Tips for Storing and Serving Caviar

Caviar, that food of kings, is surprisingly easy to store and serve. By the time the caviar reaches your palette, the hard part of harvesting, packaging, and shipping the caviar is done. Your job is to simply store it, serve it, and savor it. Here’s how:

Storing caviar:
Where? Always store caviar in the refrigerator, and never in the freezer.

How long? It can be kept for about 2 weeks in an unopened tin, or 4-6 weeks in an unopened jar. Pasteurized caviar will keep for months on the shelf.

How? Place the container in a bowl in the fridge and surround it with crushed ice to maintain the proper temperature, around 28-32 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are storing an open container, press plastic wrap to the surface of the caviar and eat within 2-3 days.

Anything else? Rotate the caviar daily to evenly distribute the oils. Ideally, caviar should be served soon after purchase, saving you the hassle of storing it at all.

Serving caviar:
Where? It’s easy and acceptable to serve caviar from its original container. You can also use crystal, should you feel so inclined. Place the caviar container on a bed of crushed ice.

How? Remove the caviar from the fridge 15 minutes before serving. Traditionally, a mother-of-pearl, bone, or tortoise shell spoon is used for serving. Do not use metal utensils, especially silver, to avoid a metallic flavor. You could also use wooden or plastic spoons.

Anything else? Serve the caviar with thinly sliced white toast (such as challah), brioche toast points, or blinis. Avoid crackers as their hard texture overwhelms the fragility of the eggs. Accompaniments such as chopped hard-boiled egg whites, flat leaf parsley, and others are optional. Many connoisseurs feel that these sides upstage the caviar, but it is a matter of personal preference. To drink, offer vodka on ice, aquavit, or even champagne.

Though caviar is expensive and delicate, storing and serving it is a snap. By following these tips, your next taste of caviar is sure to be a royal experience.

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