Serving Caviar – A Basic Guide
When it comes to learning the fine art of serving caviar a fresh, simple and elegant approach is best.
Serve it Fresh:
Freshness can mean the difference between serving up a heap of fish eggs and enjoying delicately flavored caviar. As long as the can or jar hasn’t been opened, caviar will stay fresh for up to four weeks. However, once the can has been opened it will perish within about 72 hours. To store it, keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator (usually the bottom drawer) but never freeze caviar- you’ll destroy the texture.
When serving caviar, take it out of the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes, keeping the lid on until you are ready to serve it.
Caviar should always be served on ice. For a simple presentation, keep it in the tin, placed in crushed ice. When it comes to serving caviar, placing the tin’s lid nearby is not only allowed, it’s customary.
Dish up Elegance:
Serving caviar should be for the eye and for the palate. From a handsome simple glass server to mother of pearl hand carved spoons, the accoutrements de la table for serving caviar are as practical as they are pretty.
A mother of pearl or tortoise shell spoon is used to lift the delicate egg up vertically to avoid crushing it. Of course, you don’t have to use mother of pearl spoons. However, be forewarned: there are still some caviar connoisseurs that believe using metal utensils spoil the subtle taste of caviar and they would rather use plastic ware than risk sabotaging the savory delicacy.
Serving Caviar the Classic way
If serving caviar is an art, then traditional Russian blinis are the perfect blank canvas. These traditionally tiny gourmet buckwheat pancakes and crème fraiche are the classic complements to caviar.
Dollop a creamy cloud of crème fraiche atop warm blini and top it off with a small portion of caviar…and voila… a traditional caviar canapé.
What to drink?
Traditionally, ice cold vodka or dry champagne accompany caviar. The rule of thumb is that you don’t want to serve any beverage or food that will overwhelm the caviar.
A classic guide to serving caviar wouldn’t be complete if the technique for eating caviar wasn’t included: Use the tip of your tongue to trap and burst the eggs against the palate (roof of your mouth) to release the delicate flavor into your mouth. Enjoy!