January 7, 2018

(Champagne wishes and) Caviar dreams, expired edition

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So... Babu is back in town from her year-end excursion, and it seemed like the perfect excuse for me to visit and bring along some caviar.  There are a few tins of farmed Russian caviar that have been sitting in my fridge for months, and I can't seem to find the right people or occasion to dig into them.  Knowing that they are now all past their "use by" date, I decided it was now or never.

Things didn't get off to a good start when I failed to find my usual mini-blinis at the supermarket.  They were sold out and wouldn't restock for another week.  So I decided to buy a little bit of Japanese milk toast instead.  Knowing that Babu prefers to take the eggs "as is", I also got lazy and decided not to buy any crème fraîche - a decision I would regret later.

Another decision I would come to regret was not bringing a bottle of Champagne, as I had done each time in the past.  I figured the Tiggers would have some lying around and we could open one of those... What I didn't count on was that none of their bottles was actually chilled!

The highlight of today would undoubtedly be the beluga, but I had also brought along a tin of what I thought to be golden oscietra. Once the tins were open, it was easy to see that some of the eggs had burst and liquefied...

Russian golden oscietra, packed August 2017, suggested use by November 17, 2017 - this was really, really strong in terms of flavor.  VERY fishy.  Even for a guy like me who loves fish oil, this was pushing it a little.  Now I really wish I had brought along the crème fraîche to help neutralize the flavors.

Russian beluga, packed June 2017, suggested use by November 16, 2017 - this was from an uber-expensive batch.  My supplier had said that the eggs were big and that the color was light, and he wasn't wrong.  It was easy to see the stark difference between these eggs and those from the other tin.  Flavor-wise, this was probably the most luxurious, fatty, and sinful tin of caviar I have ever tasted.  What was surprising was not getting a mouthful of salt, but a surprising dose of acidity - along with that slight bitter finish.  WOW!

Now I know I need to open up my other tin from the same shipment of beluga... like tomorrow!

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