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The beginner’s guide to fine caviar

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They may be “just” salted fish eggs, but caviar is a food that’s synonymous with luxury. While we can find certain varieties for a few dollars at the supermarket, true gourmet caviar can cost between US$2,000 to US$34,500 for one kilogram.

If you are fortunate enough to have such caviar, be sure to store it properly in order to keep it at its best. It is best kept at between 0 to 2oC. Refrigerators like the Electrolux FlexFresh has flexible storage spaces that will allow you to store it in its own compartment, while its multi-airflow system ensures temperatures will always be kept consistent.

Gourmet caviar

True caviar is said to come from the Beluga, Osetra and Sevruga sturgeon only. Unfortunately, each of these species has become endangered. About 85 per cent of today’s wild caviar originates from the Caspian Sea, and its price is partially explained by its rarity. If the container says just “caviar”, it is most likely from the sturgeon. Any other types of caviar must be prefixed by the fish it comes from, such as salmon caviar or trout caviar.

How caviar is rated

Caviar ratings are determined by several factors, including size and colour and processing method. The colour is rated by the number of zeroes, with 000 denoting light caviar, 00 for medium coloured and 0 for dark coloured ones. Sturgeon roe is seen to be the best kind of caviar, with the largest eggs and lightest colour. However, there are many less expensive and delicious alternatives which are more widely available and do not command a premium.

Varieties of Caviar

Beluga

By Thor
https://www.flickr.com/photos/geishaboy500/4318764614

The world’s most expensive caviar, its roe is very large, and ranges from black to pale grey. It is said to have a smooth, buttery flavour. Fewer than 100 Beluga sturgeons are caught each year.

Osetra

By T.Tseng
https://www.flickr.com/photos/68147320@N02/8368922765/

This caviar is made up of medium-sized eggs, ranging in colour from dark brown to golden brown. It has a nutty, slightly fruity flavour.

Sevruga

By ulterior epicure
First Course: Cauliflower "Panna Cotta"

The smallest roe of the three, and more plentiful than the other two. It is black to very light grey in colour. It has a buttery flavour, but is saltier, richer, and more intense than Beluga caviar.

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