Caviar for Beginners


The ultimate symbol of aristocratic elegance, caviar is an essential component to the fine dining experience. Dating back to the 16th century, fish roe from wild sturgeon was a savored delicacy among Russian Tsars and Iranian sheiks. Today, caviar is the star of the show when it comes to gourmet appetizers. Get the most out of your caviar experience armed with expert knowledge from the purveyors at Khavyar, the premiere online marketplace for the exceptional imported and domestic roe. 

History of Caviar

Derived from the Persian word ‘khavyar,’ which means 'egg,' fish roe from the days of old typically came from wild sturgeon from the Caspian and Black seas. Considered a luxury item reserved for royalty, caviar became popular in the West among the aristocracy thanks to Henry Schacht, a German immigrant and businessman who founded the American caviar business. Using the Delaware River for wild-caught sturgeon, caviar became a local luxury indulgence in the US.

Today’s Caviar

Despite severe quotas on wild-caught sturgeon and environmental damage to fish habitats, caviar is seeing a second golden age because of the recent increase of companies committed to sustainably farmed raised fish roe. Because it takes 8 to 12 years for the fish to reach maturity for harvesting, caviar is still one of the most expensive foods in the West and is often reserved for special occasions or holidays.  

Caviar Basics

Today, caviar is a favorite go-to for gourmet caterers and executive chefs because it adds sophistication and elegance to a delightful array of amuse-gueule. There are 14 different varieties of sturgeon fish roe, including Beluga, which is our most popular. Like a fine wine, fish roe should first be tasted alone so that you can experience all of its delightful, nuanced flavors. Also, caviar should never be cooked or frozen but always served fresh and with Mother of Pearl spoons or even plastic since metal can tarnish the distinctive notes of the sea.

Introducing and Pairing Caviar

A popular way to introduce beginners to caviar is by serving it buffet style with the fish roe still in the container. Setting the container in ice, the roe will be at the right temperature. It further showcases the caviar type and its origin.

Caviar pairs well with smoked salmon or lobster for the ultimate combination of decadent and delicious flavors from the ocean. Add lemon juice for a hint of zesty, floral notes, round out the flavors with an aromatic sprig of dill, and enjoy the nutty, buttery individual pearls bursting with flavor.

Caviar is usually served with champagne because the sweetness and bubbles make it an excellent pairing with the creamy and nutty flavors of roe. For more intensity, follow the Russian tradition with a glass of ice-cold vodka and get ready for an unforgettable dining experience with your dinner guests. 

Armed with expert knowledge of fish roe, impress your friends and family with the epicurean delights of caviar, the icon of aristocratic sophistication and indulgence.

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