Guest: Chef do you have Mallosol Caviar?
Chef: Yes we do Sir, what would you like, Beluga, Oscietre or sevruga?
Guest: No Chef I just want the Mallosol, please.
Chef: Time to provide some insights in Caviar!
Caviar Training for Service Team
(and apparently we should supply copies to guests as well)
What is Caviar?
What is this novelty that has such irresistible appeal to gourmets all over the world?
The classic definition is “the salted roe of a species of fish called Sturgeon”, although the roe of salmon or other species is also called Caviar.
Until industry and pollution came along, the sturgeon was found in rivers running into the Atlantic and Baltic, in the Rhine and in North American Lakes. Today most caviar comes from the Caspian Sea, caught by both Russia and Iran, or it is farmed.
Wild caviar is so rare nowadays that its cost prices are easily reaching HK$ 24.000 per half a kilogram. Of the varieties of Sturgeon producing Caviar, the Beluga is the largest, sometimes reaching 2,500 pounds and producing up to 130 pounds of Roe. The next size is the Oscietra, weighing around 400 pounds, producing roughly 40 pounds of Roe. The smallest of the Sturgeon family is the Sevruga, which weighs 60 pounds and from which only 8 pounds of Roe can be harvested.
Farmed Caviar as we sell now is only available Oscietra.
The Roe is taken from the fish, carefully sieved and all tissues and membranes are removed. Then it is washed in clean fresh water. Following this, the caviar master determines exactly how much salt to add and, by hand, blends the salt with the Roe. The amount of salt used depends on the grade of the sturgeon roe to be prepared, the weather, the condition of the roe, and the market for which it is destined. Only after the salt has been added to the Roe does it become Caviar. Therefore there is no such thing as unsalted Caviar. Top quality Caviar is known as Mallosol. This word does NOT denote a type of Caviar, it simply means “little salt”, and it is used in conjunction with the words Beluga, Oscietre or Sevruga.
The Caviar we sell in NOT Pasteurized, which means it cant be kept long, pasteurized caviar can be kept without refrigeration for up to 12 months.
Mallosol Caviar should always be served with white toast and unsalted butter, however nowadays people usually get it served with many more condiments, such as Blinis, which are buckwheat pancakes, chopped egg, chopped onion, sour cream, Lemon and sometimes even parsley.
For the Caviar we sell all those condiments don’t do too much good to the Caviar, so you are advised to let customers know they should try it first in the way you are about to try now, straight from the back of the hand, which for some reason brings the Caviar most to its right, or try putting a nice scoop in a shot glass of Vodka (or Champagne), ice cold and when you drink, remember to let the roe and vodka stay in your mouth for a while……you will feel the salty of the Caviar and sharpness of the vodka go away and make place for a subtle sweetness. Now try with some condiments, and see how extremely difficult it becomes to taste the real flavor of the caviar!
Important note: Caviar is always sold with a bone China spoon, or a Mother of Pearl spoon which is cut and polished out of oyster and other shells. If Caviar comes in contact with metal, it will oxidize and produce an awful taste, please remind guests to use the small spoons supplied only and don’t use any metal under any circumstances.
The Caviar will be served as shown here, on a big ice display, with a teardrop holding the tin of caviar. The Tin is opened in the kitchen but on simple request can also be opened in front of the customer. For the bigger tins, we will simply serve them on the ice dish, as we can’t produce the Ice carvings that big.