Caviar could be called “sturgeon egg” just like salmon roe, trout roe, or other lump roe. But Caviar is better. There are 3 species of so-called “wild” sturgeon:
- the ocher,
- beluga (found in Russia), and
- sevruga (found in Iran and Russia).
It is quite rare to find wild sturgeons today … The species used for farmed sturgeon is close to the oecietra. Each species gives caviar with different subtleties of taste.
To get caviar, it takes a lot of time and patience. A sturgeon will only give caviar after 7 years. When I say “one”, I should say “one” because the males do not have eggs (it seems logical but I specify in case) and we cannot differentiate the female from the male until after 3 years! After 3 years, the breeding males are therefore sold for the flesh. Then you have to pamper these ladies for 4 years so that they give eggs.
Additional info: A 7-year-old sturgeon weighs between 7kg and 10kg, and contains 10% of its weight in caviar. Or between 700g and 1 kg.
In short, all this justifies the price which can hurt the bottom… The “first prices” for good caviars are between $ 1,800 and $ 2,000 per kilo. But at this price, you really only have the “worse” caviar (well, everything is relative and a matter of taste).
How much caviar to expect?
- Here are the quantities to plan according to your dishes:Appetizer:
- 5 grams maximum
- Starter: 10 grams maximum
- Dish: 15 grams maximum
How to taste caviar?
Caviar is best enjoyed very fresh. For a “simple” tasting, you need a temperature of 2 to 3 ° C maximum (serve over crushed ice to maintain this freshness).
Caviar cannot be eaten with a “classic” stainless steel or silver spoon. This would risk “oxidizing” the caviar.
You should prefer a horn, mother-of-pearl, porcelain or plastic spoon (less sexy but more affordable … And now there are classes).
To feel all the flavors, roll the beans on the tongue and let them melt on the palate. Good caviar should not “burst” in the mouth like lump or trout eggs, but should literally melt.
How to cook caviar?
Caviar can enhance a dish. Be careful, caviar cannot be “cooked”. We are going to put it down as a final touch or come and heat it slightly in a sauce, but we will not cook it for long (no interest!).
Good caviar has notes of butter and hazelnut, as well as iodine notes similar to those of oysters. We can also find very vegetal notes.
- Based on this, here are the main foods that you can pair with your caviar:
- Fruits & Vegetables: Cauliflower, potato, lemon.
- Proteins: Eggs, soft cheese, beef, oyster, smoked fish.
- Others: Liquid cream, cream cheese, white chocolate, hazelnuts.
What wine with caviar?
The classic pairing is with a well-chilled vodka. But if you are not a fan of this alcohol, you can try a very dry white wine or low-dose champagne.
How to choose caviar?
As I said above, each caviar has its own characteristics, in terms of taste and texture, but also of color. I can’t tell you which one you prefer because it’s unique to everyone.
- Beluga caviar remains the must of caviar. Prepared from the eggs of the largest sturgeons, Beluga is characterized by large grains and a gray color. Today, people can easily buy Beluga caviar from online stores, such as Caspianmonarque.
- Oscietra, on the other hand, has a lighter color, slightly golden or even amber, and its smaller eggs have a delicate taste.
- The Sevruga, smaller in size, gives a small-grained dark gray caviar.
What also makes the difference is the length of time the caviar matures. The longer the caviar is matured, the more salt will penetrate inside the grain. The caviar will not be “saltier” but the impression on the palate will be saltier, enhancing the other buttery and nutty flavors and offering more length on the palate. Be careful not to consume too refined caviar, it will become very strong and very raw.