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fyree39

Caviar: What's the attraction?

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I always strive to try something new on each cruise.  On Crystal, I'm tempted to try caviar for the first time.  I would hate to order it, hate it, then see it go to waste, so I'm hopeful the gentle readers of this post will describe to me the flavor and texture of caviar.  Should I take the leap? What comes with it?  How does one actually eat it? By itself?  Smeared on a saltine with a dollop of hot mustard?

 

Yes, I'm a plebe who needs help. 

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One of the nice things about cruising is the opportunity to try new things whether food or drink.

 

If you don't want to pay for it then order it when it is on the menu at Waterside.

 

My experience is that on many cruises it will be offered once in a traditional manner.  

 

This will include the Caviar plus a variety of condiments and along with Melba Toast and Buckwheat Blinis.  Traditional Condiments include egg white, egg yolks, onions, cream and capers.  

 

You take some of the caviar and put it on the toast or blinis and add to it the condiments you like.

 

This is a double portion without the condiments, etc.

 

img-4540.jpg.d03021673ed7fe1442f534243a4c6e7d.jpg

 

Some people love it. Some people don't care for it.  

 

It's something to try so you can decide for yourself.

 

During the course of the cruise there will be a one, two or possibly more times to try it but it will come on top of an appetizer and not with the traditional items.  

 

Like this one.

 

dsc00235_orig.thumb.jpg.52d288ab2583c1791c55830d5bfeb15a.jpg

 

Some people describe it as having a salty and fishy taste.  This is part of the reason for the condiments.

 

I am one who enjoys it without the condiments and prefer it on a a blini.

 

Then again I am one who can eat smoked salmon plain.

 

All caviar is not created equal and some will taste better than others depending on your preference.

 

If you don't want to waste it just ask for a half of one portion to start with.  Again you can disguise it by using more of the condiments.

 

Keith

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On Crystal, caviar is generally served in one of 2 ways. The traditional service is with blini (or other bread) and a selection of condiments to be added as you wish. These are hard boiled egg yolk, egg white, sour cream and chopped onion. Add what you wish and enjoy. The newer modern version is served as a blob on what they describe as a chive potato cake. I initially rejected this service (as we are all wont to do when faced with "change") but on further reflection it may be the better way to serve it. 

 As for taste, caviar is mostly salty. The sensation when each egg pops in your mouth is exciting. If you order a single serving, it's very small, you won't be wasting much if you decide you don't like it and you can always send them back for more if you do. 

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You won’t be wasting much for a single order.  As a caviar aficionado I know the difference  between different grades.  Crystal serves farm raised caviar.  This is lower quality than Beluga, Sevruga, Ostera.  It is basic American caviar  and popular now due to the increase in prices and the preservation of the sturgeon.  Iranian caviar is rated the best but difficult to find.  Too salty is not good caviar and not opal type eggs show the quality.  Crystal did at one time serve a decent Sevruga but it became too costly.

 

True caviar consumers would never use use Melba toast blinis are used in Russia and other places in Europe.   A chilled cold vodka shot should also accompany the true caviar experience.

 

Caviar on Seabourn is served anywhere at any time and better quality.  On Crystal you can pay extra for a premium caviar at fair prices just ask your butler,or stewardess for the menu.

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On another cruise line in another era, I took a galley tour with the Executive Chef.  He opened the refrigerator with a key that held the Caviar. Oestra in huge cans. He told us that each can was $5000 and that is why it's so limited now.  They used to serve it to passengers at the Repeater's party. Since that cruise was in 2003 I am sure that they no longer serve it in unlimited supply. I wish I had the photo of him holding that huge can.

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I think hot sauce would help the taste! Just kidding - I can't stand it. Glad others enjoy it. On a Russian trip - they did blinis, caviar and vodka tasting. I kept the blinis but gave the rest away - those individuals were extremely happy. More power to them.

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Caviar and other exotic foods items are a developed taste.  As kid I would not try oysters, clams and escargot or sushi.  Now I love it all.  Your pallet changes over time.  One food item that I hate is liver of any kind and I was forced to eat it as a child and still hate it.  

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17 minutes ago, MalbecWine said:

Caviar and other exotic foods items are a developed taste.  As kid I would not try oysters, clams and escargot or sushi.  Now I love it all.  Your pallet changes over time.  One food item that I hate is liver of any kind and I was forced to eat it as a child and still hate it.  

I think you are probably right. Though I am guessing I may never grow up and gain that "developed taste". 🙂

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Coral, never growing up is a good thing we can all be a child at heart.

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I love escargot and smoked oysters.  I'm glad I won't waste a lot if I taste it, hate it, and swallow it like a bitter pill.  I'll remain open minded!

