Caviar is an opulent delicacy enjoyed around the world. Though caviar was once rare, it can now be found in restaurants of all kinds. Traditionally eaten with a variety of accouterments, caviar is now frequently used to add a touch of luxury to any dish, from brunch to late-night bites. Whether you’re an experienced caviar connoisseur or just trying it for the first time, there are certain dos and don’ts to consider when indulging in this tasty treat. From selecting the right kind of caviar to storing it correctly, understanding these guidelines can help ensure that you get the most out of your caviar experience. We got the inside scoop from caviar aficionado Nina Manchev, owner of The Caviar Collective and Forte Tapas.
Manchev has been tasting and experiencing caviar all her life, so she’s the perfect expert for caviar amateurs. “I grew up being exposed to caviar from a young age and enjoying it in different ways, from a very fancy setup to more casual. It has always been a treat and a special experience!” she told us.
In fact, Manchev has her own company designed to make caviar a more mainstream enjoyment. “The Caviar Collective was born to demystify the caviar experience and connect people in a special way. The Caviar Collective is a lifestyle and community for those who enjoy the finer things in life but also want to break out of the conditioning of how things should be,” she explained. We want to show everyone different ways to enjoy caviar and add a special element to their next gathering or night in, especially through highlighting the creativity of world-renowned chefs as well as how the everyday person enjoys caviar in their own home! I think that through showing different applications and experiences it puts more power in the consumer to make conscious decisions, be less intimidated and have more fun because there are many different products on the market and ours is high-end & high-ticket value, so we want you to feel empowered and get the most out of your experience!”
Those unfamiliar with caviar might be intimidated or confused by the texture and flavor, but there’s much to love about the salty surprise. “I love the taste and the nuances of flavor,” Manchev told us. “I think of it like wine where the juice of a grape can produce so many flavors, and you can taste berries and citrus and the dirt. With caviar, for me, when you close your eyes, you can taste the sea, the air, nuttiness, sweetness and the earth, where none of these elements necessarily are even present. I think that is beautiful. Caviar is elegant and makes you feel a certain way. For me, that is uplifted, and I am transported to an era that is sexy, playful and decadent.”
Caviar Tips From Nina Manchev
Keep It Simple
“People tend to be intimidated by caviar and what it represents. However, trying it as a bump by itself to taste and actually experience the different flavors is best! Enjoy the caviar in its purest state—which depending on the type, could be robust, mellow, buttery or nutty!”
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
“Everyone knows caviar pairs well with vodka, but actually trying it with different spirits brings out the different flavor profiles in your drink and in the caviar! Try it with tequila, cognac or scotch whiskey.”
Break Out of Tradition
Caviar with crème fraiche and bellinis is delicious, but how about adding it to your eggs or in a savory crepe? Try it with a sweet dessert! Hazelnut gelato, for example, will bring out the nuttiness of the caviar, while the caviar adds some salt to the sweetness of the gelato.”
Educate Yourself on the Product and Source
“Don’t just go for name brands; work with people who you trust. The best way is shopping from someone who can get it farm to table! Educate yourself on the different species and where they come from, and don’t let the price dictate the quality.”
Luxury is Within Reach
“The more you understand caviar, the less intimidating it is. The more applications you can find for it, the easier it is to enjoy. Caviar goes perfectly with bread and butter, nothing more! Host a caviar tasting at home or for a girl’s night—it doesn’t have to wait for over-the-top situations. Make any occasion special just by adding caviar!”