Zoom February 2013
Published: Friday, January 25, 2013
Words: Michael Isenbek | Photo: Stephen Lang
Caviar, ever the acquired taste. A flavor bonanza for some, but mushy, unpleasant and avoided at all costs by others. A few hundred years after gaining popularity in and around Russia, caviar became a food of the elite. Czars and European royalty coveted the rare golden sterlet variety and today, Iranian Almas caviar costs upwards of $25,000 a kilo. True caviar is eggs (roe) harvested from certain wild sturgeon varieties in the Black and Caspian Seas. The sturgeons’ rarity and a light-colored roe—indicative of an older fish—are what make it expensive. An open container only keeps for three days at the most, even when refrigerated. Smell and taste before you buy. There should be no pronounced fishy odor and each egg should “pop” when pushed against the roof of the mouth. What to expect? A nuanced flavor reminiscent of the ocean.