 

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There were certain things I took to as a kid, and certain things I didn't.  My parents had a bad experience with my older siblings traveling in Japan and Hong Kong when they were kids, so when I was born my parents started me on chicken yakitori and cooked varieties of sushi as my first types of solid food when we went out to our lone local Japanese restaurant in the 70's.  I wouldn't eat raw fish until I was 7, but I didn't think anything of maki rolls and cooked sushi because I'd known it since I could remember.

 

Escargot I loved as a kid too...  I liked firm textures enough (escargot and calamari), and in both cases the flavor is supplemented with other bold flavors that I enjoyed as a kid.

 

Now CLEANING the squid was a different story...  I hated the smell in the house when my parents would clean the squid for whatever preparation they were making.  I would eat it once it was cooked though.

 

Soft textures were always more of a challenge for me.  I never developed a taste for raw oysters.  Fortunately I love almost every presentation of chicken lover mousse that Crystal does, because those are frequently paired with the raw oysters, and caviar (which I can take or leave) as the staple of appetizers on the black tie optional nights.

 

Vince

 

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I am lucky that my wife doesn't care for it as I get her portion.  😀

 

Personally there are things I like and things I don't.  And I like eating it my way and that is without vodka.  I am thinking about all of the people I know who do enjoy caviar and who don't drink and/or don't care for vodka yet they are happy campers.  And yes I enjoy the Blinis.  I really don't care what someone might think as to the right or wrong way to eat something and someone who says they are a "caviar connoisseur" gave me a good laugh.

 

fyree39...This is your opportunity to try it so that is what I would recommend doing.  When it comes the traditional way you can certainly disguise it with the toppings.  When it comes to the other ways it is served they disguise it as well.  As I mentioned, I am unique and never feel like I need to use the toppings.

 

Keith

 

 

 

 

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For me I don’t use the toppings and eat caviar without them just a squeeze of lemon on the salty lower grade offerings.

 

Having spent a good time in Russia I learned how the locals eat caviar.  Of course you don’t need the chilled vodka with it as some people don’t drink thats a given.

 

I am a member of a wine and caviar club and we have tastings of farm raised and the ultimate of caviars.  I know the difference in texture and quality blindfolded.  On holiday gatherings we go with the quality.  I know it is not to everyone’s liking in our home but what is left will be consumed by me with a chilled vodka or a glass of fine champagne.  This is my indulgence during special occasions with friends.

 

 Crystal is on the lower spectrum of caviar quality and I need lemon to soften the salt.  Seabourn serves a much better quality.  Here we are talking about caviar when this world is in chaos.  Not at all being political. I am more concerned about other issues that are more important than caviar.

 

 

all being political 

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What's the attraction of caviar?  LOL, when I read the title of the thread, I found myself thinking: "Golf?  What's the attraction?".

 

Same idea - some like it, some don't.  Don't be afraid to try new things!

 

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19 minutes ago, calliopecruiser said:

What's the attraction of caviar?  LOL, when I read the title of the thread, I found myself thinking: "Golf?  What's the attraction?".

 

 

 

Throw in champagne and that’ll work for me - golf, caviar and champagne, the perfect combination!!! 😀😀

 

Anne..

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On ‎5‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 12:37 AM, ChatKat in Ca. said:

On another cruise line in another era, I took a galley tour with the Executive Chef.  He opened the refrigerator with a key that held the Caviar. Oestra in huge cans. He told us that each can was $5000 and that is why it's so limited now.  They used to serve it to passengers at the Repeater's party. Since that cruise was in 2003 I am sure that they no longer serve it in unlimited supply. I wish I had the photo of him holding that huge can.

IMHO a lot of people likes caviar because it is expensive …

The prices went up from around 1995 , boomed around the millenium and further heavy increases - similar as with some top rated wines ( new markets for the product ) . The pic shown by Keith as "double" used to be a regular one when cruising on Royal Viking and Vistafjord in the nineties.

On my very first cruise on Ms Europa in 2007 there was still Iranian caviar , a year later it was also gone . There is still Iranian caviar in first on Emirates  - if you see the prices at the airport : enormous .

I think the only company where caviar is still free must be SB ?

 

 

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49 minutes ago, vistaman said:

IMHO a lot of people likes caviar because it is expensive …

The prices went up from around 1995 , boomed around the millenium and further heavy increases - similar as with some top rated wines ( new markets for the product ) . The pic shown by Keith as "double" used to be a regular one when cruising on Royal Viking and Vistafjord in the nineties.

