This holiday season go all out and serve caviar. This salty, briny delicacy may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Read on and get ready to turn out a spread that will definitely wow, however you’re celebrating the holidays.
Flavor and Appearance
Expect a salty flavor with some brininess. When you press the caviar to the roof of your mouth, the smooth beads will pop (so satisfying), and that’s when the full flavor will come out. Depending on the variety you choose, you could get nutty, fishy, rich, buttery, clean or earthy flavors. Black caviar can range from small to large in size (the larger eggs tend to be super creamy, and the petite eggs are more of a texture-driven experience), golden to jet-black in color and from soft to firm in texture.
How to Buy It
How much caviar do you need to buy? Plan for 1 ounce (30 grams) for every 2 people. When you need to stock up, stop by a premium seafood department or store. They’ll be happy to steer you towards the perfect caviar pick for your preferences.
How Do I Serve Caviar?
To experience its unique flavor and texture, you can serve caviar straight from the tin, but there are plenty of other delicious ways to enjoy it. Follow these pointers to pull off the classiest spread.
- Keep the caviar in its unopened tin or jar in the coldest part of the refrigerator before you’re ready to serve. Caviar doesn’t like heat or oxygen.
- Fill a small dish with ice, nestle the tin into the ice and serve the caviar right out of the tin.
- Traditionally, dainty mother-of-pearl spoons are used, but you might not have one of those lying around. (However, certain brands, such as Tsar Nicoulai Caviar, Caviar & Caviar and Caviar Russe, include one!) You can also use a gold-plated, plastic, glass, bone or shell spoon.
- Consume the caviar within an hour of opening for the best taste, but if you have leftovers, be sure to eat the entire tin within a day.
You can also enjoy caviar on blinis, as a topping for eggs, even on chips — or a homemade seafood tower.
How Do I Eat Caviar?
If this is your first time trying caviar, don’t be scared to take a decent helping. If you only take a few eggs, they won’t have much impact — to get the full taste of the caviar, allow yourself about a half teaspoon (5 grams). Roll the pearls around on your tongue to feel the smooth texture, then press them against the roof of your mouth to pop out all that flavor.
Which Wines Do I Drink with Caviar?
Bright and dry sparkling wines are easiest to drink with caviar (we recommend Jacques Bardelot Brut Champagne or Camino Calixo Cava Brut). Buttery Chardonnays can be fun, too. Bubbles are always best.
Favorite Caviar Picks to Try
You know the basics, but you’re not quite sure where to go next. Use this buying guide to find the right caviar for your preferences, plus get perfect pairings.
Caviar Russe Pacific Sturgeon (aka White Sturgeon)
Color: Grey to charcoal-toned
Taste: From a Northwest Pacific Coast lineage, elegantly mild and buttery with a clean finish. A great place to start for caviar newbies.
Pairing: Add a scoop on top of a simple buttered whole wheat spaghetti and finish with a sprinkling of fresh breadcrumbs.
Caviar Russe Caspian Osetra
Size: Medium to large
Taste: Nutty and full-flavored.
Pairing: Spoon over buttery soft-scrambled eggs.
Caviar Russe Siberian Sturgeon (aka Siberian Osetra)
Color: Deep mahogany to black
Taste: Originating from pure Siberian sturgeon stocks with clean, focused flavor.
Pairing: Perfect for potato chips! Caviar works well with their scooped shape and crispy texture.
Caviar Russe Caspian Golden Osetra
Size: Medium to large
Taste: From pure-bred Caspian Sea osetra sturgeon, a complex and refined flavor, delivering exceptional balance and finish. Historically reserved for royalty with a brilliant appearance and rich, abundant flavor. The connoisseurs’ choice!
Pairing: Top off deviled eggs with crème fraîche subbed in for the mayonnaise in the yolk mixture.
Tsar Nicoulai Classic
Color: Deep Army green to graphite
Taste: A complex, rich flavor noted for its briny finish. Melts on the palate.
Pairing: Serve on water crackers with slices of daikon radish for fresh crunch.
Tsar Nicoulai Estate
Taste: Rich and clean with a creamy finish.
Pairing: Sprinkle on labneh-topped crispy toasts.
Tsar Nicoulai Reserve
Color: Tawny brown to platinum
Taste: Lingering creamy finish.
Pairing: Swirl into a basic risotto for a decadent special-occasion meal.
Tsar Nicoulai Golden Reserve
Size: Medium to large
Color: Glowing golden color
Taste: An extremely rare caviar with mild flavor with a smooth, buttery finish.
Pairing: Top off fluffy cottage cheese pancakes (with just a hint of sweetness). The golden color will be pretty dotted over the pancakes, too.
Where to buy in Dallas: