the best of the best.
“That popping in the mouth, which can be puzzling to a 1st-timer as it is really only salmon and trout caviar that can be said to do anything as violent as pop”
Sturgeon caviar yields its luscious oils in a more subtle way: 1 moment the delicate eggs are palpable on the tongue, the next the mouth is suffused with sensation.
Like most luxury food, caviar inspires reverence and a degree of mystery.
Aficionados attempting to describe the sensation of eating it often succumb to dreamy rhapsody as if no words can adequately describe the gamut of sensory experiences it provokes.
Because when caviar is in perfect condition there is a lot more to it than mere taste, that combination of sweet, sour, bitter and salt.
It is more than umami, the 5th sense of heightened savouriness that occurs when food is either perfectly ripe or perfectly cured, or perfectly matched with something else.
The experience of eating caviar is a subtle blend of anticipation, ambience, visual beauty, contrasting warmth and cold, the intoxicating aroma of the sea and the buttery texture, followed by a desire to have some more, to capture that exquisite moment again, and then again.
How to Serve Caviar
The best materials for serving and eating caviar are inert, so mother-of-pearl, glass, pure gold, horn, or wood may be used.
Never use silver, steel, bronze, or any other reactive metal as this taints the caviar. Caviar should be kept and served chilled, with its tin or jar immersed in ice.
Only open it immediately before serving. Like most food, though, the flavor and perfume emerge when it is warmer, so although some like to spoon it straight from the tin as I do, sensualists like to lick it off the back or side of their hand. This is how many professional buyers evaluate caviar(pictured above)
1oz per person makes a full serving, or a tasting for 2, though many appreciate. Once opened, caviar will last 2- 3 days in the refrigerator.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively