Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts June 1998
Short Cuts:GOOD EGGS: CAVIAR
Along with other revitalized trends of
yesteryear (cigars, martinis, bell-bottoms), caviar is hip again.
Importers of the delicate eggs report steadily increasing sales,
restaurants are seeing a surge in demand, and those looking to
capitalize on the trend are opening caviar bars in cities like Las
Vegas and New York, according to the National Restaurant
Why the rush on roe? In today's fast-paced world, it seems more
people are going out of their way to relax and indulge in life's
small luxuries. And this is one of the finer things that won't
cause cancer or offensive odors, or leave a lingering headache or
upset stomach the morning after.
Connoisseurs say the world's best caviar comes from three types
of sturgeon in the Caspian Sea, bordered by Russia and Iran.
Beluga, from the largest sturgeon, is a very large
(pea-size) egg. This rare caviar, light to dark gray in color, has
a sweet, delicate flavor - and a hefty price tag (4 oz., $129 to
$196, based on prices from three importers). Osetra is
nutty or fruity in flavor, with large brown to gold-colored eggs.
(4 oz., $75 to $95) Sevruga looks and tastes a lot like
beluga, but with smaller eggs that range in color from gray to
black. (4 oz., $65 to $75).
"Caviar really speaks to hedonism," says Philip Kendall, vice
president of food and beverage for Hyatt Hotels Corp. "Everybody
knows it's expensive, so it makes an incredible statement." Kendall
says caviar is ideal for smaller, celebratory events. To stretch it
for a crowd, he suggests drizzling caviar cream sauce over a main
dish, such as fish, breast of duck or even pasta.
Caviar should be served very cold, ideally in a bowl set on ice,
with buckwheat blini, toast points or unsalted crackers and
traditional garnishes: lemon wedges, sour cream, minced onion, and
hard-boiled egg whites and yolks.
Search the Internet for the word "caviar" to find importers and
LOREN G. EDELSTEIN
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