Everyone considers caviar to be a special occasion treat, but do you actually know what it is, and the best way to eat it? Mister A’s owner, Bertrand Hug, describes the history behind this delicacy, and his favorite ways to indulge in the tradition:
In its simplest form, caviar consists of salt-cured fish eggs – or roe – with the term traditionally only referring to roe from wild sturgeon in the Caspian and Black Seas (Beluga, Osetra and Sevruga caviars). Today however, the term ‘caviar’ may also be used to include the roe of fish like salmon, steelhead, trout, lumpfish or other species of sturgeon produced in countries all over the world.
In America, caviar is produced under very strict guidelines so as not to endanger the life of the fish. While farmed caviar has not achieved the superior quality of Beluga Triple Zero (roughly the size of a pea and extracted from very large Caspian and Black Sea sturgeons) the availability of this top tier product has dwindled significantly due to over-fishing and poor practices. Fortunately, we are able to source an excellent, premium domestic product to serve in our restaurants.
Caviar should be presented in a glass container on crushed ice, with a dish of creme fraiche and accompanied by warm, silver dollar-sized buckwheat blinis. It is imperative to use a mother of pearl spoon for serving, as metal spoons give an unpleasant reaction and taste to the roe. It is also common to present small dishes of finely diced shallots, chives and chopped hard boiled eggs. While a purist may reject these additional accoutrements, they can be a nice way to explore the traditional caviar ritual. We offer this all at Mister A’s, nightly!
Most importantly, there should always be plenty of very good champagne available to enjoy in complement!