We would be hard pressed to name a food item that evokes more of a sense of luxury and romance than caviar. It's the ultimate “couple” food: a thirty-gram tin is perfect for two to share on its own or before dinner. That said, it's also a special treat for yourself or for a night with your best friend. It seems especially appropriate for dinner parties, Valentine’s Day, and special occasions wherein luxury foods add a sense of elegance.
But many of us don’t know what to look for when shopping for caviar, nor are we sure how to best present it to maximum effect. Richard Corbo, Executive Chef at New York City’s Tribeca Grill, serves caviar on its own and atop several dishes.
Here is his professional advice on how to buy caviar and how to serve it, and he also offers us his favorite wine pairing. Spoiler alert: it’s Champagne!
Shopping For Caviar
RC: I think the most important thing is to start with a reputable source. You're usually going to be buying caviar in a closed tin, and you’re not going to be able to inspect it. Like anything else, you want to get your product from a vendor who sells a lot of it so you can be sure it’s moving quickly. There’s nothing wrong with buying it online if you know the source. If you can try it, you are looking for firm caviar, not something mushy, and it should have a bit of “snap” to it. In terms of scent, it should have a light sea aroma, nothing “fishier” than that. It should also be chilled or on ice up to the moment of purchase, and then be chilled in transport and at home.