Caviar: It's the ultimate indulgence. And since a wedding is one of the most special days of a bride and groom's life, caviar can be a fun, decadent addition to a cocktail hour or dinner menu. We spoke with Jim Miller, owner of Kolikof Caviar & Salmon, about what couples need to know when selecting and serving caviar. "There’s nothing more special than caviar," Miller says. "When you have good caviar, people love it." To learn more about caviar and what you need to know before you buy, read Miller's five tips below:
1. Today's farmed caviar is safer to eat than ever before.
"We’re lucky because the world has turned to farmed food, like salmon. Most people don’t want wild salmon; it doesn’t taste as good as farmed salmon. And it’s the same with caviar. There are a lot of new farms out there, and that’s what people like. They like the farmed caviar because it’s kept in a controlled environment and [customers] know the water is clean and there are no chemicals. Before, when it was a free-for-all, caviar was coming from some fisherman who pulled it out on his own, and you didn’t know where it was coming from [or] if it was refrigerated the whole time."
2. High-quality caviar won't taste fishy and metallic.
"I find a lot of people say, 'I don’t like caviar,' and the reason they don’t like it is [because they're eating] bad caviar. It's fishy and old and watery. Fresh caviar pops in your mouth. You can taste that it’s fresh. If the caviar doesn’t burst in your mouth and pop, you’ve got the wrong caviar. It shouldn’t taste like anything other than a little bit of salt and buttery."
3. It is possible to serve caviar and stay within your budget.
"We have these little cones, they look like ice cream cones, which are very inexpensive. You can buy these ice cream cones and fill them with crème fraiche and put a little caviar on top – people love it and it really doesn’t cost very much. At the end of the story, if you're having a wedding and you spend an extra $700 or $1,000 to make it special, it’s not a big number."
4. There are many creative, delicious ways to serve caviar.
"You can put them in Bellinis. You can make potato pancakes and put smoked salmon on top, and then a poached egg and then caviar on top. That’s always a favorite way. A potato scooped out, mixed with good butter, and then put back in the skin with caviar on top. The 'crazy' way is just straight from the can, eating $1,000 worth of caviar directly, with nothing else."
5. Beware of companies that sell "old" caviar.
"There are not a lot of rules with caviar, so there are a lot of companies that sell old caviar. Even the big-name people try to profess that older caviar is better. The more they convince people older caviar is better, the longer they can keep it in their inventory."
Attention readers! To save 20% on your order from kolikof.com, enter the discount code 20C at checkout.
Opening photo by Studio Nine Photography