Improper care of caviar will change a delicious, expensive caviar into a cheap tasting mound of fish eggs. Caviar is a very perishable product and needs to be properly stored and served to retain its delicate flavors. Here are a few tips for keeping caviar at its best.
Caviar is very perishable. An unopened can or jar will stay fresh for up to four weeks, but once opened will only last about three days. The ideal temperature for storing caviar is 28 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Most household refrigerators won’t reach this temperature, so place the caviar in the coldest part, which is the very bottom drawer. Do not keep caviar in the freezer. This will destroy its delicate texture.
After the jar or can has been opened, minimize the caviar’s exposure to air by wrapping the container with plastic before storing in the fridge.
Remove the caviar from the fridge and let stand at room temperature unopened for ten minutes before serving. Just before serving remove the lid.
The caviar may be transferred to small bowls or consumed directly from the container. Putting the container on crushed ice will help prolong the caviar’s freshness. There are several decorative caviar presenters on the market specifically for this purpose.
The idea that you shouldn’t use metal spoons to eat caviar is a myth. Caviar is stored and sold in metal containers with no adverse effects. Presenting your guests with metal spoons, however, may have a psychological effect, which may cause them to judge the caviar as inferior before they have even tasted it. Traditional caviar spoons, available at most caviar retailers, are made from mother of pearl or bone.
Caviar has a delicate flavor and should be served with accompaniments that don’t overwhelm its flavor (if with anything at all). Remember simpler is better. Traditional garnishes include small slices of toast, blinis (small pancakes), unsalted crackers, creme fraiche or sour cream. Ice-cold vodka or champagne is the drink of choice.
How Much to Serve
If you are serving caviar by itself, figure on 1 to 2 ounces per person. If the caviar will be served on top of something else as an hors d’oeuvre, use 1/2 to 1 ounce per person as a guide.
By Brett Moore
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1 large potato, finely grated
- 9 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Vegetable oil
- Sour cream$
- Black OLMA Caviar
- Beat egg whites at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Whisk egg yolks until thickened. Stir in potato and next 4 ingredients. Fold in egg whites.
- Pour oil to depth of 1/2 inch in a large heavy skillet; heat to 350°. Drop potato mixture by teaspoonfuls into hot oil; fry, in batches, 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with sour cream and black caviar.
This pretty and delicious dish is one of the most popular Russian hors d’oeuvres. Salmon caviar is relatively inexpensive, but it’s still a treat as it makes a lovely garnish.
Remove the yolks from the eggs and place them in a bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork. Add the creme fraiche, chives and lemon juice to the yolks and season very lightly with salt. Mix until the ingredients are well blended. Spoon the yolk mixture back into the whites and top with a teaspoon of caviar. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Arrange on lettuce leaves, garnish each egg with a small parsley sprig and serve.
- 1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1 (2-ounce) jar red or black lumpfish caviar (recommended: Romanoff Moorehouse), divided
Heat oven to 200 degrees F.
Stir together mashed potatoes, 1 teaspoon horseradish and flour; set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Make blini by dropping 1 tablespoonful of potato mixture into pan. Cook 2 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Keep warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining potato mixture.
In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, remaining horseradish, and dill.
Serve blini by topping each with 1 1/2 teaspoons sour cream mixture. Garnish with caviar.
We’ve all heard the age-old cliché that “beauty is only skin deep.” There may be no better example of that than the sturgeon. This memorably ugly group of fish is perhaps best known for its eggs, or black caviar, which can sell for hundreds of dollars per ounce. Now that’s one beautiful fish! Unfortunately, like many other animal product delicacies, overfishing the sturgeon for its caviar has landed the Atlantic sturgeon on the endangered list.
Although technically, only eggs (or roe) from the wild sturgeon in the Caspian Sea can be labeled simply “caviar,” there are other varieties on the market today that are not endangered or regulated.
Celebrate this National Holiday with OLMA Caviar!