How to properly eat caviar

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Synonymous with luxury, caviar is both prized and misunderstood. Because it’s so expensive, people don’t want to waste it—but they also often don’t know how to serve or eat it properly. The majority of caviar comes from three types of sturgeon: beluga, sevruga, and ossetra. If the eggs come from a type of fish other than sturgeon, like salmon, it’s not really caviar—it’s roe, the generic name for fish eggs. The finest caviar should taste neither fishy nor overly salty. When buying, look for shiny, fine-grained egg globules that are sturdy and unbroken.

How to Serve Caviar

Fine caviar should be served very cold in a non-metallic bowl nested inside a larger bowl filled with ice. Caviar doesn’t freeze until it’s below 28 degrees, so you can store it in the coldest part of the fridge to get it as ice-cold as possible without it actually freezing, which can affect the texture of the eggs.
Avoid metal bowls and utensils, which may impart a metallic taste to the caviar. Choose servers and utensils made of glass, bone, tortoiseshell, wood, plastic, or to be truly traditional, mother-of-pearl or gold.

What to Serve with Caviar

Fine caviar is best served simply, possibly alongside toasts or bland, unsalted crackers. Some people even like to eat it straight out of the tin the caviar came in to get the true, unadulterated taste of the fish eggs.

Although purists will disagree, believing nothing should interfere with the flavor of fine caviar, common accompaniments include lemon wedges, sour cream, creme fraiche, hard-cooked egg—yolks and whites chopped separately—and minced onion. Oftentimes, caviar is served on a small pancake known as a blini. Lesser-quality caviar products may well benefit from these garnishes. If you’re new to caviar, start by tasting it without any accompaniments to get a true idea of the flavor.

Purists will also disagree with the commonly preferred libation of Champagne, and demand only a straight shot of the finest frozen vodka . The neutral taste of high-quality vodka won’t sully the flavor of the caviar. If you decide to go with Champagne, choose the driest version possible—but not the bottle with “extra-dry” on the label, which is actually sweeter than “brut,” “extra brut,” or “brut natural.”

Eating Etiquette

When you’re around friends, you might not have to worry too much about how to eat caviar with proper etiquette. However, if you’re at a fine-dining restaurant, you might want to follow proper protocol.

Don’t eat too much when caviar is served as an hors d’oeuvre, no matter how much you might be tempted by its luscious flavor. It’s considered gauche to eat more than an ample serving of about 2 ounces, or about two spoonfuls.
Don’t chew the caviar, as you will lose a lot of the flavor. Use your tongue to feel the beads of fish eggs and taste the buttery fat.
Take small bites of the caviar. It’s an expensive product, and it should be savored and enjoyed, not scarfed down. Start with about a half-teaspoon and really luxuriate in the experience of eating the caviar.

How to eat caviar

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How To Eat Caviar . Wash Your Hands First.

Caviar is a delicacy typically only associated with the very fancy and the very rich. It turns out there’s a right way to eat caviar, and it makes eating caviar seem even more bougie. You’re supposed to eat it off the back of your hand, between your index finger and thumb.

People began eating caviar this way in order to test out what they were buying before they purchased a tin of caviar.

If you eat something off of your hand, your brain automatically says that there is no flavor profile or texture coming off the back of your hand. But if you eat something off a spoon, your brain tells you that a spoon has a taste and a texture to it.
But [people] realized there was bacteria being passed along by the palm of the hand, but the back of the hand was the purest form, because they could actually put caviar on the back of the hand and not pass disease along from one person to the next. They would actually taste the caviar off the back and if they liked it, they would take that tin. If they didn’t like it, they would open up another tin and let the customer choose which one they wanted.

Caviar purveyors have eaten the delicacy this way for years. But it’s taken other people a little longer to catch on.

There are more people learning to enjoy caviar off the back of their hand versus putting it on a blini with egg and all the other accoutrements. Most times in restaurants people are going to put it on a toast point or a blini because of decorum.
Even though it might look foolish to eat caviar like this, it actually helps get a “cleaner flavor” of the caviar. And the uncomfortableness associated with eating it like this will fade.

Getting people to try it for the first time like that is really important. When somebody’s never had good caviar it really makes a huge difference. Most people don’t know how to smell caviar [the correct way], and if it has a smell to it, you don’t want to eat it. If it’s on the back of your hand, you can smell the difference [between good or bad] right away.

It’s a very sensual food to begin with. As soon as you add eating it off of your own hand, I just think it takes on a different dynamic.

But if you must take your caviar with something, a great way to eat it off-the-hand is on a buckwheat blini with nothing else on it.

Health benefits of tobiko – fish roe

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Fish eggs, tobiko, masago, ikura and caviar are generally a healthy food choice. They are low in calories and high in protein and amino acids. What are the health benefits of fish eggs?


Tobiko is the Japanese word for flying fish roe. It usually has a bright red color. Tobiko are very small, usually measuring less than 1mm in diameter. Tobiko is salty and generally smoky in taste, but tends to be a bit sweeter than other types of eggs, such as caviar or ikura.

Tobiko is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients. Similar to salmon eggs, tobiko is high in phospholipid fat that can help protect the heart and liver, reduce inflammation, and improve learning ability.

However, tobiko is very high in cholesterol. But, consumed in moderation, tobiko is not a problem as the portion sizes of tobiko are usually very small.


Masago is the name of the capelin egg. It has a bright orange-red appearance, although it is slightly less vibrant than tobiko. It is also smaller than the tobiko and has a different texture, even though it tastes the same. Similar to caviar, masago tends to be more of a garnish.

Masago is low in calories and provides healthy protein and fatty acids, as well as important nutrients such as magnesium, selenium, and vitamin B12. However, masago tends to be relatively high in sodium.


Ikura is the Japanese word for salmon roe. Salmon roe is much bulkier than most other types of fish roe and shinier. Its color is intense reddish-orange due to the presence of specific pigments in the egg.

Ikura is a very nutritious food. It is rich in healthy fatty acids, including omega-3 (EPA and DHA), omega-6, omega-7 and omega-9. Ikura also contains good levels of protein and is rich in vitamin A, an important antioxidant. The pigment compound in ikura, astaxanthin, is also a powerful antioxidant, which can help fight free radical damage in the body and protect against the signs of aging.