Caviar has associations of aged nobility and monocled generals eating in Edwardian surrounds served by butlers and maids.
Luxury it certainly is, but a genuine one worth paying for on a special occasion.
This recipe gives a simple and delicious way to eat caviar. Traditionally, sieved boiled egg, chopped onion and lemon were served. These functioned to mask inferior or out of condition caviar and it amuses me to see the triumph on the occasional diner’s face when he demands these ‘proper’ accompaniments.
Buy the best caviar you can afford. The best sturgeon come from the Caspian Sea. These are fished by the Russians and Iranians, but it is the Russians who have the reputation for quality. They only export top-grade caviar while the Iranians will also export second-grade.
The three sturgeons that produce real caviar are beluga, ossietra and sevruga. They are valuable creatures and are treated with the utmost care when netted, for a sturgeon when frightened releases a sour-tasting chemical into the roe. The beluga is the largest sturgeon and can weigh up to
Caviar should be kept refrigerated until served. Unopened, the tins with their distinctive heavy rubber bands will keep fresh for a month. But, once opened, you should eat the caviar as soon as you can. Caviar should be spooned carefully from the tin so as not to break the eggs. Don’t use a silver spoon, though, for the metal will impart a metallic taste.
© 1990 Shaun Hill. All rights reserved.