The Fine Food Specialist Guide to Caviar
We have sourced the finest varieties of caviar from Russia to Italy, responsibly farmed using innovative techniques to achieve the best taste. Peruse our comprehensive collection and you will find we cater to every occasion, from finding your personal favourites to impressing dinner party guests to treating a friend with a beautiful caviar gift. Here we will take you through all your questions about caviar and how to best enjoy this luxury foodstuff!
What are the different varieties of caviar?
Beluga: Considered one of the most expensive and most luxurious varieties of caviar, the Beluga sturgeon offers a delicate buttery flavour. The Beluga sturgeon is typically found in the Caspian Sea, and can take 20 years to reach full maturity. This is what lends the caviar its rich flavour, and the Beluga caviar tends to be much larger in size as a result. We offer several varieties of Beluga caviar such as the Kaluga and the Huso Huso, these bluish eggs are 000 grade – the best in the world. To truly enjoy the unique flavour, simply serve on a bed of ice and use a mother of pearl spoon to eat.
Oscietra: One of the most famous type of sturgeon, our selection of Oscietra spans a range of grades and exciting flavours. The caviar is creamy and brine-y and may have nuttier notes such as hazelnut. The Siberian sturgeon has greyish eggs that are of a medium size, yet still offer a rich well-rounded taste. Try these high grade eggs with a blini and some crème fraiche or spooned into a quail egg to create a sumptuous, yet refined hors d’oeuvre.
Sevruga: The female sturgeon offers a delicious flavour profile that slightly contrasts with the other varieties of caviar. The Sevruga eggs are slightly smaller, and taste much more intense yet still maintain the buttery texture associated with caviar. The sturgeon, endemic to the Caspian Sea, only takes 6 years to mature, giving the caviar a darker colour and stronger, saltier flavour profile.
Alternative caviars: Fish roe from salmon trout are not considered caviar although they are similar in texture. These fish roes are often used as a substitute and are typically used in sushi and as a garnish on fish dishes. The colours vary much more widely too, such as the red lumpfish roe which will add a bright pop to your plates.
What is the difference between caviar and fish roe?
Caviar are matured eggs from the sturgeon fish, they are best left unpasteurised to preserve that distinctive flavour and must be eaten fresh. Roe from other varieties of fish, no matter how similar to the sturgeon, are not classified as caviar. Caviar is classified by the type of sturgeon and its grade, which can greatly impact the flavour and price. The highest-grade caviar tend to be larger in size and therefore can be kept intact better. The eggs offer a range of flavours ranging from nutty to fruity, but still with that brine-y saltwater background flavour profile.
What is the best way to eat caviar?
Purists will eat the caviar on its own to savour the intricate and complex flavour, using a spoon to place the eggs on the back of the hand – so as not to overshadow the taste. Take your time to enjoy the caviar, crush the pearls with your tongue to release the flavours. Caviar is also a wonderful starter or canape for a dinner party. Pair with simple ingredients to make the most of the caviar’s unique taste such as a blini or a melba toast. You can also serve it with sour cream and chives or place it on top of a quality cut of fish. If you are serving drinks, opt for clean, sharp vodka or a fizzy champagne rather than full-bodied wines, which can overpower the caviar. If tasting several varieties, still or sparking water can be used as a palate cleanser too.
How should I serve caviar?
Caviar should not be mixed with metals or manmade materials, as it will react and deteriorate the flavour. We recommend using mother of pearl plates and spoons to serve on, which not only offers a more natural alternative but looks elegant. The plates can be filled with ice to keep the caviar cool and refreshing.
How to store caviar
Caviar should be kept cold to maintain its texture and flavour. When your order arrives, it is best to place it in the fridge immediately until you are ready to eat it. Our caviar is unpasteurised to maintain its rich flavour, so must be kept cool at all times.
What is the best caviar to buy?
We only offer the best of the best, so the choice of caviar is up to your own preferences and tastes. The Beluga caviar tends to have the highest price points as the sturgeon take the longest time to mature, thereby developing flavour for many years. The Oscietra and Sevruga varieties are still just as delicious and are available in various grades too. The caviar is usually graded by the size and texture of the eggs - larger, firmer beads are greatly valued but there are many variables such as the country of origin and gender of the sturgeon which can impact the resulting flavour.
Caviar is wonderful gifting idea for a friend or loved one, show that you care with one of our hampers filled with carefully selected luxury caviar and accessories. We have a great range of items that will impress, such as our Imperial Caviar selection of Beluga and Oscietra varieties. The caviar tasting pots are also a fun idea, even if it is for yourself to sample the different types. Or why not gift someone a Lingotto or pressed caviar bar, a traditional way of preserving caviar that is having a revival. Don’t forget to check out our selection of caviar tableware featuring glass bowls and mother of pearl wares to complete the luxury experience.
While our caviar is perfect eaten on its own, it also works well as a canape or as a garnish on simple dishes. Pair with crème fraiche, eggs, or minced onions on a blini or add a dollop with some sashimi or pasta. Background ingredients such as toast or potatoes are regularly used as a bed for the caviar, to let your tastebuds fully appreciate the luxurious flavour.