Red caviar – varieties and how to recognize and choose the best product
Caviar is widely associated with luxurious lifestyle. However, not many people know that in Russia, in ancient times, black, red and other caviar was considered food for the poorest peasants. The product that we consider as a delicacy nowadays began gaining popularity under Peter I. Today, the price of caviar is considerable, but sometimes you want to treat yourself with a delicious and healthy delicacy. What are the types of red caviar? How to recognize and choose high-quality product? How to serve it and what are the suitable drinks to complement your festive treats? We shall do our best to give you detailed information and explain all that you need to know about red caviar.
One of the most important facts that you need to know is that red caviar is not always red in color. Just like black caviar, it ranges in shades from light orange and pink to brick, and even yellow. Generally, fish roe from salmon, sometimes trout, whitefish, etc., is categorized as “red caviar”. Only salmon caviar has red-orange shades. Caviar of other fish species can be light or grayish-yellow, greenish-brown, etc. If you see red caviar, but it is not salmon caviar, it is either an imitation or colored caviar.
What are the health benefits of red caviar?
Red caviar is truly unique in its nutritional qualities and chemical composition. Scientists say that people who eat red caviar at least once a week rarely suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and generally live an average of seven to ten years longer. Caviar makes us happier, it increases the level of serotonin and intensifies the production of testosterone and this is one of the reasons why it is considered as an aphrodisiac. As nutritionists say, red caviar has everything that is necessary for the full development and operation of the human body:
Lecithin, which neutralizes harmful cholesterol
Vitamins C, E, D, groups B and A
Omega-3 fatty acids improve blood circulation
Protein, giving a full range of amino acids
folic acid makes the skin healthy and radiant and prevents anemia.
There is a lot to say about its beneficial properties and nutritional value. Here are just some of them:
affects the formation of red blood cells
beneficial effect on the work of the heart and blood vessels
normalizes metabolism and blood sugar levels
regulates cholesterol metabolism
rich in protein and fats that are easily digestible and absorbed by the body
red caviar is recommended for the prevention of atherosclerosis
The nutrients in red caviar act intensively on the skin preventing the aging process and restoring the affected areas.
hemoglobin deficiency is compensated by the use of red caviar.
However, we have to say that you need to remember that caviar contains salt, and therefore people who are prone to edema, suffering from atherosclerosis, hypertension, kidney problems or coronary heart disease are advised to use no more than 75 grams per day. Small children, up to five years old, should not consume this product due to the large amount of salt.
Red caviar varieties and how to distinguish them?
Red caviar is the roe of fish of the salmon family, or as they are popularly called red fish. It is a valuable food product, as it contains a large number of useful components. The nutritional composition of red caviar is truly unique, as it does not contain any harmful fats and carbohydrates.
Red caviar comes mainly from different species of salmon – Silver Salmon, Pink salmon, Chum salmon, Sockeye Salmon, King Salmon (also known as Chinook), trout, etc.
Trout roe is rather small, only 2-3 mm in diameter. Trout is the smallest member of the salmon family. Eggs of trout have a bright orange color and a rather dense and elastic shell. Trout roe is rather sticky and has a very pleasant taste with a hint of bitterness. Due to the artificial breeding of this species of salmon, trout roe is also quite common and often used to decorate canapes and sandwiches.
Sockeye salmon caviar is slightly larger than trout roe, the diameter of its eggs is 4 mm in diameter. It has a morew saturated red color, soft shell and a fairly rich savory taste with a very perceptible bitterness.
Coho salmon (Silver salmon) caviar has the same size as the one of the sockeye, but with a beautiful most often dark red, even burgundy color. Coho salmon is not harvested on an industrial scale, as it is small and is considered a valuable fish. The roe has a rather fine structure and a bitter taste and is considered the rarest and certainly the most useful variety due to the high content of vitamins and minerals.
Pink salmon roe is considered the most popular type of red caviar and is most commonly found on the market. The population of pink salmon is the largest among all members of the salmon family. Red caviar from pink salmon has a bright orange color and medium-sized thin-shelled eggs. Te taste is universal and familiar to everyone.
Chum salmon caviar is a true delicacy and due to its appearance and taste is often called “royal caviar”. Chum salmon roe eggs are large in size with perfect spherical shape and impressive dimensions – 6 mm in diameter and thin shell. You can distinguish it by the rich light orange color and delicate creamy taste without bitterness and fishy smell.
