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Episode 409 - Russian Romance
Pure decadence...
The Czars of Russia certainly enjoyed caviar and so I thought it would be perfect for our evening of Russian-flavoured romance to consult a caviar expert. Anthony Rommens, owner of Rommens Heydary Caviar came to talk about this traditional Russian delicacy.

Anthony talked about the taste of caviar and what you can expect when purchasing it. Typically served as an appetizer, caviar is the roe of fish and it usually comes from sturgeon or salmon. A lovely starter to a meal, it is also nice as an accent on breakfast eggs.

Anthony brought with him two types of sturgeon fish caviar: Beluga and Sevruga. Pretty renowned, the Beluga has larger eggs than the Sevruga. Beluga caviar has a clean, creamy taste, and the eggs are usually gray in colour but can vary slightly depending on the fish. Sevruga eggs, usually a few millimeters smaller than Beluga eggs, are not quite as creamy, but still have a similar taste.

When serving caviar, Anthony likes to present the basics as caviar should be served on a very neutral tasting base. There should be no salt added, such as salted crackers. The idea is that you want to be able to taste the caviar. Blinis, which are tiny pancakes, are the traditional service.

If you really want it to be fancy, you could pick up an actual caviar service piece. They can be quite beautiful, with domed tops, storage for ice in the bottom of the server, and an enclosed glass container into which the caviar is placed. Totally high end, this would be a major thing to invest in, but if you have the inclination and the means it is certainly worth it.

Other options are serving pieces such as a beautiful mother-of-pearl server plate, which Anthony brought with him. A complementary mother-of-pearl serving spoon with which to scoop the delicate eggs works nicely. Any type of accouterment that is easy to handle will work. The main idea is that you don't want to break a single egg. Garnish with a bit of lettuce, placing your caviar on top.

From the spoon right onto the toast to enjoy it, I certainly hope that you take an occasion if you can to try caviar. Just remember to tackle one egg at a time!

Courtesy: Anthony Rommens, Rommens Heydary Caviar; Toronto, ON, Telephone (416) 367-4141, www.ecocaviar.com