Article republished on Oct 04, 2021
Get the most out of your splurge with these tips from a caviar expert.
Whether you're splurging on your first tin of caviar for the holidays, or regularly frequenting the kind of high-rolling hang where it’s served, there are some common caviar myths we would like to dispel for you with this article. We sat down with Mathieu Marcoulides, and he gave us a primer on how to make the most of those pricey little fish eggs.
Myth 1: It's only enjoyed with blinis, chives or other accoutrements.
Of course, the delicacy will be served with accompaniments unless you’re at a caviar tasting. Eggs, minced onion and black bread with butter are some more popular pairings, too, and they're delicious. But if you’re serious about appreciating the flavor of caviar - especially if you’re trying to discern the nuances between two or more varieties - try a little spoonful plain first. Just don’t use a metal spoon.
Myth 2: You should chew caviar.
When tasting it plain, resist that urge to chew. You'd better use your tongue than your teeth. You can really taste the bead of the caviar and the butteriness of the fat that way. Indeed, you don’t have any taste receptors in your teeth, and so when you chew the caviar, a lot of its flavor can be lost. In many ways, you want to approach tasting caviar like you would a wine. Hold a spoonful underneath your nose, and take in the aromas. Then put the spoon on your tongue, and turn it upside down so all the beads make contact with your tongue. You want to breathe through your mouth a bit here, like how you might spray a wine across your palate. This helps extract the full aroma - and flavor - from the caviar.
The better quality the caviar, the more complex the tasting notes - like any other food product, really. A higher quality caviar may have a flavor profile that lingers and develops even after you swallow. So don’t take a sip of that drink right away.
Myth 3: It’s traditionally enjoyed with a silver spoon.
Given its connotations of luxury, one might imagine caviar best enjoyed on gold or silver spoons, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Caviar absorbs flavors of the metal. Metal interferes with the delicate flavor profiles of caviar, and you’ll be tasting the silver or steel in your spoon. (The metal tins ICÔNE CAVIAR serves their caviar in are coated with a non-reactive coating on the inside.) Instead, we recommend using mother of pearl spoons. Mother of pearl comes from the sea, so from a story perspective, it fits!