Visually, the grains must be glossy, uniform, not crushed, and well defined. There must not be too much liquid between the roe, and the aroma must be delicate, just perceivable: a dominating smell of fish is a bad sign ... rather leave it alone. When tasting, the grains must be yielding and melt without resistance, releasing a rainbow of flavours.
Like DOC wines, caviar also has a label that provides useful information on its quality and traceability. The body that set up the worldwide labelling system is the CITES (Convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora): the label contains valuable information as to the origin and production of the caviar.
As shown in the INRAN table, caviar is rich in nutrients. There is a bit of cholesterol, but this is offset by the presence of Omega 3 fatty acids and, in any case, we recommend never falling into excessive consumption of caviar ...
rather savour it appropriately, without overdoing it.
The best way to savour caviar is ... pure and cold.
Place the (jar, crystal or mother of pearl bowl) container on a bed of crushed ice, with a mother of pearl spoon (plastic is also okay, but not metal). Put a suitable quantity on your hand, between index finger and thumb. Then taste and allow it to melt on your palate. Alternatively, you can taste it on tartlets with a little butter, Russian style with blinis and sour cream, or with a mirepoix of egg whites and yolks, onions, and parsley.
Champagne, spumante, fine white wines, and vodka can enhance this wonderful tasting experience.
Our advice is: buy an appropriate quantity, so that it can all be consumed in a day, as soon as it is opened.
But if you really have to preserve it, close it in its container to avoid contact with the air, and embed it in crushed ice. Put it back in the fridge (not the freezer), and consume within a few hours.
The sturgeon is as old as the world. The species has been on the earth for more than 200 million years: a fish that as survived to our times, and that man has fished so intensively as to put it at risk of extinction. For this reason, CITES declared the Acipenseriforms (sturgeons and paddlefish) protected species in 1998, and since 2006 fishing for them has been prohibited in the Caspian Sea (their area of origin from where they spread around the world).
Fortunately, however, the sturgeon is reared very successfully, thanks to aquaculture techniques, that are becoming ever more sustainable and innovative. In this way both the species and the quality of the caviar are preserved.