If you’ve never eaten caviar before, then you may want to be sure that you’re abiding by all of the customs the first time you eat it. You don’t want to make a faux pas and end up on the receiving end of a glib look, after all. That’s why I’ve put together today’s guide on whether you chew caviar.
So do you chew caviar? Yes, in most cases, you chew caviar, as that’s the easiest way to get the full flavor out of the eggs. However, certain expensive caviars may be delicate enough to melt in your mouth, but experiences like these are few and far between, so you can typically expect to chew on your caviar.
As you can see, whether or not you chew on caviar is highly dependent on the quality of caviar you’re eating. I’m going to take a closer look at how you should consume various types of caviar so you can have a better idea of when you should chew your caviar and when you should take your time to enjoy it.
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Do You Chew Caviar?
In most cases, you’ll want to chew caviar because that’s the most efficient way to eat it. Sure, the beads of the caviar may eventually dissolve in your mouth, but you don’t want to sit there waiting for fifteen minutes with a mouthful of caviar hoping that it will dissolve. Most caviar is hardy enough not to melt immediately.
That being said, there are times when you may wish to delay your chewing of the caviar so that you can experience more of the flavor. Caviar is a fine dish and you are meant to enjoy the experience of eating it instead of getting through the meal as quickly as possible.
While you can be free to eventually chew on your caviar so you can enjoy the popping and the texture of the eggs, take your time before you start to get a feel for the flavor of the caviar you’re eating. It doesn’t matter whether you’re eating more affordable sevruga caviar or the cream of the crop beluga caviar, the experience should be enjoyed regardless.
To get the most out of your caviar, try to enjoy it as if it were a fine wine. Start with a small amount of caviar on the back of your hand. This will ensure that you only taste the caviar instead of also tasting the spoon that you put it on because your brain automatically suppresses the flavor of your hand when you eat with your hands.
Before you even start eating the caviar, take the time to smell it. You want to explore the scent of the caviar with your nose as that will prepare your palate for it and it will make tasting the caviar a much more intense experience. Since caviar has relatively delicate flavors, you’ll want to do everything you can to amplify them.
As soon as the caviar enters your mouth, take the time to prod it with your tongue and get a feel for the texture. Experience whether or not the caviar beads feel firm, get a feel for the size of the individual beads and enjoy the salty, oceanic flavor of the caviar as you explore it.
Remember that you can’t taste things with your teeth, so you’ll naturally change the flavor of the caviar just by biting into it. As you hold the caviar in your mouth, you’ll want to breathe through your mouth a little bit. This will help add to the flavor since it will make the caviar oxidize a little bit.
The amount of effort that you put into tasting your caviar will be rewarded by the notes of flavor that you experience which you would have otherwise missed. More expensive caviar tends to have more hidden notes that require more effort to bring out, whereas cheaper caviars will front-load more of the flavor.
Drinks to Pair Caviar With
There are many drinks that caviar can be paired with:
- White wine
Champagne and caviar are a classic combination if you’re trying to celebrate life, and they certainly complement each other well. The flavor of caviar and champagne are inextricably linked in many people’s minds, but there are other beverages that you can serve alongside caviar.
You typically want to avoid sweet drinks when you’re eating caviar, as I firmly believe that you’ll want something more tart or crisp to accompany the salty, oceanic flavor of caviar. The dryer types of champagne are a better choice because of this, so look for the word brut on the bottle.
Since caviar comes from Russia, it’s perhaps not surprising that one of the most traditional drinks to have alongside it is vodka. Vodka’s flavor is strongly alcoholic but it’s also very neutral, which means that it won’t overpower the taste of your caviar, and it will, in fact, do the opposite.
This is due to the antiseptic properties of strong alcohol like vodka, clearing your palate of any biological material that may be left over after your last spoonful of caviar. This will allow you to prepare your palate for the next bit of caviar, or you can even snack on another appetizer before returning to the caviar.
How to Ensure That Your Caviar Retains its Texture
Caviar’s texture is a huge deal and it’s one of the main reasons why you’d want to chew on caviar. One of the main reasons why caviar can’t be fertilized or even spawned is because it will degrade the texture of the eggs, making them less firm.
However, you’ll also have to store caviar properly to ensure that the texture doesn’t end up getting compromised. You should typically keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator, and you may even want to adjust the dial so that your refrigerator runs colder while you have the caviar in it.
At the very least, poor storage will degrade the texture of the individual beads of caviar. However, in the worst case, bad caviar can make you sick, so always take the proper precautions when storing it.