Caviar – a fancy indulgence? Or a delicious treat?
‘Tis the season to be indulgent, is it not? To enjoy that special treat you have but once a year and to share it with your dearest friends and family. We at the Ottawa Bagelshop love the highest quality foods available, but sometimes the very best isn’t feasible. In the world of caviar (one of the world’s most expensive foods) the rarest version of Beluga caviar can run nearly $40,000 per kilo! Although we’re sure that’s some tasty fish eggs – we know it’s not affordable for most. But that’s ok! With a little knowledge and finesse, one can present any caviar and provide a delicious treat to your guests.
Perhaps when you think of caviar you think of extreme opulence, an evening of indulgence that is out of reach. Or maybe you think, “fish eggs”, — not for me. But dear reader, let me open your mind to the salty, bright, delicious tastes of caviar and how you can include it in your menu this holiday season.
The taste and texture of caviar does not have to be an acquired taste, nor does it have to break the bank. Although sturgeon caviar reigns supreme , because the size and texture of the eggs allows for an especially creamy, salty, fresh taste that most caviar lovers know and love – you can be assured that it’s not always the sturgeon way or the highway.
Trout and salmon roe are larger in size, and they burst in your mouth, creating a deeply pleasurable, salty, sensory experience. Lumpfish caviar, available in red and black, has a crisp, not overly fishy taste whose texture is more bubbly than creamy.
Here at the Ottawa Bagelshop we carry different caviars that range from $8.85 (oh humble lumpfish – you are still delicious) to $89.00 for Canada’s own Acadian Sturgeon Caviar to $109.00 for fine Italian Ocieatra Caviar. All can be served the traditional way. Spooned over toast points with chopped hard boiled eggs and minced onions.
Or, if you choose, serve on blinis or any other pancake or savoury fritter with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche. You are limited only by your imagination and personal tastes to come up with a myriad of other ways to serve caviars.
Vince, the owner of the Bagelshop began his culinary education at the Ritz Carleton Hotel in Montreal nearly 50 years ago. This is how the Ritz served caviar – so you know it’s good. Follow Vince’s lead and your guests will love you. By the way, if you do not have a mother of pearl caviar serving spoon, any small spoon will do.
French Style of Caviar Service
What you need:
Caviar (15g per person)
Sliced white bread
Sweet onion (perhaps Vidalia)
- Keep the caviar in its original tin or glass container – make sure it is chilled. Place the caviar container in a bowl of ice which is then placed on a platter.
- Toast the white bread, and butter lightly. With a rolling pin or mallet, roll or flatten the toast into a thin sheet. Remove crusts and cut into three rectangles.
- Separate the yolk from the whites of the hard boiled egg. Finely chop the yolk. Finely chop the whites. Set aside in separate ramekins.
- Finely chop the onion, set aside in its’ own ramekin.
- Fine chop the parsley, set aside in another ramekin.
- Cut lemon in small wedges, set aside in a fourth ramekin.
- Server the caviar (with a mother of pearl caviar spoon) on the flattened toast and offer the tray of ‘condiments’ to your guests. Allow your guest to top their caviar toasts with the selection of egg, onion, and parsley of their choosing.
Russian Style Caviar Service
What you need:
- Keep Caviar in its tin or glass container – make sure it is chilled. Place it in a pretty bowl of ice which rests on a serving platter.
- Take a fresh French baguette and cut it on a bias in half-inch slices. (True Loaf or Premiere Moisson Baguette for the win!)
- Generously butter each slice of baguette
- Add a small amount of Caviar to baguette slices.
- Squeeze lemon on caviar.
Both ways allow for the Caviar to be highlighted, but with the help of lemon and butter can diminish some of the fishy taste that not everyone loves. If you want more information on the serving of caviar, please visit us in the store. Vince will be available to talk about the good ol’ days when Beluga caviar was affordable.