How To Serve and Eat Caviar: A Guide
You have your nice shiny tin of expensive caviar, now what? Find out the ins and out of serving caviar, the etiquette, serving amounts, what goes well and what to drink with caviar.
How much caviar per person do you need?
How generous are you feeling? 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.
What do you eat with caviar
Small and flat blini, a classic Russian buckwheat pancakes, are the traditional vehicle for serving fine caviar, alongside a dollop of crème fraiche. However, caviar can be served on toast points, on hard-boiled eggs with a wedge of lemon, and even used to top hot dishes like pasta (ravioli is a good choice), risotto soups and even sauces. Don't actually cook the caviar, which destroys both the texture and flavor, but serve it 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.
More inexpensive caviars 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. A nice and dry white wine, as long as 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.
How To Serve Caviar: Some Quick and Dirty Tips
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.