Pushkin Caviar Etiquette

Caviar is an expensive delicacy consisting of the unfertilized eggs (roe) of sturgeon brined with a salt solution. The flavor of caviar is often referred to as an acquired taste, but those who enjoy it say it is an intense explosion of complex flavors. The brining solution contributes a little to the overall palate, but caviar enthusiasts often savor the luxurious texture and indescribably rich taste of the caviar berries themselves.

As with many other gourmet foods served at formal functions, there are etiquette rules attached with caviar.

Caviar should never be served with metal utensils- the sensitive ‘berries'(proper name for caviar roe) can develop a very off-putting metallic taste. Caviar spoons made from bone, mother of pearl or tortoise shell are sold in specialty shops for just such occasions.

Caviar served on a small cracker or canape should be eaten in one bite, but caviar served as an appetizer should be mixed with chopped egg whites and yolks and placed on toast points before eating.

In the United States, tins of caviar must list the name of the fish first, unless it is definitely sturgeon roe. Other fish used in the production of caviar could be paddle fish, salmon or a contemporary of the sturgeon called bowfin or “Choupique”.

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