Last week we celebrated our 8-year wedding anniversary and as Paul is almost impossible to buy gifts for, I decided I’d put together a celebratory anniversary lunch. He’s a big fan of caviar – not quite sure how he acquired this habit as neither of us grew up eating caviar – so caviar it was.
Just like Tom Hanks in Big, I was a caviar virgin and I didn’t want this to happen:
So I spent a little time with my friend the google and found out the following useful information about how to serve and eat caviar:
- Caviar must be kept very cold at all times, in the coolest part of your fridge or on ice.
- Air is the mortal enemy of caviar. Once you’ve opened that tiny jar of caviar you really need to eat it in one-sitting. It can be better to buy multiple small jars vs. one big jar. If you absolutely can’t eat it all in one-sitting then smooth it down and gently place a piece of plastic wrap over the caviar, replace the lid and you can keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- Caviar etiquette calls for small bites, so don’t, you know, shovel it in.
- No metal spoons – they make it taste funky – only bone, crystal or mother of pearl. Plastic can be used in a pinch but seriously, if you’re eating caviar you may as well do it properly right? I personally don’t have many bone or crystal spoons 😉 but you can buy affordable mother of pearl spoons on Amazon.
- If you have really good caviar then savor it bite by bite alone. If you want to make your caviar go further, you can enjoy it on small unsalted crackers, white bread or toast points or blini.
- Good caviar doesn’t really need any accompaniments but it’s all a matter of personal preference. Most websites seems to be vehemently against the use of lemons but popular is finely diced red onion, capers, finely chopped hard boiled egg (ideally white and yolk separated) and creme fraiche or sour cream (helpful to “stick” the caviar to the blini).
- Enjoy caviar with champagne or ice-cold vodka, they clear the oils from your tongue allowing you to fully enjoy the caviar experience.
- Caviar is best enjoyed with someone special.
We have the wonderful Browne Trading Company close to home so I stopped by and asked for some advice in what to buy. They were super helpful! As luck would have it they were having a once-a-year sale on caviar and suggested I take advantage of this by choosing some of the more pricey options.
I ended up with three tiny jars of caviar – from left to right –
American White Sturgeon Classic
Caviar Galilee Royal Osetra
As I didn’t happen to have any crystal or bone spoons lying around (if you have crystal or bone spoons you probably eat caviar with the same frequency as I eat grilled cheese!) I also bought two little mother of pearl plates and spoons:
I figured I’d have all of the accoutrements available – capers, onion, creme fraiche and eggs (boiled for 10 minutes, cooled, white and yolks separated and then finely chopped)
I set out two small glasses of vodka, I guess hypothetically it should have been Russian vodka but I’m a big fan of Cold River Vodka made right here in Maine. The vodka and glasses had been in the freezer so they were icy cold. We also had champagne and blinis on hand:
There’s something about caviar with all of the trimmings that feels special and festive and we had a most enjoyable lunch. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the caviar, it wasn’t at all fishy or slimy like I imagined! Next time, I’d probably skip all of the accompaniments, other than the blini with a dab of creme fraiche. I’d love to tell you I could taste the difference between the different caviars but I don’t think I’m quite there yet. Paul insisted he could with the Royal Osetra being his favorite. I guess we’ll just have to wait for our next anniversary to try it all again 🙂
Are you a caviar fan? Do you have a favorite? What kind of food do you like to eat on special occasions?