Known nowadays as an exquisite delicacy for the rich, getting into eating caviar may seem like a daunting and even unrealistic goal for the average person.
Luckily, if you’re an average person who is curious about indulging in the delicacy, you’ll be pleased to know that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to caviar.
With many different kinds to choose from, there’s a type of caviar out there for everyone, whether you’re a brand-new beginner or a well-seasoned regular consumer.
This article will go over all the different kinds of fish and the eggs they produce, focusing especially on the best for beginners, so that you can enter the world of caviar a little more confidently.
There are many different kinds of fish used for caviar, all of them producing a different product and having hugely varying price points.
If you’re a beginner in the caviar world, you may want to start out with the roe of a paddlefish, whitefish, or salmon. These are easier to come by and come at a cheaper price point, easing you into the world of caviar rather than having you dive in headfirst at the deep end.
Not only a tasty treat, learning about all the different types and the history of caviar is also very interesting.
Traditionally, caviar came from sturgeon and was very plentiful, although nowadays, things are done a bit differently. You won’t find caviar offered to you to the same extent as it once was—if you lived in the state of New York, you would expect to be given a taste of salted sturgeon caviar along with your glass of beer, and it would be on the house too!
However, import bans have changed things. Let’s take a look at some of the best caviar to get started with.
The Best Caviar for Beginners
1 – JustCaviar Beginner’s Caviar Sampler Set
If you’ve never had caviar before and you’d like to get a taste for the different types available to you, this sampler set will allow you to develop your tastes without wasting an exorbitant amount of money. Usually priced at around $60, this set of caviar sample packs comes with a few different caviar varieties.
There are four different kinds of roe that come included in this set, including bowfin, American Pride, whitefish, salmon, and smelt. Whoever chose the types of caviar to be included in this set did a good job, because each of them has a slightly different flavor and size, resulting in varying textures and eating experiences.
To ensure that the caviar remains fresh during its transit, it comes shipped overnight and it is packed surrounded by ice packs to keep it at the near-freezing temperature required.
2 – Agutson Black and Red Lumpfish Caviar 2-Pack
This 2-pack of lumpfish caviar comes included with both black and red varieties, once again allowing you to discern the differences between various types of caviar without having to spend a lot of money. This is a surprisingly affordable product, usually priced at just over $20.
While lumpfish caviar may be relatively common, it retains many of the flavorful notes that you’d find in higher-end caviar varieties and still has the crunchy, desirable texture that connoisseurs look for. To ensure that this caviar doesn’t weigh on your conscience, Agutson makes sure to farm the roe sustainably.
When you order this product, you’ll receive two two-ounce jars of caviar, for a total of four ounces. Both varieties of caviar go well with appetizers, including on top of crackers or sushi.
3 – OLMA Noble Caviar Gift Set
If you don’t mind spending a bit more on your caviar sampler pack, then OLMA has you covered with this set of high-end caviar, and it even comes included with a small tub of creme fraiche!
Other than the caviar and the creme fraiche, the pack includes mini French blinis and a complementary mother of pearl caviar spoon.
Of course, these are all just extras, and the start of the show is the caviar that you get included with this set. Each type of caviar comes in a half-ounce jar, and you get to try some of the best in the world, including Kaluga Royal, paddlefish, hackleback, and even the vaunted Siberian Osetra variety.
The only downside is that you’ll often find this caviar set available for just north of $150, so you’ll need a slightly higher budget to enjoy this delicacy.
Here is the link: OLMA Noble Caviar Gift Set
4 – Caviar & Caviar Gourmet Caviar Gift Basket
Yet another sampler/gift set with a bit of a higher price point, this one is a better choice if you’re trying to share your caviar with a special someone. Unlike the OLMA set, this gift basket comes with two mother of pearl caviar spoons that will allow you to share the joy of this exquisite delicacy.
Along with the two mother of pearl spoons, you’ll get two tins of caviar: a one-ounce can of Siberian Sturgeon Baerii caviar and a two-ounce can of French Trout caviar. While the Baerii caviar is certainly of higher quality, the balance between the flavors of both varieties makes it a pleasure to alternate between the two of them.
5 – Caviar & Caviar American Caviar Sampler
For a bit of a more affordable price, you’ll find the American Sampler pack from Caviar & Caviar may better suit your needs. With each purchase, you’ll get not only the caviar, but also a mother of pearl spoon as well as a 36-pack of blinis that you can garnish with the included caviar.
The caviar types that you get in this pack include a one-ounce jar of each of the following: Alaskan Salmon, American Paddlefish, Premium Sturgeon, and Louisiana Bowfin. Coming out to a total of four ounces, this sampler set should be sufficient for between four and eight people.
And that concludes the list of the best caviar sets for beginners. I’ve tried to include options in a variety of price ranges, so I hope that you were able to find the perfect choice. If you’re interested in learning more about caviar, check out these guides to Ikura and how to find the best caviar in LA.