You don’t have to be an oligarch to enjoy caviar these days. If you’re hosting a dinner party where you want to impress, looking for that special something to kick off your Christmas dinner with a decadent bang or are just curious to try such a highly regarded product, it’s certainly worth buying a tin. But with so many different varieties, farming methods and grading systems, it can be hard to know where to start.
Put simply, caviar is nothing more than salted fish roe (eggs) left to mature. There are all sorts available, from bright orange salmon roe to golden Arctic char eggs. However, the one most people think of is the dark brown and black sturgeon caviar; the most highly regarded of all. While you might see wild caviar for sale, it’s actually illegal to sell it; farmed varieties are just as good, more affordable and consistent. The basic flavour of caviar is salty and creamy, with a mineral, oceanic aftertaste, although the various types contain subtle differences.