Chinook (King Salmon) caviar has a large size and delicate taste with a barely noticeable bitterness. Chinook salmon is the largest and rarest representative of this family and the catch is very limited, which increases its value. The structure of caviar is homogeneous, the eggs are not stuck together and are easily separated from each other.
There is not an answer to the question which caviar is better. Everyone has different taste, but if you opt for pink salmon or chum salmon caviar, it is unlikely that you will not enjoy this delicacy.
How to distinguish real red caviar from fake? The easiest method is to put a couple of eggs into boiling water. The fake ones will immediately dissolve, but the real ones will remain intact. However, this method can be used only after you purchased the product. However, when you want to buy red caviar, you need to examine the color and keep in mind that natural caviar bursts in your mouth while artificial caviar is chewy.
How to choose and store red caviar?
The best way to evaluate the quality of caviar is tasting it. Fresh caviar is not over salted. It has a pleasant smell and a delicate flavor. The color and size of the eggs depends on the breed of fish, but in any case, the eggs must be whole and not float in liquid. Here are some simple rules which may be of help to you:
If you buy red caviar in a tin can, it must not be swollen or deformed and the tin should be tightly rolled up.
The date of manufacture of the product should be clearly indicated. Pay attention to the dates of production and packaging – there should be no more than 6 months between them. Keep in mind that fish from the salmon family spawns from July to September. Hence, high-quality caviar should be harvested no later than the beginning of October.
There should be an indication from which fish of the salmon family the product is made of.
Do not buy caviar which is not in a refrigerator. If the product is in an open type refrigerator, the temperature in it should be no higher than –5⁰C. If the temperature is above -5⁰C – do not buy! Buy caviar only from stores or specialized fish stores which can provide proper storage conditions.
Frozen caviar is significantly cheaper than fresh one and the taste is not as good.
If you have the opportunity to try caviar before you buy it look at the appearance of the eggs. They should look the same, whole, clean, uniform in color. According to the consistency, the eggs are elastic, with a dry or slightly damp surface. If you feel any fishy smell or unpleasant acidic taste, do not buy the product.
What to choose – red caviar in a jar or in a tin can?
One of the most important factors for the proper storage are low temperature and sealed containers. On the market you can fins three types of containers – glass jars, tin cans or plastic containers. The best option is a glass container with a metal lid. It allows you to see the color and size of the eggs, and also make sure that there is no water. When buying red caviar and in a tin can, you should shake the can. If you hear the characteristic sounds of presence of liquid then it is better not to buy this product. The date of manufacture must be stamped on the bottom of the jar. It is best to buy tin cans from a trusted manufacturer and from trusted suppliers who comply with all periods of storage and transportation of the product.
How to store red caviar properly? You need to read the storage instructions specified on the jar. Do not freeze red caviar. Do not keep an open jar for more than 5 days as there is a possibility that microorganisms will begin to develop in it, an unpleasant smell will appear, and caviar will dry out. Do not use the same spoon to taste caviar ad this is how bacteria multiplies in the product.
How to serve and eat red caviar?
Once you bought high-quality product, you have to serve it properly and elegantly. By all rules of serving, red caviar is served in a special bowl which is placed on the ice with only a small spoon in the bowl. In addition to the classic sandwiches and crepes there are many other ways to serve it. Some of the most suitable caviar companions are cream cheese, eggs and quail eggs, feta cheese, avocado, etc. Here are some ideas:
Profiteroles with cream cheese – cut the profiteroles and fill with cream cheese. Top with caviar.
Eggs – Remove yolks from boiled eggs, mix them with cream cheese or butter and stuff the egg halves. Garnish with caviar.
Cucumber slices – you can make cucumber canapes (do not forget to remove the pulp), add feta cheese and top with red caviar.
Avocado – mash the avocado, add lemon juice, whipped cream and chopped dill. Use a piping bag and pipe the mixture on crackers. Top with caviar.
Red caviar vs black caviar
Which caviar is more useful: red or black? It is worth remembering that both products are considered as exceptional and exquisite delicacies and are a natural source of protein, omega-3, omega-6 acids, vitamins and minerals. Obviously, the different types of caviar are not identical. Black and red caviar differ not only in color but also in taste, shape and size of grains, depending on the fish from which they are harvested – chinook, pink salmon, chum, sockeye or beluga, ossetra, sevruga, sterlet.
Some people believe that black caviar is more beneficial to human health than the red one. However, it is good to know that both – red and black caviar types – have approximately the same nutritional value. Black caviar comes at a significant price due to the rarity of the product. It is produced in much smaller quantities than red varieties but as we already said, both products have a lot to offer and are equally beneficial to human health.