Sunday, June 25, 2017

Etiquette for Caviar

Antique flatware for caviar: a rare, individual, sterling caviar spade in the Versailles flatware pattern, a bone caviar spoon, and a sterling handled, horn bowled, caviar server 
~ 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." Caviar is a delicacy. It is the unfertilized eggs (roe) of sturgeon brined with a salt solution. 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. - Photo by Maura J. Graber, from “Reaching for the Right Fork

The eating of caviar has its own set of rituals. Caviar is a "finger food" when eaten as an hors d'oeuvre, and
 served on toast points, or thin, round slices of bread- usually dry, since good in quality caviar, there should be enough fat in the eggs to moisten the bread.  Purists do not alter the flavor of the caviar with such garnishes as sour cream, chopped egg or onion. As with most finger foods, caviar on toast points, crackers or other small sliced breads, should be eaten in one or two bites.

The following are some considerations:
Caviar should be served from a non-metal spoon. Caviar spoons are widely available in bone, horn, tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl. Any metals, including silver, will impart a metallic flavor to the granules. 

Depending on the grade of caviar, the flavor of lesser grades can be enhanced with a dab of fresh lemon juice. 

If you don't have a caviar server, place the caviar in a small glass or porcelain bowl, inside of a larger bowl filled with crushed ice. Make sure that the water does not enter the caviar bowl as the ice melts. 

If serving caviar on crackers, use bland, unsalted crackers.

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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