For many centuries caviar has been a favorite gourmet delight of kings and queens, but today these tiny fish eggs are available to non-royalty as well. If you are looking for a unique dish to serve at your next cocktail party or reception, theses fish eggs can be an excellent choice.
Caviar is also a surprisingly healthy food, packed with nutritional benefits. But as with all gourmet delicacies, it is important to choose the right variety, and to make sure that these delightful treats are served properly.
There are a number of excellent varieties of caviar on the market, but sorting through all the associated terms can be a daunting task. That is why it is so important for new gourmets to become familiar with the various forms of this dish before they go shopping.
Beluga caviar is the most expensive variety on the market, and one of the rarest. This exclusive option is derived from the famous Beluga sturgeon, a fish that is found mainly in the Caspian sea. The rarity of the fish and its roe have made this form of caviar extremely expensive.
Beluga is distinguished by its very large size, and by its rich dark color. Beluga caviar ranges in color, and the eggs are very large and very well developed. Beluga eggs tend to be quite acidic, but its sweet flavor is surprisingly mild.
Oscietra caviar also comes from the sturgeon, but it is derived from a different species of fish than the Beluga variety. The sturgeon responsible for Oscietra hails from the same waters as the Beluga sturgeon, but this fish is more plentiful, and that makes this option a bit less expensive.
Although the Oscietra variety is less costly and less exclusive, many experienced gourmets actually prefer it to more costly Beluga. Oscietra caviar has a rich nutty flavor and a smooth silky texture, resulting in bites that literally melt in one’s mouth. The eggs themselves are medium in size and the color ranges from light golden yellow to a rich dark brown.
Sevruga caviar is derived from the sturgeon of the same name, also a denizen of the Caspian Sea. The Sevruga is smaller than other sturgeons, and the eggs it produces are smaller as well. This variety tends to be much less expensive that other varieties, but it is still a highly sought after gourmet delicacy.
The eggs of the Sevruga sturgeon are very small, and the color varies quite a bit. The color of Sevruga can be green, gray or any color in between. The caviar itself has a very strong and intense flavor, with hints of butter and salt. It also has a distinctive crunch that is unique to this species of sturgeon.
Buyers looking for a more affordable option may want to look at pressed caviar. This blend is generally made with Oscietra or Sevruga eggs that have been damaged during processing. Although those eggs still retain their distinctive flavors, they do not have the look that many gourmets are looking for. Even so, pressed caviar can be an excellent choice for the gourmet whose taste, style and sophistication exceeds his or her bank account.