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Caviar 101

How to eat Caviar

What is caviar? You may have heard that it is a fancy dish eaten by the wealthy elite. You might even know that it’s a kind of seafood. Maybe you want to try it, but don’t know which are the best types or what prices give the best value. This is where your education begins.

Caviar is a gourmet delicacy made from salt-cured roe harvested from sturgeons. It is a rich luxury dish often eaten as a garnish or a spread. Its value is priced as much as RM125,000/kg, and it is a precious, rare delicacy because female sturgeons take 7 to 14 years to mature and produce eggs.

Because it takes so long to produce, caviar is rare, seasonal, and expensive. But careful sturgeon farming can meet caviar demand while conserving sturgeons, and our own tropical farming allows sturgeons to be farmed all year round.

If you are new to caviar, remember that it is perfectly all right to start small. Instead of worrying about serving a dinner party with the most prestigious brands, plan for your own private meals.

Start with relatively inexpensive but still high quality caviar. Sample it carefully and thoughtfully before buying to get the full experience and discover what you like about it.

A good general rule is that 30g is the absolute minimum to purchase when shopping for 2 people. Get used to the taste of caviar, when and how to serve it, what goes best with it, and how much you consider enough.

These tips will help you acquire a taste for caviar as well as a sense for how to value it. After your early experiments, you can move on to more deluxe varieties.

The most common tastes shared by most types of caviar are: buttery, rich, nutty, earthy, salty and fishy. These combine to create a fuller flavour experience.

However, there is more to caviar than those flavours. Caviar is full of subtle differences that mix and match flavours, and no two servings are exactly the same. Who knows what your palate will discover in your next serving?

The most basic definition of caviar is that it is fish roe harvested from sturgeons, but there are actually several different varieties. Here are some that we carry:

Beluga
The most famous and glamorous variety of caviar. This is the treasured dish served at the most exclusive events and enjoyed by the most elite members of the rich and powerful.

Kaluga
Caviar harvested from the Kaluga sturgeon, famous for its large eggs of caviar. Known as “River Beluga caviar” because it is considered the closest alternative to Beluga caviar.

Russian
Also known as Ossetra caviar, it comes in a variety of colours from deep brown to gold. Lighter colours yield richer flavours, such as the rare Golden Ossetra caviar.

Siberian
Coming from pure Siberian sturgeon stock of the Lena River, Siberian caviar is deep mahogany to black in colour, small to medium in grain, and bursting with a clean, focused flavour.

Amur
Not all caviar is Russian! The Amur sturgeon from the Amur River in China produces entirely different caviar which tastes uniquely lean with a wax-like finish.

Enjoying caviar is like a dance. By following the right steps, the fullness of caviar is brought out in a symphony for the senses. And one should always take their time with each serving.

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