The Missus told me on Thursday morning that we'll be having twenty-five people for cocktails on Friday evening at 6:30. The menu she requested was simple enough, a list of imported cheeses, deli crackers, red and white grapes, but when she asked for a half-kilo of Beluga Caviar my heart skipped a beat. (Thank God for over-night air!)
I can't seem to get it through her head that Beluga is banned as an endangered species. Instead, most everyone nowadays buys the next most highly prized substitute, Osetra caviar - which is simply a different Sturgeon species from the same Caspian Sea. (But seemingly in denial, it seems that rich people still refer to Osetra as Beluga.)
Anyhow, the price I paid Thursday afternoon online was $3,230 for a half kilo - a little over a pound - plus overnight delivery! Holy cow!
The expense of both Beluga and Osetra is simply the rarity, of course. The female has to be about twenty to twenty-five years old before she produces quality eggs. The older the Sturgeon, the better the eggs. And they don't kill the fish, you know, just harvest the eggs and put her gently back into the sea. (I've heard rumor about a hundred-year-old Sturgeon in the Caspian who's eggs are harvested only every two years, and bring a price of about $25,000 for a half-kilo!)
We've all seen cheap lump fish caviar that caterers sprinkle onto hors d'oeuvres, usually crackers with cream cheese and diced egg. But the real thing, Beluga and Osetra, is taken alone with a tiny caviar spoon - ours are made of mother-of-pearl. For a hostess to lay out caviar spoons is about the ultimate in luxury delicacies, and you know you've landed in the right place for the evening!
However, I once knew of a hostess in Manhattan (a truly kind, generous woman) who always wanted to give her guests the very best. But she also didn't want to appear pretentious or make cause for gratitude. So in her house you would never see caviar spoons laid out, but she had her chef sprinkle Beluga Caviar on top of crackers with cream cheese, as if it were nothing!
Can you imagine? Now that has to be the ultimate definition of class!
Hope this was interesting and fun, and thanks for stopping by.
I am currently staying at my uncle and aunt's estate in England for my university of choice. The household butler, Gerald, also have to deal with the couple's Osetra crave so often. And I was even more surprise to their requests and attitudes toward him. I thought I was a demonic butler-torturer already for my mood swings when I used to live in the states. I've enjoyed some of you posts that I've read for the past 30 minutes after I first stumbled across your Royal Wedding update. Really in someway I hope I've became less unreasonable to the staff that serve us. Maybe it was fate that I came across this site (oh my, to be honest I don't think I'm that bad of a mistress...). Your sense of humor is truly entertaining. Though I must say one thing, you really should have seen a British butler's day at work... yike!ReplyDelete
I am taken aback by this comment, and need some time to absorb it all.ReplyDelete
You've touched my heart, in quite a few ways.
I'll certainly get back to you, either in comments, or perhaps even a dedicated post. I don't know. You have satisfied everything I've wanted to accomplish by writing these posts, especially by saying you connected to my "sense of humor". (Or lack thereof, ha!)
Meanwhile, I hope you will stumble upon a post entitled "On Hating the Rich: From My Point of View", from June 27 of this year.
And whenever you feel you wish to interject something into my posts, from YOUR side of the fence, PLEASE DO!
Thank you for reading,
I've had caviar several times at cocktail parties but never knew how old the fish had to be, or that the eggs could be taken without killing the fish. Thanks for the info, Andrew.ReplyDelete
It's a fascinating subject, Anna Marie.ReplyDelete
Thanks for visiting, and commenting!