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What to Put Caviar On?

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Caviar 101: How to Use Caviar

I’m exploring various pairings and serving suggestions in this post, answering the query, “What to put caviar on.”

We love to indulge in caviar on New Year’s Eve—it’s a tradition in our family. Even our kids try some. It signifies good fortune for months to come, and I like to think that sentiment is not solely about the financial realm but also good health, relationships, and joy.

Types of Roe to Consider

My first suggestion concerning caviar is to decide what you can spend on it and what flavor you want to experience. If your caviar was a gift, kudos to you! Typically, caviar is thought of as processed salted roe of large fish. However, if you want to get technical, true ‘caviar’ is made from the roe of fish in the Acipenseridae family, more commonly known as sturgeon. Many purists will not consider roe as caviar unless it comes from a sturgeon. There are numerous types of fish roe. Here are some to consider:

  • Flying Fish Roe: Teeny tiny fish roe known as, “tobiko” usually used to top sushi rolls for a pop of texture. It has a crunchy texture with a mild smoky and salty but slightly sweet taste with citrusy notes. Look for this roe at a specialty store that carries sushi-making items.
  • Salmon Roe: A vibrant burst of flavor with distinct, bright notes. Salmon Roe is a large-sized roe.
  • Osetra Caviar: Known for its nutty, buttery undertones and creamy luxurious taste. Osetra is a medium-sized roe.
  • Sevruga Caviar: Rich, strong, and briny, offering a unique and satisfying experience. Sevruga is a small-sized roe.

What to Put Caviar On

photo answering question of what to put caviar on: a plate with caviar, crème fraîche, blinis with mother of pearl serving spoons next to champagne in flutes

Once you’ve settled on what type of fish roe you want to use you can decide on a variety of ways to serve it:

  • Potato Chips: The crisp texture of potato chips offers a satisfying contrast to the brininess of caviar. We like to use waffle-style or ridged potato chips. You can always make your potato chips for your caviar, but there’s something nostalgic, fun, and not to mention the right amount of saltiness when using Ruffles. Potato chips topped with caviar is my favorite way to eat caviar!
  • Smashed Crispy Potatoes: The crunchy exterior and tender creamy inside of smashed potatoes provide a good foundation for creme fraiche and roe.
  • Blinis: Soft and slightly spongy, these small pancakes provide the perfect canvas for the saline fish roe flavors. You can either make buckwheat blinis yourself or use store-bought blinis.
  • French Omelette or Boiled Eggs: Serve atop eggs for a creamy and velvety pairing.
  • Pasta: Rich, buttery creamy pasta creates a luxurious base, blending textures and flavors.
  • Smoked Salmon: Smokey moist oily fish with a topping of briny fish roe makes for a good complimentary pairing. Instead of going the bagel route, try gougères for serving the smoked fish and caviar.

Toppings for Caviar

Serving caviar with accompaniments is an experience that balances opulence and simplicity.

  • Crème Fraîche: The creamy richness of crème fraîche complements the intensity of the caviar, balancing the flavors beautifully. This is our favorite companion to use. Leftover crème fraîche is great for dips or salad dressings, incorporated into any type of potato dish, likewise great with oily fish and good as a pie or galette topping.
  • Chopped Eggs: The addition of eggs provides a rich and creamy contrast.
  • Minced Onions: Cuts through the salty brine and can enhance texture.
  • Lemon Wedges: Citrus is always a great pairing with seafood and caviar is no exception.

Serving Tools and Methods

  • Mother of Pearl or Wooden Spoons: Opt for non-reactive spoons to preserve the delicate flavor of the fish roe. Do not use a typical metal kitchen spoon whatever you do! When a metal utensil comes into contact with caviar, it can impart a metallic taste due to the chemical reaction between the metal and the caviar’s delicate compounds. This metallic flavor emphatically alters the taste profile of the caviar, detracting from its nuanced flavors and diminishing its quality. So be sure to use a spoon made of mother of pearl, wood, or even plastic. These materials don’t impart unwanted tastes or aromas to the caviar, preserving its delicate and pristine flavor profile. We once lost our mother of pear spoon and opted for a plastic spoon. No shame! It matched the theme of our Ruffles potato chips.
  • Chilled Plate: Keep the fish roe on ice or a chilled plate to maintain its freshness and prevent the taste from being altered by heat.
  • Caviar Service Bowl: If a dedicated caviar bowl is available, use it to enhance the elegance of the presentation.

Encourage guests to savor the caviar’s flavors by indulging in small, deliberate bites. Pairing caviar with beverages such as chilled vodka or dry white wine can further elevate the tasting experience.

If you decide to try fish roe, it can be an unforgettable experience. Our New Year’s tradition gives us a chance to experiment and try different varieties each year. Let us know in the comments below whether you have a favorite variety or a way to serve fish roe. If you want to try a festive celebratory beverage, try our Chamomile French 75; it’s a symphony of fun in your mouth.

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