Monday, November 9, 2015

Caviar: a luxury indulgence

 Caviar is, undeniably, the most luxurious and exclusive food known to mankind. Its origin is rooted in the Persian word khag-avar, which means "roe generator". Caviar is always featured one among the list of extravagant gourmet dining. The taste may not appeal to everyone, but for the ones who love caviar they like it for its rich and creamy taste. Love it or hate it, there can be no doubt these pearly globules are considered ‘high luxury’ and a connoisseur’s delight.

Caviar is fish roe or eggs that are lightly salted with non-iodized salt. As a matter of fact all female fish lay eggs, so they all have roe. However, not all fish roe is suitable to be caviar. Genuine caviar comes from only the sturgeon fish; beluga, osetra, sevruga, and starlet are considered the best. Classic caviar comes primarily from Iran or Russia, harvested by commercial fishermen working in the Caspian Sea. Tins of caviar must list the name of the fish first, unless it is definitely sturgeon roe.
Here’s an A to Z on one of the most famous dishes all around the world:
  1. Caviar is one of the oldest delicacies before raw oysters, before Champagne, before even truffles were deemed a delicacy; caviar was coveted by kings and the aristocracy. Ancient Greeks, Romans and Russian tsars were all known to splurge on caviar.
  2.  Beluga is always sold in blue color tins, osetra in yellow and sevruga in red.
  3.  Caviar should be removed fifteen minutes before serving from the fridge and the box opened just before serving.
  4.   Caviar should never be frozen.
  5.  Caviar should never be served on metal utensils — the sensitive "berries" (the proper name for roe) can develop a very off-putting metallic taste. Caviar spoons made from bone, mother of pear or tortoise shell and are sold in specialty shops for just such occasions.
  6. There are etiquette rules attached with caviar. When served on a small cracker or canapé, it should be eaten in one bite, but caviar served as an appetizer should be mixed with chopped egg whites and yolks and placed on toast points before eating.
  7.    Caviar and ice-cold vodka is a classic combination.
  8.    The most expensive is the exclusive variety called Almas, which in Russian means "diamond", and its price is almost as high as that of the precious gemstone. It is one of those items that are not for sale just anywhere. Few select Caviar House & Prunier stores, the only place in the world where it is available for sale. Its classic presentation makes a unique gift: it comes in a metal container bathed in 24-karat gold. The price? A kilo (2.2 lbs) can cost upwards of $ 25,000. 
         So, the next time you have Caviar, you would know exactly what you’re getting into.

-       - Ms. Bindu Menon,
           Senior Faculty, INLEAD 

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