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?

The taste of fresh, unpasteurized, caviar has an extremely delicate flavor with aromas of butter, dried fruit, nuts, depending on the species of sturgeon it comes from. 

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.

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, bone, or horn are the most suitable materials to serve and taste caviar without any interference to the roe’s smooth taste and delicate bead structure. 

Sterling silver and metals may impart an undesirable flavor to caviar, the only metal that can touch the prized roe is pure gold!

How to serve caviar?

If serving for a party, present the caviar in a crystal or silver presenter, placing your tin on crushed or shaved ice to keep it chilled throughout tasting. 

Place a few spoons around the dish so that guests can serve themselves. 

You may enjoy your caviar on blinis or small potatoes with a dash of crème fraiche.Pop your bottle of bubbles, vodka, or cognac to complement the caviar and enjoy!

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What about accoutrements?

Traditional caviar service is with a spread of accoutrements (sides): butter, minced onions, finely chopped hard-cooked eggs (whites and yolks are kept separate), sour cream or creme fraiche, and lemon wedges. 

In the past, accoutrements were lined up to cover high salinity and caviar flavor imperfections. 

Fine caviar is extravagant enough on its own, and we like it best pure, unadorned, or served in a “bump”.

How to store caviar?

To begin your delectable journey, chill caviar as soon as you receive it in the coolest part of your fridge. 

The ideal temperature to properly store caviar is 28-34F. 

Remember to never freeze caviar to preserve its freshness, texture, and delicate flavor. 

Fresh caviar has 90 days shelf life from the day we ship, if properly refrigerated and unopened. Once tin is open, we recommend enjoying it within 24-48 hours.

What are caviar grades?

Caviar grading is a very methodical process that is performed right after harvest by our expert Caviar Masters, and then a second time upon opening of original tins to repackage the product for distribution, to classify quality and characteristics of each individual tin. 

Key factors in caviar grading are: size, texture, flavor, and finish, but only in relation to each other do they determine the grade of a specific caviar: Classic, Royal, Imperial.