On my very first cruise on Ms Europa in 2007 there was still Iranian caviar , a year later it was also gone . There is still Iranian caviar in first on Emirates  - if you see the prices at the airport : enormous .

I think the only company where caviar is still free must be SB ?

 

 

All you say makes sense.  

 

However, I think a better word to use is included as nothing is free.   😀

 

There are items that Crystal includes that SB doesn't or doesn't do it to the extent Crystal does.

 

Keith

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21 hours ago, MalbecWine said:

Caviar and other exotic foods items are a developed taste.  As kid I would not try oysters, clams and escargot or sushi.  Now I love it all.  Your pallet changes over time.  One food item that I hate is liver of any kind and I was forced to eat it as a child and still hate it.  

 

Sorry, but the nerd in me has to address this! A lifetime teaching has a lot to answer for!

Oxford English Dictionary definition

Pallet

A straw mattress.

A portable platform on which goods can be stacked, stored, and moved

Palate

A person's ability to distinguish between and appreciate different flavours

 

And I still hate liver too!!!!

😉

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On 5/28/2019 at 2:06 PM, MalbecWine said:

You won’t be wasting much for a single order.  As a caviar aficionado I know the difference  between different grades.  Crystal serves farm raised caviar.  This is lower quality than Beluga, Sevruga, Ostera.  It is basic American caviar  and popular now due to the increase in prices and the preservation of the sturgeon.  Iranian caviar is rated the best but difficult to find.  Too salty is not good caviar and not opal type eggs show the quality.  Crystal did at one time serve a decent Sevruga but it became too costly.

 

True caviar consumers would never use use Melba toast blinis are used in Russia and other places in Europe.   A chilled cold vodka shot should also accompany the true caviar experience.

 

Caviar on Seabourn is served anywhere at any time and better quality.  On Crystal you can pay extra for a premium caviar at fair prices just ask your butler,or stewardess for the menu.

 

I appreciate your information! My intro to caviar was on RCCL 30 years ago when they would generously topped hor doeuvres in a "once a cruise" special loyalty event. I very much enjoyed the "pop" of the eggs and wonder what type of caviar it may have been? I have not found the caviar I've been offered in the last several years to have that exciting "pop" experience.  Malbec,  In your opinion, if I was to purchase caviar as a special treat, knowing I look for a "pop" along with other well represented classic caviar nuances ...  do you have (good value for money) recommendations? Both to purchase at home (USA, east coast and also on a Crystal Cruise)  Thanks!

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Russians never have caviar with such condiments as onions and capers. Because they tend to distract from the taste. Putting it in a piece of French baguette with butter is my favorite. And now about vodka: yes, this is very traditional, but even more traditional (at least to my knowledge) is to have caviar with champagne.

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The best "caviar" on Crystal is the ikura (salmon roe) at Umi Uma.  Just ask for an order of nigiri (sushi style) ikura and you will receive the salmon roe on vinagered rice wrapped in nori (seaweed).  The salmon roe are larger than usual caviar and have more of a "pop" when bitten into.  Because they are larger, they are juicier.  They also are much less salty and would be a good introduction to fish roe if you don't want to try traditional caviar.

There are other types of roe you can get in a Japanese restaurant, including tobiko, which is flying fish roe.  This can be served nigiri style, but is often used as a complementary ingredient for its crunchiness.

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I'm so hungry just reading this.

Had salmon roe yesterday for lunch but wow could go for some again! 

Did enjoy the "unlimited" caviar on Seabourn (however it was definitely parsed out in very, very small quantities, not complaining, just stating some facts.)

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3 hours ago, skybluewaters said:

The best "caviar" on Crystal is the ikura (salmon roe) at Umi Uma.  Just ask for an order of nigiri (sushi style) ikura and you will receive the salmon roe on vinagered rice wrapped in nori (seaweed).  The salmon roe are larger than usual caviar and have more of a "pop" when bitten into.  Because they are larger, they are juicier.  They also are much less salty and would be a good introduction to fish roe if you don't want to try traditional caviar.

 

I like the ikura served sashimi style on top of an endive leaf. 

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5 hours ago, nav1027 said:

Russians never have caviar with such condiments as onions and capers. Because they tend to distract from the taste. Putting it in a piece of French baguette with butter is my favorite. And now about vodka: yes, this is very traditional, but even more traditional (at least to my knowledge) is to have caviar with champagne.

No decent Russian would eat their caviar with champagne. Besides, vodka goes with everything in Russia :)

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3 hours ago, Coral said:

No decent Russian would eat their caviar with champagne. Besides, vodka goes with everything in Russia 🙂

Maybe that is why I like them together. I have Russian blood in me. Yes, it needs to be cold too! 

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