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Decadence For Dinner
  • November 11, 2013 : 14:11
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Originally eaten by the Phoenicians, Romans and Persians to improve endurance and strength, caviar quickly became the preferred food of Russian czars before spreading worldwide as a delicacy of royalty. Today, Petrossian caviar is the Rolls-Royce of fish eggs, and with the brand’s guidance, we put together this rundown of the types of caviar you can choose to throw your own over-the-top dinner party with confidence.

HACKLEBACK
Briny, dry and strong, American hackleback fish roe adds a unique punch to dishes with other distinct ingredients and flavors. This is why Dotolo chose it for a pizza topped with red onion, nori, chili oil and other ingredients.

ALVERTA AND TRANS-MONTANUS
These top-of-the-line caviars are profoundly smooth and rich—so much so that our chefs serve them in desserts (going so far as to swap them for the salt on a salted caramel) and straight off the backs of guests’ hands. They come at a price, but it’s worth it to taste the ultimate in briny-sweet decadence.

OSETRA
Fresh and juicy with fruit and nut tones, osetra caviar is extremely versatile and stands up perfectly in dishes whose base contains mild ingredients such as scrambled eggs or sushi rice.

SEVRUGA
This caviar is for those who want a real smack in the palate from the sea. Small, intensely flavored beads greatly enhance mild seafood dishes.

SIBERIAN
Silky smooth Siberian caviar’s melt-in-your-mouth texture is the perfect partner for meat, champagne and Shook’s favorite, vodka.

For these caviars and more, go to petrossian.com.

When chefs Vinny Dotolo, Ludo Lefebvre and Jon Shook cooked their caviar feast up in the Hollywood Hills, they matched specific caviar types with each dish, but you can use any caviar you like. The point is to use the freshest caviar possible. Buy it from a reputable source (such as Petrossian.com), keep it refrigerated, and by all means stay away from the jarred stuff sitting on a warm shelf in the supermarket. You want the sweet essence of ocean brine, not the salinity of shelf stability.

THERE’S MORE TO CHAMPAGNE THAN SIMPLY POPPING A CORK

NV, OR NONVINTAGE
This applies to the vast majority of champagnes, meaning producers can rely on them year after year. They require significant skill and years of reserves to pull off consistently.

VINTAGE
Produced only a few times each decade, these can stand on their own without blending. Expect to pay top dollar, but vintage bubbles are well worth the price. Be sure not to drink them too cold (they should be served at 52 to 55 degrees, as opposed to 45 for nonvintage), otherwise their distinctive complexity will be masked.

ROSÉ
With elegant salmon-pink tones and sublime richness and finesse, rosés are great for stand-alone enjoyment and pair well with any food.

BRUT ZERO OR BRUT NATURE
Very fashionable, especially among growers, these champagnes are produced without the usual dosage of sugar, resulting in bone-dry, razor-sharp wines tailor-made for raw, briny oysters or hackleback caviar.

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read more: lifestyle, food, chef, issue november 2013

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