10 Best Caviar Appetizers & Snacks

Caviar refers to the salt-cured fish eggs from sturgeon and other fish species that are considered a delicacy. Caviar is known for its refined flavor, luxurious texture, and association with fine dining. It makes an excellent addition to appetizers and snacks for special occasions.

The global caviar market reached $850 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.7% from 2021 to 2028, reaching nearly $2.2 billion by 2027 according to Grand View Research. The United States is the largest consumer, accounting for over 40% of the global caviar market according to Statista.

1. Caviar on Blinis With Crème Fraîche

Blinis, small yeasted buckwheat pancakes, make the perfect base for caviar. Top blinis with a dollop of crème fraîche and 20-40 grams of caviar, depending on desired richness. Allow the fresh, tangy flavors to mingle. This traditional caviar presentation allows the delicate flavors to shine.

2. Caviar Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a familiar and friendly hors d’oeuvre made elegant with caviar. Carefully halve 6 hard boiled eggs, removing the yolks to a bowl and mashing smoothly with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Spoon or pipe the filling back into the whites, then top with 10-15 grams of caviar for garnish.

3. Smoked Salmon and Caviar Canapés

For easy but impressive two-bite canapés, top thinly sliced and lightly toasted baguette rounds with 5-8 grams of cream cheese each. Add a fold of smoked salmon and finish with a small dollop of caviar on top. Build ahead; the canapés take just moments to assemble.

4. Caviar and Cream Cheese Bagel Bites

Caviar pairs decadently with rich, smooth cream cheese. For bite-sized appetizers, slice a large bagel into rounds. Spread 10-15 grams of cream cheese on each round, top with caviar, sprinkle with minced red onion or chives if desired. Serve on a platter for guests to enjoy.

5. Cucumber Cups With Caviar and Lemon Dill Cream

For a light and refreshing caviar presentation, peel cucumbers into strips with a vegetable peeler. Roll each strip and insert into a shot glass to form a cup shape. Fill with lemon dill cream and top with 15 grams of caviar. The crisp sweetness of the cucumber contrasts the briny bite of caviar.

6. Mini Potato Pancakes With Sour Cream and Caviar

Buttery, crispy potato pancakes are the perfect foundation for caviar. Grate 1-2 russet potatoes, mix with egg, flour and seasonings, then fry tablespoon-sized portions until golden. Top each mini pancake with 5 grams of caviar and a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche.

7. Oysters Topped With Caviar

For an ultra-luxurious bite, top freshly shucked oysters with a small spoonful of caviar. The clean, briny taste of premium oysters is perfectly accented by those distinctive, elegant fish eggs. Allow 3-5 grams of caviar atop each oyster.

8. Lobster and Caviar Salad

Make a caviar-topped salad by mixing chunks of cooked lobster meat with lemon juice, parsley, mayonnaise and celery. Mound the salad into endive leaves or tomato cups. Top with 8-10 grams of caviar for an elegant presentation.

9. Avocado Toast With Lemon and Caviar

Avocado toast gets the caviar treatment with this simple but elegant appetizer. Toast and slice a baguette. Top with mashed avocado, a squeeze of lemon, and finally 10 grams of caviar for briny pops of flavor. Cut the toasts diagonally for dramatic plating.

10. Truffle Pasta With Caviar

Luxurious caviar deserves an equally luxurious partner. Cook fresh tagliatelle or fettuccine, then toss the hot pasta with good olive oil or butter, a shower of shredded Parmesan, fresh lemon zest, chopped Italian parsley, 10-15 grams of caviar and finally some shaved white truffles on top.

How to Choose the Best Caviar for Appetizers and Snacks?

When selecting caviar for appetizers, beluga and ossetra are premium options prized for their large pearls, delicate flavor, and smooth texture according to Caviar & Truffles. For an excellent mid-range everyday caviar, sevruga offers smaller grains with an intense, briny flavor.

More affordable salmon roe and other fish roes can also make tasty additions to appetizers. Seek out a reputable, sustainable caviar purveyor for best quality and flavor.

What Are the Different Types of Caviar?

According to The Spruce Eats, popular caviar varieties include:

  • Beluga: The most prized and expensive; from beluga sturgeon. Large pearls, mild flavor.
  • Osetra: Nutty, buttery flavor; medium-sized delicate grains from Russian sturgeon.
  • Sevruga: Small intense “poppy” pearls with bold briny flavor from Russian sturgeon.
  • Salmon roe: Vibrant orange eggs with mild flavor, fishy notes.
  • Trout roe, tobiko, masago: Small flavorful eggs from other fish like trout or flying fish.

How to Store Caviar Properly?

Caviar’s delicate flavor and freshness must be preserved through proper storage according to Forbes:

  • Keep caviar refrigerated at 28-32° F. Do not freeze.
  • Store in the tin or in an airtight glass container, with sterilized plastic spoon.
  • Cover with a thin layer of tin foil to prevent air exposure.
  • Consume within 3-4 weeks of opening; 2 days once cooked into a dish.

What Are the Best Drinks to Pair With Caviar Appetizers and Snacks?

Buttery, nutty flavors pair excellently with caviar. Chilled vodka or dry champagne cut through briny flavors nicely according to The New York Times. White wines like dry Riesling or French Chablis complement without overpowering. For non-alcoholic options, sparkling water with lemon or very cold milk also pair well.

Can You Use Imitation Caviar for These Recipes?

While cheaper, imitation caviar lacks the refined flavors and luxe mouthfeel of the real thing. Imitations from seaweed or fish roes like masago make poor substitutes in appetizers, lacking characteristic pop. However some vegetarian caviars like mushroom or seaweed based products can be used. Taste first and adjust seasonings to suit.