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Truffles, foie gras, hand-made chocolate and all the other specialties – in deli-boutiques and Michelin restaurants, black caviar is often served with all the delights of life. Seeing that caviar is not a festive adornment, but a festivity in and of itself, the roe is always apposite, and not only on special occasions. Well, in smaller amounts, at least.
Does it need companions?
Let’s ask maîtres. They say the caviar is amazing as it is. You still may combine it with whatever you wish, just keep in mind that the other products should not suppress its taste and aroma.
Oysters or scallops, boiled eggs (better quail eggs) are all good choices as well as new potatoes. Yet stay away from a slice of lemon, onions, and capers – they are off limits. We must stress it again and again: ever, by no means, don’t you dare to place a lemon close to caviar!
Nevertheless, true connoisseurs would insist it is caviar and caviar only. Let it speak for itself.
It stirs the appetite and enriches the sensations. Serving caviar you would better show you have thought it all out. White bread, challah or brioche, unsalted crackers or traditional bliny (all the world knows them by a Russian name) with thin slices of artfully cut butter, which, of course, is better as a hand-made village dairy. That would be stunning! Still, if you do not own your own farm with a churn, you’ll have to choose the best of what there is in the markets.
There are people who would use smetana, but it is too sour, better choose créme frâiche. Just don’t ask what it is (aloud, at least). Carefully train your French pronunciation, say it as crahm fresh. Imagine as if you have a fish egg pressed to your palate by the tip of your tongue.
No hot dishes!
There is another trick for you – it does not demand to have a real cow and still would make a real fuss: soften your butter at the room temperature and mix every portion of it with a couple drops of vodka.
Redden the toasts to make away with undue softness and quickly apply the butter.
Caviar duly takes place above everything else, just wait till the toasts and butter cool down.
It is said that once a Russian tsar sent an unknown delicacy – caviar – with his embassy to Paris, and the French king ordered to boil it. What a barbarism! Anyone wishing to submit black caviar to thermal treating is better to boil him or herself alive.
As a guest at a party, mark how the dish with caviar is served. When it is placed in the center of the table with bread or bliny try to tear small pieces, decorate them with caviar and put into your mouth with your fingers. If you see that individual spoons are set beside the dish, scoop a small portion with one of them. It is highly improper to ask for seconds so follow the rules of etiquette and do not allow yourself another approach to the table.
Try to seem a bit snobbish. The only true method to enjoy caviar is to close your eyes and – deliberately breathing – savor it in time with your heart’s beating.