Once processed fish eggs are ready for eating, they can be used in many different ways. Despite the expanding usage of caviar and fish roe in the culinary world, the same handling and serving methods must be followed when the time comes to eat the product. No matter if it is at a restaurant, corporate event, or cocktail party serving caviar requires the right conditions and tools when being served so that the product can be enjoyed at its full potential.
We have comprised the following do's and don'ts of serving caviar for anyone looking to enhance their caviar serving experience. Follow these guidelines below to help maximize the flavor and texture your fish roe has to offer, making it perfect for a fresh caviar tasting:
- Air and heat are the greatest threat to your caviar's quality. This is especially true for fresh malossol caviar. Keep the container air tight and in the coldest part of the refrigerator until it is ready to serve, or else the flavor and texture can suffer.
- When the caviar is the main focus of the dish being served, you will want it to stand out. Some types of caviar are best used as ingredients in recipes, or eaten only when accompanied with boiled eggs, red onion, chives, lemon, and other strong flavored foods. However, fine sturgeon roe when fresh (not previously pasteurized or frozen) and malossol cured should not be consumed with anything that can hinder the subtle nuances of the caviar. Preparing the roe with a little creme fraiche (or butter) on top of a blini (or toast point) is a great way to serve the roe without masking the product's flavor. On the other hand, many connoisseurs eat caviar straight, requiring only a spoon to enjoy it.
- The spoon used to serve the caviar can't be made of just any material. You should only use utensils made from glass, porcelain, plastic, bone, mother of pearl, or shell to scoop and spread your caviar. Other types will negatively affect the taste of the roe because the eggs actually absorb the material through their skin. For example, using metal and wooden spoons will contaminate the eggs and cause them to taste metallic or wooden. Thus, any surface that comes into contact with the caviar, including all dishes and serving-ware, must be made out of materials that will not adversely affect the taste of the roe.
- It is always a good idea to self-inspect your caviar before serving it. Check for any musty, or off-putting smells. Sample a taste of the product before removing too much from the container and feeding it to others. Anytime you are eating directly from the caviar's original container, it is polite to avoid putting the serving spoons directly in your mouth and returning them to the product. Instead, use an old Russian technique. Scoop the caviar from the container and spread it on the back of your hand, near the thumb joint where we have a tiny natural bowl. Now, of course, bon appetit.
- Caviar is best served cold, which is usually why certain caviar severs have built-in ice trays. Keeping the container over ice will help the product stay cool. If it starts to warm up, then it can become softer and more pungent tasting. If the ice has melted and you still have leftover caviar, then use some plastic wrap to cover the product, put on the original lid and return the product to the refrigerator for later use.