If we talk exclusively about the colour of caviar, and what is meant by the phrase “black caviar”, then the answers will be slightly different. After all, what we mean by real black caviar as a valuable product, does not always have black grain. The most valuable black caviar is found in sturgeons: beluga, sturgeon, starlet sturgeon. Their caviar has various shades, from light grey to dark brown and black. Spike and paddlefish caviar are also referred to as black caviar.
How is beluga caviar produced?
Pasteurized caviar is caviar that has undergone heat treatment in autoclaves or in water baths. It differs from a “lively” granular one with tighter grain and a more neutral taste. Preservatives are not added to it, because pasteurization replaces conservation. The main purpose of pasteurization is to increase the shelf life of the product. Unlike unpasteurized caviar, a pasteurized product can be stored for up to 24 months, while maintaining beneficial and nutritional properties. This allows you to transport caviar even to the most remote regions, without worrying about the safety of the quality of the product.
One of the disadvantages of the pasteurized product is that such caviar may lose some taste. Why does it happen? During pasteurization, small compaction of the shells of the eggs and thickening of the yolk mass inside the eggs takes place, the caviar becomes drier and friable, its taste changes slightly. It becomes more neutral, which is very to the taste of people who do not really like seafood with a pronounced “fish” flavour.
Pasteurized granular caviar is made according to GOST 6052-2004 from granular black caviar of the highest grade. After removing excess moisture, salt is added to the caviar – from 3 to 5% of the total weight of the caviar. Then the caviar is packaged in glass or metal cans, which are closed with tin lids and pasteurized – they are heated in autoclaves or water baths at a temperature of 60-65 ° C. Unlike unpasteurized caviar, pasteurized can be stored even at room temperature.
How to distinguish a fake beluga caviar?
Firstly, it is worth noting that fakes can be of two types:
1) imitation under black caviar (for example, coloured pike caviar or alginic caviar from algae) – that is, not sturgeon caviar, but similar in appearance and presented as it;
2) poaching or Chinese caviar, under the guise of caviar of well-known manufacturers.
In the first case, the price (most likely, suspiciously low), the colour and appearance, as well as the composition (if it is indicated honestly) will help you find your way. In the second case, to be sure is not easy. Even if the seller presents you with documents for the products, they will not just be sorted out by an inexperienced buyer.
Therefore, the most reliable way to protect yourself from buying fake caviar or counterfeit products is to buy black caviar directly from the manufacturer or its official representatives
How to store beluga caviar?
The most correct thing is not to store caviar at all, but to eat as soon as possible. But if caviar was bought for the holiday, we recommend putting the jar on the very top shelf of the refrigerator closer to the back wall. Since the optimum temperature, the household refrigerator does not provide storage of caviar (-2-4 ° C), so you can get as close as possible to the desired temperature regime. However, in no case do not freeze caviar and do not store it in the freezer, as this will greatly spoil both the appearance of the caviar and its taste.
Closed and at the correct storage temperature, caviar is able to maintain freshness over the entire shelf life. If the package has already been opened, it is advisable to use the product within 3 days.
How to serve beluga caviar?
Beluga caviar is a traditional appetizer for the most traditional Russian drink – vodka. The slightly salty fatty taste of caviar is only emphasized by a sip of “fiery water”. Although the Russian traditions of eating black caviar reached other countries, of course, they could not fail to undergo changes. So, in France, another classic combination was born – black caviar and champagne.
It is a good sparkling wine that goes well with the contrasting salty taste of caviar. It must be remembered that we are talking only about the best, elite varieties of classic French champagne of the luxury class Cuvee.