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jnash85

Caviar - Where to start

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I would like to try a bit but I don't want to spend $50 for a single bit I may very well not like. However, I fear the caviar I see in the grocery stores, and am afraid that it is not representative of the good stuff at all, and may turn me off completely.

So what should I do? Is there any caviar worth buying in the $20 range that would be a good introduction for me?

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Tell us a bit more about your experiences. Have you ever had it? Do you have a sense of what you prefer, how to distinguish different types/quality levels? Or are you seeking to dip the first toe in?

What about "caviar flights"? I've seen those around before....


Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Where are you located? In some cities there are restaurants where you can get caviar tastings. I'd definitely agree that the supermarket stuff is not where you want to start (or end). It can be useful as a garnish in some contexts but is not serious caviar. I'll also add that caviar is an expensive habit and, while good caviar is good, I'm not sure it's worth it. That being said, when I got out of the hospital last year, a very generous friend sent over a caviar tasting from Petrossian. It was pretty incredible.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
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I've never had it. I'm located in Knoxville, TN. Not a whole lot of fine dining establishments in the area.

I really just want to see if its something I'd like to explore further. I see it used as a garnish/component in many recipes I'd like to try, and it would be nice to have an idea if there is even a chance of me liking it.

Do I just need to blow the $50 on an ounce of the good stuff?

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I think the idea of caviar is usually better than the actual stuff.

If you like it, its expensive, if you dont, you just blew $50 you could have used on a nice big pork belly.

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I love caviar, but then I love everything ranging from big fish eggs to teeny specks of shrimp roe. With that said, I might suggest you try salmon roe first. It's much cheaper, but if you find you enjoy that briny taste you'll have a better idea of if you'd like the Caspian sea type.

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I bought some cheap Salmon Roe at the grocery store. $7/2oz. I actually like it, to some degree.

The first taste of Salmon is great, the sensation of the caviar popping is wonderful, but the final bit of salt is a bit overpowering.

Having said that, the next time I come across a recipe that calls for caviar, I will be willing to shell out some cash for the good stuff.

Now, where's the best place online to buy it?

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Petrossian is an impeccable source. I'd suggest starting with the Classic Trasmontanus:

http://www.petrossian.com/caviar-1--classic-transmontanus-caviar-373.html

Also, number of chefs, probably most notably David Chang, are into Hackleback:

http://www.petrossian.com/caviar-1-hackleback-caviar-279.html


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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If you are into making your own sushi or blini, you could try topping them with salmon caviar, or with the much more expensive caviars. Alternatively, you could search out sushi restaurants that serve salmon caviar as one of their toppings, quite common in Japan, but i have no idea where it would be available in the US. Or Russian restaurants that serve blini with caviar (in Moscow, there is a chain of blini restaurants, cant remember its name, that serve blini with salmon caviar at a very reasonable price premium over the more mundane toppings - think MacDonalds serving mainly blinis with various toppings).

I am no expert, but the few times i have had the different kinds of caviar (osetra, sevruga, beluga, etc) in Russia , the favorite alcoholic accompaniment was, and i am sure still is, vodka straight up. ( I believe it is legal in Russia to buy/serve Caspian sea caviar, but last i heard there was a self imposed ban on exports).


It's dangerous to eat, it's more dangerous to live.

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I'd go with the earlier recommendation. Hold off until you travel somewhere with caviar on the menu in their dishes, and then give it a try. Some people just don't care at all for the flavour. Our East Texas friend in Moscow considered it "bait".

If you're happy with what you taste, then order from one of the mainline dealers. That'll ensure that you're getting good quality product (there's a lot of trash out there).

As a penultimate comment, there's more and more Pacific sturgeon (white) caviar coming on the market from the Northwest. It is quite good. This is fished in a managed fashion, so hopefully it won't go the way of the American Atlantic sturgeons.

And don't forget, if you run out of salt, you can always use caviar.

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A lovely, lovely little appetizer -- tiny redskin potatos, boiled, halved, topped with a dab of creme fraiche and a spot of caviar. I could eat a dozen.

Make that two dozen.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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You can, of course, get EVERYTHING at Amazon. I have not tried this particular product from there, but I have had domestic hackleback sturgeon caviar from the same region (White River vs. Miss. River, a difference of maybe 75 miles), and it's pretty doggoned good. Of course, bear in mind I have not had the premium ossetra stuff, either.

 

I have also ordered this capelin caviar from Amazon. It's only fair, compared to the fresh sturgeon.

 


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I think Brownes Trading company  is a good source--  Recently had the Hackleback ( to salty for me ) the White sturgeon ( my Fav ) and the classic Sturgeon.  But I bought those in Cali.

 


Its good to have Morels

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This place is pretty reputable, and has some good stuff...I used to occasionally pop into their shop in Miami, now they have a NYC location which I've yet to try. As mentioned above, Browne is great.  As is Petrossian, of course.

 

Marky's


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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In the June 2019 Rachael Ray Every Day magazine there is an article called Good Eggs about various types of caviar, many of which have been discussed here.


Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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