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How To Serve and Eat Caviar

Albertina Roca
  |   May 17, 2024   |  

How To Serve Caviar

Top ways your guests can enjoy caviar! Perhaps one of the most luxurious foods in the world (if not the most luxurious), caviar is, at its core, a simple food, minimally processed, and best enjoyed with minimal preparation. You don’t need much to enjoy good caviar – and the better quality the caviar is, the less you need!

You have your nice shiny tin of expensive caviar, now what? Find caviar serving ideas, the etiquette, serving amounts, what goes well and what to drink with caviar.

What to serve with caviar: All you need is high-quality caviar, crème fraiche (a French substitute for sour cream), and blini, Russian style buckwheat pancakes that can be substituted for toast points in a pinch. A shot of ice-cold vodka, while not essential, is highly recommended!

  • Caviar is extremely susceptible to heat, and when served at the ideal temperature, a delight.
  • You want to serve caviar chilled, but not frozen.
  • Do not freeze caviar, nor set it out at room temperature.
  • The correct way to serve caviar is on a bowl of crushed ice – make it the prettiest bowl you have, bonus points for crystal, silver or any other luxury material.

How Much Per Person Do You Need?

How much caviar should you serve? About ½ ounce to 1 oz. is the approximate serving of caviar if served by itself – say, over blini and crème fraiche. Of course, this will depend on how much your guests love caviar.

1 ounce of caviar is about 3 teaspoons – this is really the minimum, and we recommend more, especially if you’re a caviar lover or inviting true caviar afficionados. Also, you might want to select two varieties of caviar so you can compare. If you’re using it to garnish a dish, you can do with less, but also, don’t spend a fortune.

A chart of caviar serving sizes and portions, photo by Gourmet Food Store

What do you eat with it?

  • Blini: Small and flat classic Russian buckwheat pancakes, these are the traditional vehicle for serving fine caviar.
  • Crème Fraiche: the French alternative to sour cream, this light and fresh cream is usually topped over blini, then piled with caviar.
  • Toast points: simple toast points.
  • Quail or regular eggs: hard-boiled eggs with a wedge of lemon.
  • Pasta, risotto and soup dishes: used to top hot dishes like pasta (ravioli is a good choice), risotto soups and even sauces.
  • Potatoes: caviar served with simple boiled potatoes is simple and understated.
  • Butter: also a classic partner for fine caviar. A smothering of butter over toast and a scoop of roe are a delightful mix.

A key factor to consider is that you don’t ever actually cook the caviar. Heat will destroy both the texture and flavor, so think about it as a garnish, something to add over an already cooked hot dish. Less is more, and you want to make sure whatever you serve your caviar with is mild, and not too intensely flavored, otherwise you’ll overwhelm the delicate flavor of the caviar – which would be a waste.

Black caviar served  with potato and cream, photo by Gourmet Food Store

The best way to serve caviar is the simplest route. More inexpensive caviar like colorful capelin and tobiko roe allow you to be creative without spending a fortune and are especially suited for homemade sushi or as a garnish.

What to Drink with Caviar

The Russians drink their caviar with a shot of ice-cold vodka – it’s clear, it’s simple, it cleanses the palate, and it doesn’t compete with the delicate flavor of the caviar, like a full-bodied red wine would. If you’re not into downing vodka with your appetizer, a simple glass of crisp champagne pairs wonderfully with caviar as well.

Black caviar sparkling champagne pairing, photo by Gourmet Food Store

A nice dry white wine, if it’s not too fruity, sweet or oaky can also be a nice match. Deciding what to drink with caviar is a matter of taste, so you can also feel free to try your favorite cocktail.

Wine Pairings

  • Beluga Caviar: Champagne, Sancerre
  • Osetra Caviar: Champagne, Sancerre, Blanc de Noir, Chablis
  • Sevruga Caviar: Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis, Blanc de Blancs
  • Kaluga Caviar: Sancerre, Dessert Wines, Blanc de Blancs, Brut Champagne
  • White Sturgeon Caviar: Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rose, Blanc de Blancs
  • Salmon Roe: Light Pinot Noir, Rose, Sparkling Rose, Chardonnay
  • Paddlefish Roe: Chenin Blanc, Blanc de Noir, Light Pinot Noir, Rose, Blanc de Blancs, Sparkling Rose
  • Hackleback Roe: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay

Serving Tips & Tricks

Serve caviar chilled but not frozen. The easiest way to keep your caviar at the right temperature is by serving it on the tin directly over a bowl of ice. Or you can splurge on a beautiful crystal caviar server with a double bowl – one for caviar and one for ice – that will showcase your caviar in the most spectacular way.

