Monday, May 16, 2011

Cheap Caviar is Wonderful!

I've written more than once about Beluga Caviar - its rarity, its expense and how it's served in high society. But honestly, to taste the difference between eggs from a twenty-year-old sturgeon and one that's over a hundred-years-old takes a cultivated palate that few of us have, right?   

I would go so far as to say the only way drunken guests at a party can decipher if caviar is expensive or not is if they see caviar spoons laid out, which no hostess would do unless it was the real deal. Most of these rich people take only a small taste from the already-small caviar spoons - fearing the salt might give them a heart attack in their salt-free diets. (Just how embarrassing would that be to drop over dead at a cocktail party?)

For the rest of us, inexpensive caviar from Lump Fish, red or black, is available in any supermarket, usually next to the tuna and canned tamales. Maybe it costs eight-or-nine dollars for a two-ounce jar, but that's considerably less than $3,000 for a half-kilo, right? And the taste is not dissimilar to the expensive caviar from the Caspian Sea - just salty fish eggs, all said and done.

For two years I lived in Geneva, the French side of Switzerland, and a friend there would often make this wonderful very simple recipe for all his late night guests:

-Boil some fettuccine
-Stir in some sour cream
-Serve it with Lump Fish Caviar sprinkled over the top.

You won't believe how good this is, and you can chop some chives in there too if you wish, which adds color and an additional burst of flavor. But here's a tip: Don't stir the spaghetti after you sprinkle the caviar! If you do, the eggs will break and turn your beautiful dish black or gray - speaking from dumb-ass experience.

The bottom line is we don't have to be rich to enjoy the taste of caviar. I hope you'll give this fettuccine recipe a try, and let me know if you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by,



  1. That'd sounds delish, lucky as I am, my plate would be black or gray!

  2. Some solid advice here: Whenever a recipe doesn't turn out as you had expected, it's time to turn off the lights and put on the candles! No one will ever know the difference. Ha!

  3. We just tried this tonight, Andrew. And it was wonderful! Thanks for the tip! As you said, fast, easy and absolutely delicious! This goes on our permanent menu! And I didn't dare stir it, like you said.

    Joline and R.

  4. Hi Joline and R!

    Thanks for telling me that! As it happens, these ingredients are also quite nutritious! Hope you had a little white wine to go along with it!


  5. Had it for New Year's Eve dinner with bottle of fizz. Excellent! Thanks so much.

    1. Thanks for letting me know, and thanks for stopping by.

      Happy New Year!