1. Caviar is the cured, salted roe of the sturgeon fish. There are three different types of caviar. In order from biggest egg to smallest there is the Beluga, Ossetra, and Sevruga.* 00:11
2. Chef Paul is using three types of Ossetra caviar in this tutorial: California (darker color and rich flavor); Royal (from Iran and very briny); and Imperial (an advanced quality of Royal from older fish that is sometimes called “golden caviar”). 00:18
3. Some classic condiments to complement caviar include crème fraîche, hard-boiled egg yolk, red onion, hard-boiled egg white, and chives. 01:09
4. Caviar can be eaten on toast points or blinis. Some people like to have a bite of caviar followed by a shot of vodka as the clear, crisp taste of the liquor brings out the saltiness of the caviar. Caviar can also be served on raw fish or beef tartare. 01:16
5. Chef Paul’s favorite way to eat caviar is atop scrambled eggs or on an omelet, with a glass of champagne. 01:40
What You'll Need
- California Ossetra caviar
- Royal Ossetra caviar
- Imperial Ossetra caviar
- Crème fraîche
- Egg, hard-boiled, separated into whites and yolks*
- Red onion, finely diced*
- Toast points*
- Raw fish
- Fish or beef tartare
- Scrambled eggs or omelet
*See Chef Notes for further information
Beluga is the largest and most expensive variety of caviar. It has a buttery flavor and creamy texture. Next largest is Ossetra, which is known to have a light brownish color and a nutty flavor. Finally, there is Sevruga- deep black in color and fruity in flavor.
Caviar is usually served with an assortment of condiments, which allows tasters to assemble their own unique flavor combinations. The hard-boiled eggs are often separated into whites and yolks, each passed through a sieve to make a smaller “curd” that will be less likely to fall off the toast point or blini that is holding them. The red onion is also diced very small, and it is sometimes blanched to take off some of the sharp bite that might overshadow the delicate flavor of the caviar.
Toast points are merely thin slices of white bread that are toasted and have their crusts cut off. Blini are small, savory pancakes that are a very popular Russian caviar accompaniment. Both are designed to have a flavor that is relatively neutral so as to allow the unique taste of the fish roe to shine.
The light and refreshing natures of both vodka and champagne are wonderful complements to caviar as they help enhance its salty flavor. Heavier wines or spirits might dominate or overshadow the flavor.