You can indulge your taste for caviar at Tanit Beach Ibiza with the finest Imperial Osetra caviar – once reserved exclusively for the Czars of Russia. Now that everyone can enjoy this smooth, creamy, delicate treat we started thinking about the world of caviar and found out some astonishing facts.
1. Historically, caviar only refers to the roe of certain sturgeon from the Caspian and Black Seas. Overfishing has now shifted production of caviar to carefully managed sturgeon farms.
2. An unopened tin of caviar should be stored between –2ºC and 0ºC, and can be kept this way for up to a month. Once opened it must be eaten within two days – not that it should last that long once you have a taste.
3. There are various types of caviar, including Beluga, White Sturgeon, Osetra, Sevruga and Siberian, and all have their fans. The flavours range from nutty and smooth to briny and firm, with Siberian even offering a slightly sweet taste.
4. There is no right or wrong way to serve or eat caviar, but… great caviar is ideally served simply and unadorned. If budget allows, serve at least one ounce per person. Serve caviar in its tin, with blinis or buttered, thinly sliced toast points. Crème fraîche, shaved hard-boiled egg and chives may be served alongside.
5. It’s been said that you shouldn’t serve caviar with a metal spoon. So why is it packaged in metal? The only metal to avoid is silver, which will tarnish on contact with caviar and impart a metallic taste. The tradition of using mother-of-pearl spoons dates to before the 20th-century proliferation of stainless steel.
6. What to drink with caviar? Again: the choice is yours, but champagne is very good. Go for a very, very dry champagne as the higher acid highlights the roe’s saltiness. If you think the bubbles are a distraction: a nice, crisp Chablis would be perfect. Some people prefer plain, ice-cold vodka.
7. In Russia caviar isn’t even known as caviar! It is called ikra. The word caviar hails from the Turkish word havyar, which comes from the Persian word khyah – egg!