A recent trip to a Simon Johnson sale saw me nabbing a tin of the real stuff at half price. Trust me that is a bargain beyond all bargains. Not something you see everyday, half price caviar. It was interesting to see some people deterred from purchasing these bargain tins due to not knowing how to serve caviar.
The boys aren’t big fans of these spherical salty balls, which is a good thing for my hip pocket. My mum on the other hand is a big fan. This tin of caviar was nabbed knowing I was jumping on a flight to visit her in a few days.
With bargain basement caviar in my possession, I had to work out how to get it 1000 kilometres up the east coast of Australia without spoiling. That tiny tin was treated with more care than a newborn. With instructions from the team at Simon Johnson, it was wrapped around a freezer block. The type that you put in your esky/chiller bin. The packing tape wrapped tin was then placed with bubble wrap in a small cold bag.
The whole procedure felt like I was hand delivering organs for transplant.
I was waiting for somebody to say something when it went through the x-ray at Sydney Airport security. They didn’t raise an eyebrow. When you think about it, it would be an interesting job with all the weird and wonderful things people have in their carry on luggage.
With tender loving care I placed the caviar in the bulkhead above me as I was in an exit row. Shooting death stares to anyone that went near it or attempted to touch my precious cargo. If I weren’t in the exit row I probably would have nursed the package the whole way there.
With my cargo of fish eggs safely at their destination, it was time for consumption. Which brings me to the subject of this whole post, how to serve caviar?
The Russian Way
Serving caviar is dictated to some degree on where you live. How I serve caviar would probably have most Russians turning red in the face and telling me, in a rather Game of Thrones manner “You know nothing Sara McCleary”.
How to serve caviar the Russian way is straight up with vodka. Just a spoon and shot glasses as accompaniments, keeping it simple and appreciating the taste.
We don’t have the supply of caviar at the price range that the Russians do. Therefore stretching these expensive fish eggs as far as they can go is a priority for us. They are a special luxury that we delight in once in a while.
I have enjoyed many dishes prepared by chefs where they add that little final touch of caviar. I love that burst of fishy saltiness that it can add to a dish. Recently I enjoyed some caviar on top of popcorn vongole.
Caviar with Point Toast
Good quality butter
Serving caviar with point toast would have to be my favourite way. Evenly browned thin toast, with crusts removed, cut into triangular quarters. This can quite simply then be smeared with the best quality of butter you can get your hands on and topped with those salty black eggs. It is a combination I like due to the crunchy texture of the toast, creaminess from the butter and salty bursts from the caviar. You could also serve the point toast with the accompaniments below for the blini; and of course Champagne.
Caviar with Blini
Hard boiled egg, finely chopped
White onion, finely chopped
To accompany your blini you should very finely chop some white onion. The chop size will be the teeniest you can manage. As well as some finely chopped hard boiled egg and crème friache. Purists will separate the egg white from the egg yolk; I personally like the mix of both. Again, it is all best enjoyed whilst sipping on Champagne.
Important Serving Notes
Caviar should be served cold. Place the tin, or caviar serving bowl, on a bed of ice to serve.
Do not use metal serving spoons as it can taint the taste of the caviar. If you want to get all fancy, a spoon made from mother of pearl is what those in the know use. We went for the very chic white disposable plastic look as I had left the spoon I wanted to use back in Sydney.
How do you like your caviar?