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Home > Caviar Guide  >  Caviar. What is it?

Caviar. What is it?

The gourmets are sure that the main advantage of eggs is that one doesn't need to know much about them. But with caviar, the story is different.

In Persian the word "caviar" means "bear eggs". It comes from sturgeon, a mysterious fresh-water fish, which originates from the stone age. Out of 27 kinds of sturgeon fish, only three are really valued for their caviar:

Beluga is the largest of sturgeon fishes, and its caviar is also the largest. Beluga can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds and live as long as 100 years. The most rare and expensive beluga's caviar is appreciated for the size and buttery taste of the caviar grains.

Sturgeon, whose caviar is a little less in size than beluga's.

Sevruga (stellate sturgeon), fish of smaller size with smaller size of eggs, with a distinctive sea taste. This caviar is the most available and most respected by experts. Fortunately, it is almost 60% cheaper than beluga's caviar.

Where does it come from?

Red caviar is obtained from the roe of salmon fishes, processed with a saline solution with subsequent addition of preservatives. It is worth noting that:

Caviar of pink salmon is the most common kind of caviar. It has middle-sized silken round grains of light orange colour.

Trout caviar has middle-sized firm grains, red in colour. Usually it is a little sticky and quite salty, that is why it is often used in recipes together with milk products: cream, cheese or sour cream.

Caviar of keta (dog salmon) is considered to be of the highest quality and taste of all kinds of salmon caviar. The grains are large, their colour is closer to red than to orange but it is not as dark as the caviar of red salmon, coho salmon or trout.

Caviar of red salmon, the most valuable kind of Far East salmon fishes, is valued for its distinctive piquant flavour, tender grains and bright colour.

Caviar of coho salmon is distinguished by its bright red colour, grains are smaller than keta's.

The colour of grains depends on the age of the fish, time of collection and other time factors.

Advantages of red caviar

Red caviar has its advantages, which allow it to take its deserved place among delicacies:

First, though it is cheaper than black one, it is not any less valuable in its taste and nutrition qualities.

Second, while black caviar was popular mostly in the South of Russia, the red one was favoured in Siberia and in the Far East. And lately this delicacy started to acquire more and more fans in Europe.

Third, unlike sturgeon caviar, which has been prepared in several ways (yastik, dried, sun-dried, pressed or fresh-grained), red caviar has always been fresh-grained.

The benefits of caviar

First, caviar has a lot of proteins - about 30% of proteins, practically all of which are digested by the body (it is very rare for animal proteins)

Second, caviar contains a lot of valuable amino-acids, minerals, A, C and D vitamins and folic acid. This is why caviar is often prescribed to pregnant women.

How to eat it?

One's relationship with caviar, the most romantic food in the world, follow the scenario of any love story. First goes flirt (tiny caviar grains for an appetizer before a meal), then - temptation (for example, French tarama, a creamy caviar paste spread over blini), and, finally, the pleasure itself (caviar by spoons or on a light brown toast with butter).

Normally caviar is served on a glass dish placed into a silver or nickel silver vase with ice cubes.

At special ceremonies caviar is served in ice vases made by freezing water in special templates.

Caviar is supposed to be served with toasts. Caviar is put on the toast with a spatula or a spoon and then the toast can be eaten by hand.

Most often caviar - fresh-grained or pressed - is eaten with butter. This is why they are usually put on the plate together. While holding a piece of bread in the left hand, one takes a knife in his right hand, puts some butter on the bread with the knife and then puts caviar on the butter. This little sandwich is directed to the mouth with the left hand.

Also caviar can be eaten the following way: a slice of bread (or a half of it) is put on a plate near caviar and butter. One makes a sandwich while holding the bread with the finger and the thumb, then cuts little pieces off it, pins them with a fork and directs into the mouth.

Many people judge caviar too frivolously. They eat tiny portions of caviar with crackers, eggs and onions and claim it is not that important what to eat it with. These statements remind of judging cigars by the impressions of the smoke of these cigars.

Experts state that caviar must be eaten with little spoons and without bread, because bread spoils the taste of caviar.

The most common serving of caviar is on sandwiches and canape with butter or on lightly brown toasts.

Traditional Russian blini (pancakes) with caviar are famous. Ikryaniki, or caviar pancakes, were popular in Russia at the time of fasts.

Also caviar is used as a cold appetizer or a side dish for smoked salmon, or as a garnish for salads.

What to eat it with?

Or, better: "What drinks to serve it with?"

Nobody will oppose vodka.

Champagne? Only as an expensive elite drink.

To tell the truth, only real brut from the province of Champagne goes with caviar. Any other kind interferes with its taste.

And to create a romantic mood white Chardonnay and dry wine will be the best choice.


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