Caviar FAQ

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Some say money can’t buy happiness, but they aren’t buying caviar!

Caviar is one of the most luxurious and decadent foods in the world. True caviar is defined as salted, unfertilized sturgeon fish eggs. Caviar is harvested from mature sturgeon, then cured with salt to enhance the flavor and increase the shelf-life of the finished product. It may take five to fifteen years for a sturgeon to reach maturity and begin to produce eggs. However, older sturgeon produce a more refined flavor profile, supple texture, and coveted color. The combination of sturgeon scarcity and extensive time to maturity make caviar a prized delicacy that is hand sorted and selected by expert caviar connoisseurs.

Definition of caviar: "salted, unfertilized fish eggs from the sturgeon family (acipenseridae)"

Malossol is a Russian word that means “little salt.” This describes the delicate salting process that caviar must undergo to highlight its natural flavor and cure the product to better preserve it. An added salt content of 3-5% is usually ideal for accentuating the essence of caviar and its intrinsically dynamic flavor. Malossol is considered the highest quality method of preserving caviar – all of our Mackenzie Limited selection is fresh caviar cured to the standard of malossol.

Caviar has a dynamic flavor that is unique to the species of fish and an insurmountable number of environmental influencers. Caviar harvested from the same fish species in different parts of the world may have distinctly different characteristics. Like a fine bottle of wine may vary from year-to-year, so too does caviar vary in harvest and seasonality. The more you try caviar, the more you will begin to appreciate even the subtle nuances in its flavor variation. You will often see its flavor described as breath of the sea, hints of brine, velvety and nutty, or buttery sweet, coating your tongue and filling your nose. We would recommend sampling a range of caviar types to truly understand its panorama of flavor.

This really depends on your intended consumption of caviar. If you are new to the world of caviar or just looking to try something for the first time, ½-1 ounce of caviar per person would be enough to sample the product. Similarly, if you are looking to garnish hors d’oeuvres, typically expect to use ½ a teaspoon per item. This will make about 8-12 hors d’oeuvres per ounce of caviar. Those that really enjoy caviar will order 2+ ounces per person and enjoy it by the spoonful. Please refer to our individual caviar pages to view our Serving Suggestion Chart or call us at 1-800-858-7100 to speak with customer service for your specific needs.

There are so many caviar types, descriptions, and varying prices that it can be daunting to know where to start. We recommend learning the Latin names of the different species and finding one you particularly enjoy. Whether ordering caviar online or buying caviar at a restaurant, knowing the Latin name of the sturgeon species will greatly help you understand what you are purchasing. You can find this information for our caviar products under the ingredients tab at the bottom of each page. We have tested and sourced only the finest caviar for our selection – if you are interested in exploring the differences among our types of caviar, we would recommend purchasing one of our Samplers.

The best way to preserve the quality of your caviar is to keep it unopened and refrigerated until consumption. A container of our malossol caviar will usually maintain its quality up to 3 weeks when unopened and refrigerated at 26-34⁰F (the coldest part of your refrigerator). Once opened and exposed to air, caviar shelf-life decreases, and it should be consumed within 3-7 days to enjoy the intended quality.

Fine caviar can be relished by itself or with other foods. If you are enjoying your caviar by the spoonful: please remember to not use any silverware as this will impart a metallic taste into each bite. Instead use crystal, bone, or mother-of-pearl utensils and serveware - view our selection of caviar serveware

If you are serving caviar by itself, it is best presented atop crushed ice. Natural gradation in temperature helps to release the flavor of caviar. Surrounding the product with ice will allow you to present your caviar until it is ready to be consumed.

Should you prefer to enjoy your caviar with accoutrement: the simplest way is to gently spread caviar over unsalted crackers or lightly buttered dry toast. The traditional Russian way is to prepare blinis with crème fraiche and garnish with caviar. The list of possibilities is long as caviar pairs extremely well with sour cream and crème fraiche, fresh herbs such as scallions, dill, chives, watercress, chervil, and horseradish, chopped onions, deviled eggs, latkes, fried potatoes, waffles, and many other seafoods including raw oysters, scallops, smoked salmon, lobster, and crab. Typically about ½ a teaspoon of caviar is used per hors d’oeuvre – using this quantity, you will be able to make about 8-12 hors d’oeuvres per ounce of caviar.

Your favorite champagne, spumante, or vodka make an excellent accompaniment to caviar as these beverages clear the palate, allowing you to fully experience the flavor. However you choose, caviar is best enjoyed when you want to savor the moment as much as your food. We invite you to share your favorite recipes and experiences with us as you partake in this culinary delight!

Ancient European royalty viewed caviar as an aristocratic delicacy to adorn upper society banquets and worshiped it as a magical indulgence. This “Jewel of the Sea” has remained a symbol of love and wealth throughout the centuries with many claimed health benefits, including enhanced physical recovery, anti-aging, and increased sexual libido and stamina. With the power of today’s technology, we now know that caviar is densely packed with nourishing vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and Omega fats. View any of our individual caviar pages for nutritional information!

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