Red and Black Caviar on Ice

How to
Serve Caviar
and Store It

It's so much easier than you think!

Here are some great tips on how to serve caviar and how to store caviar, before and after it is opened. Also, The Myth of the Caviar Spoon (mother of pearl spoon) and why you should use one, anyway.

How to Serve Caviar

Simply and elegantly. Serving caviar in the container it comes in is perfectly acceptable. Just set it on a bed of crushed ice.

Remove the caviar from the refrigerator, let it stand for about 15 minutes, open and serve immediately.

Or, you can spoon it into a special caviar server or other small dish. Either way, it should be served on a bed of crushed ice to keep it fresh and cold. Place the lid name-side-up beside the opened caviar.

The Myth of the Mother of Pearl Spoon

Metal utensils of any sort are thought to degrade the taste of caviar, but that is just a myth.

Caviar comes to distributors in large tins and is decanted into smaller tins for resale, all without harm to the natural taste of the caviar. Even glass caviar jars have metal lids. The one exception may be sterling silver. Caviar and sterling silver don't seem to get along; one tarnishes the other, but I'm not saying which one.

But you should serve your caviar with a mother of pearl spoon because...

  • it is an appropriately special server for a special food.
  • it is expected; 90% of your guests will be shocked if you don't.
  • it's traditional, if you go in for that sort of thing.

Acceptable options? Bone or glass caviar spoons are nice, but wood doesn't seem quite right and plastic is out of the question. Might as well go for the mother of pearl caviar spoon.

How to Store Caviar, Unopened

Store unopened caviar in the coldest part of your refrigerator, usually bottom back. A chilly 28°-32° is ideal.

The salt and oils in the caviar keep it from freezing at that temperature. If your refrigerator is not that cold, and most aren't, place an ice pack atop the caviar tin or jar and replenish the ice as necessary.

Generally, fresh caviar will keep for 2-4 weeks, pressed caviar for 2-3 months. Pasteurized caviar need not even be refrigerated until time to chill it for serving and will last for 6 months to a year on the shelf.

  1. Fine caviar is highly perishable and there are many variables that can affect its quality. The best way to store caviar is in the appreciative stomachs of your guests. Order only what you need when you need it and consume it right away.

How to Store Opened Caviar

In the refrigerator, in it's container, well-sealed with plastic wrap.

Air and warm temperatures are the enemies of caviar. Cover leftovers with plastic wrap, gently pressing it down onto the caviar to remove any air, replace the lid, and refrigerate as before. Turn the container over occasionally to evenly distribute the natural oils. Eat the leftovers as soon as possible because opened fresh caviar will not keep for more than 2 or 3 days.

Never freeze your caviar unless it's an emergency. Even if the taste is not diminished, the texture will certainly suffer, ruining at least half the experience. Thaw frozen caviar very slowly in the refrigerator and serve it only as a garnish.

So... How to serve caviar? Simply, and on ice. How to store caviar? On ice.

Also in this series: 

Caviar Recipes / How Much Caviar to Buy

Caviar Types and Varieties Guide

How to Buy Caviar Online and Off

More Gourmet Food Tutorials like "How to Serve Caviar"

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