SIMON JOHNSON Luxury Caviar
Is there a food on earth as coveted as caviar? It's certainly the one delicacy most associated with decadence and luxury. For those who have fallen under its salty, nutty, buttery spell the allure goes beyond cache, and demand always outweighs supply.
True caviar is the unfertilised roe of the sturgeon, an incredible fish that has been with us since the Jurassic period. Sturgeon swam the seas before the earth had dinosaurs, and records of its use date back to the 4th century. The Persians called it khaviyar, translating to "cake of strength". Indeed, caviar has one of the highest natural nutritional profiles of any protein, and warriors often feasted on caviar before going into battle.
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Silky smooth and delightfully delectable, with creamy, slightly salty texture characterised by butter, hazelnuts and salt.
The best caviar has to offer. Salty, fine, complex, rich and full-bodied with a long creamy aftertaste - the top of the tree.
BLACK PEARL SIBERIAN CAVIAR
Raised in the pristine waters off the Alpine Glacier system - subtle, fresh and complex with a fine and long finish.
Creamy with a nutty burst on the tongue, tinged with sea-spray and pastry, finishing crsip and clean.
Caviar was part of everyday Russian tradition until the 16th century, when it became associated with the aristocracy. There was also a period in British history when sturgeon was only reserved for kings and the elite in that society. Russia then brought caviar into the international luxury trade arena, and its popularity quickly exploded. Soon, overfishing and industrialisation pushed a number of sturgeon species onto the endangered list.
Europe’s Caspian and Black Seas were the traditional home of the world’s caviar, and as its popularity soared so did the black market, pushing the sturgeon to the brink. In 2008 a worldwide blanket ban on harvesting wild sturgeon came into effect, and now most of the world's caviar comes from aquaculture farming, building sustainability back into the future of the sturgeon.
Flavours and qualities vary from species to species, farm to farm.
Tasting Caviar: Less is More
Caviar should always be served cold, never frozen, and to properly experience what caviar is all about, place a small amount on the back of your hand and let the warmth of your skin react with the omega oils to release the aromas and flavours it's associated with – the change in temperature will bring them to life. Place the caviar in your mouth and let it melt in between your tongue and palate, releasing the aromas as well as the fine layers of ocean water saltiness, and fine nutty flavours that will leave a buttery finish across the palate. Flavours and qualities vary from species to species, farm to farm, but all caviar should be smooth and finely textured, taste fresh, and not be notably fishy.
From the tin, caviar should be served chilled and portioned out with a mother-of-pearl spoon.
Serving and Partnerships with Caviar
As it’s a delicacy, there are definite ways to get the most out of caviar. From the tin, caviar should be served in chilled glass or porcelain, and portioned out with a mother-of-pearl, wooden, or plastic spoon – silver and stainless steel utensils or serving dishes can impart an unpleasant metallic edge to the flavour and ruin the experience.
Caviar interacts beautifully with lactic foods which is why serving atop crème fraîche-laden blini, buttered toast, sour cream and eggs or potatoes are classic partnerships. When it comes to wines, think crisp, high acidity drops – sweetness, sugar, salt and alcohol can create bitter flavours. Traditionalists swear by small serves of ice-cold vodka between mouthfuls but Champagne, high quality sparkling wine and fresh whites also serve beautifully.
Champagne, high quality sparkling wine and fresh whites serve beautifully with caviar.
SIMON JOHNSON are the Experts + Choice in Caviar
For decades SIMON JOHNSON has been the industry standard for importing and handling caviar, educating chefs, restaurateurs and curious foodies in Australia on its distinctive qualities. Over the years they've focused on developing and working with a specific set of brands that suit the Australian market, opening up new audiences to caviar's pleasures, once reserved for the elect few of society.
Primary caviars that SIMON JOHNSON showcase come from some of the best and most established farms in the world. Pure and rich, their caviars represent the benchmark for this storied ingredient on our shores. Perhaps it's time to discover this decadent delicacy for yourself?