What is caviar?

Caviar lovers, make no mistake, and read labels carefully: our prized black pearls can be named caviar only when made of sturgeon eggs from fish belonging to the Acipenseridae species, cured with salt.

The word caviar is often misused when referring to various types of fish roe, which are a delicacy coming from trout, salmon, or other fish, but should be called roes.

What does Malossol mean?

The word Malossol refers to a traditional caviar curing technique, based on low salt content, below 5%.

Our Caviar Masters only use the Malossol technique in all our products, and Calvisius features some of the lowest salt content on the market, to enhance the caviar’s freshness and flavor profiles.

How to taste caviar?

To properly assess the quality of caviar, take a small amount with a mother of pearl spoon and place it on the back of your hand between the index finger and the thumb.

Gently spread the caviar a bit and tilt your hand toward the light to appreciate the size, color, and sheen of the roe. After just a few seconds, your body temperature will allow for the roe to warm up a bit, and its aromatic molecules to evaporate and intensify, releasing the caviar’s aroma and fragrance.

Upon olfactory inspection, you will notice a delicate hint of notes from the sea, but no persistent smell should be present; fresh caviar of good quality should have very little or no smell whatsoever.

Scoop up the dollop of caviar in your mouth, and linger pleasantly on its taste by crushing the roe on the roof of your palate with your tongue, appreciating the caviar’s delicate texture and indulging in its flavor.

What is a caviar “bump”?

A dollop of caviar placed on your hand for tasting can also be called colloquially “caviar bump”.

It is a very engaging experience, but also the best way to determine the caviar’s quality and maximize the tasting experience.

What does caviar taste like?

Caviar is a delicacy enjoyed around the world for its unique and luxurious flavor. Its distinct taste is often described as a combination of salty, briny, buttery, and nutty, with a complexity that can vary. Some caviars boast stronger notes of the sea, that remind of seafood, or evoke the sweetness of shellfish or seaweed.

Good quality caviar that has been preserved properly should never have a persistent fishy flavor.

The texture of caviar is also a key aspect of its appeal. The eggs themselves are small and delicate, with a slightly firm texture that bursts in your mouth when you bite down on them. This sensation is known as the "mouthfeel" of caviar and is highly prized by connoisseurs. The texture can also be influenced by the type of caviar and the processing methods used. Some caviar may be more creamy and buttery, while others may have a firmer, more robust texture.

Does caviar have to “pop”?

Caviar’s texture and roe size vary from species to species. Fresh caviar’s texture is smooth and velvety, and the firmness of the bead varies according to the fish’s DNA, but fresh untreated caviar normally features a firm yet delicate texture.

Often times, the “pop” most people refer to is due to roe’s pasteurization, which is a heat treatment that extends shelf life, but takes away most of the original flavors and nutritional properties of the prized roe.

All of Calvisius caviars are fresh and non-pasteurized.

Why use mother of pearl spoons?

Mother of pearl spoons are often used to serve and eat caviar because they do not affect the flavor or texture of the caviar. Unlike metal spoons, which can impart the caviar a metallic taste or alter its delicate flavor, mother of pearl spoons are neutral in taste and do not react chemically with the caviar. This ensures that the caviar's unique flavor and texture are preserved and that it is enjoyed to its fullest.

In addition to their neutral taste, mother of pearl spoons are also prized for their aesthetic beauty and elegance. They have a natural iridescent sheen that adds a touch of luxury and sophistication to the caviar serving experience. Mother of pearl spoons are also very delicate and lightweight, which allows for gentle handling of the delicate caviar eggs.

Furthermore, mother of pearl spoons are considered traditional and authentic for serving caviar. They have been used for centuries in Russian and European cultures, where caviar has been enjoyed as a delicacy since ancient times. Using mother of pearl spoons to serve caviar is a nod to the history and traditions surrounding this luxurious food item.

Overall, mother of pearl spoons are a popular choice for serving and eating caviar due to their neutral taste, aesthetic beauty, delicate handling, and historical significance.

How to serve caviar?

When it comes to serving caviar, presentation is key. The delicate, luxurious flavors of caviar should be showcased in a way that reflects its status as a gourmet delicacy. To begin, it's important to keep the caviar chilled until serving to ensure its freshness and quality.

When it's time to serve, present the caviar on a non-reactive dish, such as glass or ceramic, to prevent any metallic or chemical flavors from affecting the delicate taste of the eggs.

Place the dish on a bed of crushed ice to maintain the caviar's temperature and prevent it from getting warm, which can alter the flavor and texture.

To serve the caviar, use mother of pearl or other non-metallic spoons to preserve the delicate flavor. These spoons are neutral in taste and will not react chemically with the caviar, ensuring that its unique flavor is preserved.

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What about accoutrements?

When it comes to serving caviar with accoutrements, the key is to experiment and find what works best for you. Whether you prefer blinis, toast points, potatoes, or condiments, the right accompaniments can take your caviar experience to the next level.

One classic accompaniment to caviar is blinis. These small, fluffy pancakes are made with yeast, flour, and milk and provide a soft, buttery texture that complements the delicate flavor of the caviar. The mild taste of blinis allows the caviar to be the star of the show, while also providing a slightly sweet and savory contrast.

Another popular accompaniment is toast points. These are thin, crisp slices of bread that have been lightly toasted. Toast points provide a crunchy texture that contrasts with the smoothness of the caviar, making for a satisfying eating experience. They also provide a neutral base that allows the caviar to shine, while adding a subtle hint of toasty flavor.

How to store caviar?

Caviar is a delicate and perishable food product, which means proper storage is crucial to ensure it stays fresh and maintains its unique flavor. The best way to store caviar is by keeping it chilled in the coldest part of the refrigerator, ideally between 28-32°F (-2 to 0°C). It's important to keep the caviar in an airtight container made of a non-reactive material like glass or plastic to prevent air and moisture from getting in and spoiling the eggs.

If you've opened a container of caviar and plan to store it for later, it's best to consume it within a few days to ensure its freshness.

By following these simple storage tips, you can enjoy the delicate flavors and textures of caviar at its best.

What are caviar grades?

Caviar grades refer to a classification system used to determine the characteristics of caviar. These grades can vary depending on the region and country, but generally, they are divided into four categories.

The highest grade, also known as "Supreme" caviar, is the most sought-after and considered the best quality. The grading system takes into account factors like texture, color, flavor, and size of the caviar eggs.

The grading process is done by highly trained professionals who have an expert palate and can discern the subtle differences between the different grades of caviar. The process is both rigorous and time-consuming, with each batch of caviar carefully inspected and evaluated before being assigned a grade.

By understanding caviar grades, consumers can make informed decisions about the quality and value of the caviar they are purchasing. Whether you're a caviar aficionado or just starting to explore this delicacy, understanding the grading system can help you appreciate and enjoy the unique qualities of each type of caviar.