Salmon and Caviar
One way to make costly caviar go farther is this memorable presentation from Tsar Nicoulai. Drape slices of smoked salmon in a coupe dish or sherbet champagne glass, add a tablespoon (ounce) of caviar and garnish with radish sprouts.



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Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Fish, Seafood & Caviar

Caviar & Roe

Red, Black, American, Russian, Sturgeon, Salmon & More: Everything You Need To Know About Caviar


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Caviar is salted fish roe (eggs); but not all salted fish roe is caviar. Caviar refers very specifically to the salted roe of sturgeon. When the word caviar appears alone, it implies that it the roe is of sturgeon origin, regardless of whether the sturgeon comes from Iran, the United States, or anywhere else. However, the word caviar can be used appropriately in tandem with the name of another fish—for example, salmon caviar, whitefish caviar, or trout caviar.

While the standalone word caviar on a tin or a menu denotes sturgeon caviar, today’s consumers and purveyors are too sophisticated to be so brief. Knowledgeable gourmets demand at least two modifying words preceding caviar to designate provenance as well as fish species: Iranian Osetra, American whitefish, California sturgeon...and now, farmed versus wild.

As caviar lovers and wine lovers both know, the affordable and accessible is as enjoyable as the rare and costly; and there’s a time and a place for everything. Sorry is the person who eats Iranian sturgeon caviar every night: He or she is missing out on the riches of other roes of interest to any true gourmet.

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Nibble Tip

A simple-to-make, impressive-to-serve hors d’oeuvre or appetizer is a smoked salmon roll filled with caviar and an optional dab of crème fraîche.

Lightly fill a slice of smoked salmon with a bit of crème fraîche and a teaspoon of caviar. Roll into a cigar or cornet shape: the edges will adhere due to the moisture in the salmon. If serving as an appetizer plate, serve three rolls, each with a different type of caviar (salmon, trout and whitefish, or three different infused flavors of whitefish caviar). If you’re feeling flush, try sturgeon caviar. This isn’t the place to roll Beluga unless money is no object: the subtle nuances and the “pop” of the eggs that you pay dearly for will be lost.

Salmon Cornets
Photo courtesy of Tsar Nicoulai.