Serve caviar with a mother of pearl or bone spoon, but never use metal. Metal changes the taste of caviar, and you want to keep it untainted. In a pinch, a plastic spoon will do (it will just not look very nice and fancy). The most traditional way to serve caviar is a shiny and beautiful mother of pearl spoon.

Don’t spread or smash the caviar; you’ll break the delicate skin of the eggs and destroy the texture. One of the highlights of tasting caviar is letting each individual egg roll in your palate and then pop when you bite into them, so use the spoon carefully when you’re serving caviar.

Storage & Shelf Life

Caviar is very delicate and perishable and needs to be kept refrigerated at temperatures between 26 and 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once a caviar jar or container is opened, air gets inside and its shelf life starts to run out quickly – think 3 days to a week. However, unopened and sealed caviar jars can last up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator. Keep this in mind when purchasing caviar – it’s better to order several small containers and open them as needed, rather than purchasing one big jar.

If you have caviar left over, here’s how to store it: spread it flat, without mushing it, with a mother-of-pearl or a plastic spoon. Cover with plastic wrap, and tightly as you can to avoid air getting trapped inside. Then eat it within 3 days for the best taste, up to one week.

Read more about how to store caviar here.


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Albertina Roca

Copywriter & Certified Cheese Addict

Meet Albertina, a seasoned food writing wordsmith and marketing creative split between the sizzling vibes of Miami and the charming streets of Buenos Aires. With a solid 20 years in the traditional and digital advertising world for the gourmet food industry, she’s mastered the art of making words as mouthwatering as the dishes they describe. She’s proudly been part of the Gourmet Food Store family (and its brands) since its very beginnings, and what a fun, flavor-packed journey it has been!


Albertina's journey in copywriting is marked by a passion for creativity and a knack for connecting with audiences. Her expertise spans SEO-driven content that boosts visibility, engaging social media strategies that spark conversations, persuasive advertising campaigns that captivate, and heartfelt storytelling that resonates deeply.


With a diverse portfolio spanning numerous articles, blogs, and captivating content pieces, Albertina has left her mark on the industry. From informative guides to persuasive sales copy, her work not only informs but also inspires action.

Education and Background

Her journey began at Rutgers College, where she studied in History and Political Science, with a minor in English Lit. She honed her craft at The Miami Ad School in South Beach, where creativity and copy collided under the South Florida Sun. From the neon streets of South Beach to the tango beats of Buenos Aires, her pen dances with the rhythm of whatever gastronomic tales she gets to write at the time.

Currently savoring life in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she’s bilingual in English and Spanish, an avid reader, and cheese addict.

Her writing? Seasoned with creativity, spiced with experience, and garnished with a dash of wit.

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Questions and Answers

Q:How is caviar supposed to be served?
A:Caviar is best served with blini – a small and round Russian pancake, and a dollop of crème fraiche. It’s also meant to be served chilled but not frozen, never at room temperature. Think small, delicious bites. There’s also the famous caviar bump -a scoop of caviar on our fist, between your thumb and index finger, licked right off!
Q:What are the traditional accoutrements for caviar?
A:Traditional accompaniments for caviar include blini, crème fraiche, quail eggs, toast points, lemon wedges, minced onion and butter.
Q:How do the French serve caviar?
A:Caviar in France is served the traditionally way, cold, blini and crème fraiche.
Q:Why can't you eat caviar with a metal spoon?
A:Metal and caviar don’t mix well! Metal can interact with caviar and make it oxidize, rending the taste tinny and metallic.
Q:What condiments are typically served with caviar?
A:The traditional condiments served with caviar are creme fraiche over a mini blini, capers, chives, hard boiled egg yolks, egg whites or red onions.
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