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HOW TO EAT AND SERVE CAVIAR CORRECTLY
If you want to offer your friends caviar, you don’t need any particular excuse: what you will need, however, is a full wallet and a reliable source for the world’s most expensive eggs. If you’re invited (or throwing) to a party and you want to bring or serve this delicacy, there are a few things you should know, starting with how to serve caviar.
How to serve caviar correctly
For starters: caviar loves cold and crystal, and hates metal. According to true caviar fiends, the best way to enjoy caviar is by spooning it out of a very cold crystal glass. But be careful, the spoon should be made from bone, horn or mother of pearl. Even plastic is fine – or, you could serve it like it’s served in the Emirates and use a 24 karat gold spoon. Anything is better than contaminating the delicate flavor of these black eggs with any kind of metallic taste. The most refined palates insist on mother-of-pearl, whose glimmering incandescent whiteness is an aesthetically pleasing contrast to the shiny black of the caviar.
If you happen to come across a package bearing the name Prunier, you can be sure your hostess has been very generous with her guests. There are Caviar House & Prunier shops and restaurants throughout Europe: the store can be found along the Croisette in Cannes, on Saint James Street in London, and there’s a special Prunier corner in Harrods, but the most convenient way to order it is from their online store. Even more compliments to your hostess or host if the caviar is served simply with bread or boiled potatoes or to top little tarts.
What’s important is that it never ever be near a slice of lemon: please! Anyone who dares to cook the caviar should be cooked herself. Caviar must be eaten raw. And while on the subject of Prunier, here’s an idea for Valentine’s Day: since 2007, Prunier has been producing special, 100g tins of caviar inspired by “love” and decorated by Yves Saint Laurent. It’s a lovely thought that will set you back a mere 300 euro.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE CAVIAR’S QUALITY
Now, moving closer to the serving table, take notice of how large the spheres of the eggs are: the larger, shinier and more perfect they are, the higher they are in quality. A clearer colour black is more precious. Now collect a small spoonful, take a whiff. A faint scent of seaweed should be the absolute most you should smell: caviar should not smell of fish. And it shouldn’t be all that salty either.
Every single tiny egg should be like a juicy sphere whose only aim is to explode onto your palate, giving you a tiny burst of ecstasy that should last no longer than a couple of minutes.
If, instead, you are the ones who are presenting your hosts or guests with this special gift, keep in mind that the highest quality is called Almas, which means “diamond” in Russian. Fished in the Caspian Sea from the Beluga sturgeon: this is, hands down, the Rolls Royce of caviars, in a category all its own. This variety is sold only by London’s Caviar House and is packaged in a round, 24 karat gold box, costing around 40,000 euros per kilo. Luckily, it’s sold by the gram.
HOW TO PAIR CAVIAR
When serving, show that you’ve put some thought into it and serve it with white bread, blintz or pastry bread, lightly spread with artisanal butter. The most impressive thing, of course, would be to make the butter yourself – but if that’s just too much you can pick a top quality butter, serve it at room temperature and mix it with a couple of drops of vodka. Or else, soft butter that you mix with some whipping cream and lightly acidify it with a few drops of lemon or a spoonful of natural, low fat yogurt.
Whether you’re guests or hosts, caviar is happily paired with either French or Italian “bubbles” when enjoyed in a normal, city-winter climate. If you happen to be in arctic temperatures, high up in the mountains or somewhere in Scandinavia, well then, vodka is permitted.
Definitely after this article you’ve learnt how to eat and how to serve caviar properly.