What does caviar taste like?
Have you heard the story about the blind men and the elephant: a story where a group of blind men tries to describe the shape of an elephant by touch? It is almost the same scene trying to describe what caviar tastes like.
Some say that caviar tastes a bit fishy and salty. Whereas others gushed, it has the flavor of an excellent raw oyster but is more decadent.
Caviar is more subjective, which is why no amount of description can genuinely explain its flavor. And since caviar isn’t identical from fish to fish, it becomes even more challenging to compare their tastes.
Only when you try caviar more often could you understand the subtle differences between one caviar and another.
Table of Contents
What Is Caviar?
Caviar is unfertilized fish eggs harvested exclusively from a female Sturgeon or paddlefish ready to spawn — but mostly Sturgeon.
Sturgeon and paddlefish are among the oldest and largest fish species on earth.
After harvest, caviar is then salt-cured before this delicacy is either used as a garnish or spread for your meals. Caviar is spherical, whereas the color can be anything from jet black to deep khaki green.
Mind you, there are other popular types of fish roe, like ikura (the bright orange salmon roe), that are often seen atop sushi. But, ONLY sturgeon roe is considered true caviar.
In addition, these fishes are caught mostly on their journey from salt water to fresh tributaries to lay their eggs.
Aren’t you a bit curious how fishers know the exact Sturgeon ready for spawn?
Fish farms use ultrasound to monitor the sturgeons and tell when their eggs are ready for harvest. And based on the size of the Sturgeon, it could release a million eggs severally at once.
True caviar is not ONLY cultivated from a sturgeon but from a WILD sturgeon, which belongs to the Acipenseridae family.
However, since wild Sturgeon populations have dramatically depleted from overfishing in the Capsian sea and black sea, farm-produced caviar seems to be the new trend.
What Does Caviar Taste Like?
Describing caviar as “salty and fishy” isn’t enough.
There are over 27 different species of sturgeon and about 15 varieties of caviar flavors. Even if the roe was gotten from the same sturgeon, the taste is never the same. And this is probably why most roe eaters find it challenging to explain caviar’s flavor.
You will often hear descriptions like caviar has a delicate flavor, not overly fishy or salty, but slightly buttery and smooth. Sometimes you might taste traces of nutty flavors similar to hazelnut.
Sadly, that is not enough too.
The standard explanations for the flavors associated with all caviar are:
- A touch of salt
- The delicate flavor of fresh fish
- Sweet brine
- A breath of the sea
Also, some caviar might be buttery, velvety, or have creamy notes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should You Eat Caviar?
Are you kidding me?! Caviar is loaded with vitamins A, D, E, and B12, phosphorus, folic acid, and iodine. And it doesn’t matter if you know the best way to eat caviar or not; each bite provides tremendous nutritional power.
What Are Some Of The Types Of Caviar?
There are different types of caviar, and each has its unique flavors and coloring. And we challenge you to discover which of the famous caviar suits your taste below:
- Imperial Caviar: quality is its slogan. It is dark in color, firm, with long, delicate granulation, and has a refined flavor.
- Beluga Caviar: Has intense flavor and is creamy, without salty content.
- Osetra Caviar: this dark brown roe has black streaks to it. The flavor is somewhat delicate and fruity, as though it were raspberries and walnuts.
- Golden Caviar: light in color, with a soft, creamy ocean flavor.
- Sevruga Caviar: this roe has an intense flavoring and dark color.
NOTE: most Caviar lover never settles until they get the specific caviar that speaks to them. And that is what I expect of you. You can buy and taste various delicious delicacies. And then pick your favorite.
Why Is Caviar So Expensive?
Think about it. Anything that is rare and can provide some benefit is expensive. Caviar is a luxurious delicacy from Sturgeon fish, so it SURE should be pricey. Sturgeon fish are not catfish or tilapia. They are rare, and it is from them this unique delicacy is extracted.
Therefore all caviar is expensive. However, beluga caviar appears to be the largest, rarest, and the most expensive. A pound is worth $3,500. It is part of why it is called “black gold.”
How Do You Determine The Health Of The Fish And The Roe?
Well, I’m no angler, but a few factors to put into perspective decide the Health of any Sturgeon and the delicacy.
Let’s mention a few below:
- The Sturgeon size and age
- Where it lived
- Whether it was farm-raised or wild-caught
- Type of feed and food consumption
- Where and when was the fish’s roe harvested
- The water quality of its environment
- Was the roe pasteurized or not
- How much salt was used in the production
- The type of container the roe was packed
- After the harvest was the roe left fresh or frozen
- How long the caviar is stored for
As said earlier, it is almost impossible to tell what caviar tastes like because even caviar from the same fish can vary from taste to color, depending on several factors.
But as you explore more and more caviar, you will come as complex flavoring — some of which are described as creamy, buttery, slightly nutty, and salty flavor. But all caviar is safe for consumption. They all taste rich and delicious.