About Caviar And How To Choose It
Caviar is an antique gourmet delicacy. It has been known for a long time and nevertheless there is still a little mystery around it. Why is it so? May be because fish roe was a privilege of kings and wealthy people during many centuries and thus it was associated with something what an average person can not taste. Nowadays fish eggs became more available and all you need is understanding -
WHAT to choose?
According to Oxford Dictionary, caviar is “ the pickled roe of sturgeon or other large fish, eaten as a delicacy”. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/caviar
The origin of the word CAVIAR is not Russian. It originates from the Turkish word KHAYAH, the Persian word for egg.
The first mention of caviar was found in written works connected with epoch of Mongol ruler Batu Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. They were dated by 1240s.
As any other delicacy fish eggs are the matter of taste. If you are not keen on sea food, then you might not like caviar. But nobody says you can not even try.
First of all, let’s see what kinds of fish roe a global market can present.
Fine fish roe can be classified in accordance with: the size and color of its eggs its method of preparation Color gradation usually marked as follows: 000 for light caviar
00 for medium
0 for dark
Very light or golden roe is also designated ‘Imperial’ caviar or ‘Royal’ caviar, and was once reserved only for royalty.
The caviar with the largest roe and and the lightest color is usually considered to be the best one. However, this point of view is undergoing some changes. It happens because more and more people disclose the flavorful and less high-priced options to wild sturgeon that are available. It can be something like hackle back or Kaluga caviar.
Certainly, expensive caviars are not priced by taste, but rarity. The “best tasting caviar” is up to you.
As for the processing methods, fish roe can be prepared using one of four methods: First is the Malossol method. It is believed to be the best one among experts. Malossol means ‘little salt’ or ‘lightly salted’. It is just fresh caviar with less than 5% salt. Modern fresh caviar often has much less, about 3.5%. Sometimes this term can be used to define any high quality fish roe.
The second caviar type and quality is Salted Caviar, sometimes called ‘semi-preserved’ caviar. It can contain up to 8% salt. The shelf life of such fish eggs is longer due to amount of salt but its flavor is compromised.
The third type is Pressed Caviar. Made from too-soft, damaged, broken and overly ripe eggs, it is treated, highly salted, and pressed to a jam-like consistency. Some time ago it was the only method of preserving. Such fish roe has strong taste and some palates are fond of it.
The last of the caviar types is Pasteurized Caviar. Fresh caviar is heat-treated and vacuum packed in glass jars for much longer preservation. Both taste and texture may be affected.
The best fish roe of the world is manufactured from three kinds of sturgeon: Beluga Sturgeon, Russian sturgeon or Osetra, and Stellate sturgeon or Sevruga.
Secondly, after you have chosen a kind of caviar, you should understand how to consume it. The most appropriate choice is a special caviar dish with crashed ice. It also can be plates made of mother of pearl. As for spoons, it is better to use something made of bone or mother of pearl. One should avoid silver spoons as they leave metal aftertaste and change caviar flavor.
Fine caviar is highly perishable and there are many variables that can affect its quality. The best way to store caviar is in the appreciative stomachs of your guests. Order only what you need when you need it and consume it right away. Last but not least, fish eggs are extraordinary healthy product! Eating fish eggs can cure people with heart diseases and depression. It is all because it is rich in calcium, phosphorus, protein, selenium, iron, magnesium, Vitamins B12 and B6. Moreover fish roe is a great source of omega-3s and Vitamin D.
To sum it all we want to tell a quote by Irving Kristol -“One can be unhappy before eating caviar, even after, but at least not during”. Thus, try different types of caviar, find the one you like and enjoy!