The following interview was conducted with caviar expert Alina Davidov about caviar in general as well as how to serve it at weddings.

  1. Why is caviar such a popular serving choice at weddings?

Caviar is all about luxury and celebrations. It’s no coincidence that caviar is such a popular choice to serve at weddings. Also, as the U.S. became the next biggest caviar consumer, following Europe, caviar is trending more at American weddings now than ever before. Its unique taste and texture add a touch of sophistication to any menu, and it pairs exceptionally well with champagne and other sparkling wines. Additionally, caviar is often served as an hors d’oeuvre or at cocktail parties, making it an excellent choice for pre-wedding celebrations.

  1. What are some things to consider when serving caviar at your wedding?

When planning to serve caviar at your wedding, the first thing to consider is how you would like it to be served. Will it be served as a station or family-style on the table? Will servers bring individual appetizer plates to guests or carry trays around during hors d’oeuvres? Once you have decided on the service style, you can consider other factors such as the quality and freshness of the caviar, presentation, quantity, and pairing with complementary foods and beverages.

Freshness

To ensure that your caviar is as fresh as possible, it’s recommended to have it arrive 5-7 days before your event. Once it arrives, refrigerate it at 38 degrees F or below, careful not to freeze it. If you’re planning to serve caviar outdoors, it’s important to remember that the heat can quickly compromise the freshness and quality of the caviar. To prevent this, it’s best to top the caviar as guests request rather than have it out as canapes. Alternatively, a server can distribute small portions from a tray to ensure that the caviar stays fresh and delicious throughout the event.

Once opened, caviar is highly perishable and should be consumed within three days to ensure the best flavor and quality. Therefore, if you’re planning to order large quantities of caviar for an event and are unsure of how many guests really enjoy it, it can get tricky to estimate exactly how much you’ll need. To ensure you have enough without risking waste, consider ordering several smaller jars/tins that add up to the weight you need. This way, your caterer can open them as needed, ensuring each serving is as fresh and delicious as possible.

If you’re planning to serve caviar outside, it’s crucial to keep it on ice at all times to prevent spoilage and maintain optimal flavor and texture. Additionally, place the caviar in a shaded area to avoid direct sunlight, which can quickly heat it and compromise its quality.

Presentation

When it comes to serving caviar, one of the first things to consider is the presentation style, which can significantly influence the overall dining experience. It’s important to remember that the presentation of caviar can dramatically impact its overall appeal and enjoyment.

The first decision to make: individual plating vs. caviar serveware.

Canopies Topped with a Premium Italian White Sturgeon Caviar
Canopies Topped with a Premium Italian White Sturgeon Caviar

One popular option for serving caviar is to portion it off for individual plating or portions. This allows for greater control over the amount of caviar served and the ability to pair it with other ingredients or dishes. An example of this would be canopies. Another option is to present the caviar in a serving bowl for guests to portion themselves (or have a server do this for each guest), which can add an element of interactivity and customization to the dining experience.

Some presentation options for weddings include caviar canopies. These are popular hors d’oeuvre that feature black caviar and other complementary ingredients (like crumbled egg whites/yolk, fine diced onion) arranged on top of a mini blini, toast point, or French banquette slice. The result is a beautiful, delicious bite-sized appetizer perfect for elegant gatherings or special occasions. Adding a touch of greenery can provide a beautiful and eye-catching contrast to the caviar canopy. To add a burst of color, decorate the canopy with tiny edible flowers by arranging them around. Stick to one color and decorate simply to preserve the canopy as the hero being served.

One simple way to add a pop of color to your caviar canopy is to decorate it with tiny edible flowers. Choose flowers in a single color that complements the hue of the caviar, such as white, red, or yellow, for traditional sturgeon caviar. Then, add a touch of color using tiny edible flowers. Arrange the flowers near the edge of the appetizer plate or scatter them on the plate for color. The plated canopies can be displayed buffet style, handed during cocktail hour, or individually served before dinner before the first course. For our guests to get the most out of this experience, serve it before any other appetizer.

Caviar Serveware

When it comes to serving caviar, there are many different types of servers to choose from. The most common type of caviar server is a rounded bowl specially designed to hold your caviar. A good caviar server should ideally have a built-in compartment for ice.

While basic caviar servers are functional and practical, many decorative options can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your presentation. For example, some caviar servers are made from precious metals like silver or gold and feature intricate designs that are fit for royalty.

For those who prefer a more contemporary look, glass bowls atop a bed of ice are popular. These simple yet elegant servers allow the beauty of the caviar to shine through while keeping it perfectly chilled and ready to serve.

Crystal or fine cobalt caviar servers can also be found for a unique twist. These eye-catching pieces are perfect for those who want to make a statement with their caviar presentation.

To make the caviar server stand out, it’s essential to consider its presentation carefully. Tiers are popular, with shorter tiers holding accompanying foods and bases to complement the caviar. However, it’s important to remember that the caviar server should be the star of the show and the main focus of attention.

To decorate the caviar server and tiers with flowers, it’s best to stick to one main color for a cohesive and elegant look. Choose fresh and small flowers to be arranged around the server and tiers, creating a beautiful and eye-catching display. However, if using a cobalt blue caviar server, be cautious when choosing flower colors, as some may clash with the boldness of the blue. In such cases, opting for white or neutral-colored flowers may be best. When using flowers for decoration, it’s important to remember that the caviar should be the centerpiece. Consider using flowers as accents by scattering them around the server ware or placing them nearby and not creating bouquets.

Quantity

One kilogram of caviar (35.2 g) should be enough to serve 50 guests using server ware and about 60 if creating small canopies.

Pairing

Drinks: dry brut champagne or vodka are best.

Traditional canopy bases to use: french baguette slice, toast point, brioche toast, mini blini, thin sliced petite potatoes fried and reduced to room temperature.

Spreads: Creme Fraiche / butter / sour cream

Accompaniments:  chopped egg whites, chopped egg yolks, chopped onions, and lemon wedges

  1. How do you know which caviar would be the best?

While fresh-packed caviar is typically the best option, it’s important to consider price, flavor, and texture. To ensure that you get high-quality caviar that meets your specific needs, you should work with a reputable caviar retailer that sells fresh-packed caviar to order. When a person consults with RealGourmetFood.com, we ask critical questions about your event, such as whether it will be held indoors or outdoors, the venue, and the number of guests. Knowing these things helps us provide the right amount of caviar for your specific presentation or serving.

Price

The price of caviar varies based on factors such as the fish species, quality, and rarity. Keeping a budget in mind is important when selecting caviar. For example, Beluga Hybrids are priced at just under $100/ounce, while Kalugas is one step down at around $60/ounce. While Osetra can be just a step down from that, a gold Osetra is priced at $200/ounce. Here’s the key: when purchasing caviar for a wedding or significant event, look for a retailer that is conscious of pricing and offers discounts for larger quantities. Also, consider going with budget-friendly American caviar for substantial savings. Discuss with a credible caviar retailer.

Flavor

The flavor of caviar can range from buttery and mild to briny and bold. It’s recommended to try different types of caviar to determine your personal preference.

Texture

Caviar texture can vary from delicate and silky to firm. Some people prefer a more delicate texture, while others enjoy a firmer pop. It’s also recommended to try different textures to determine your preference.

  1. How could you make caviar “go further” or be budget-conscious?

There are a few strategies that you can use to make caviar go further or be budget-conscious. First, consider choosing domestic wild-caught caviars that are available at a much lower price than their higher-end counterparts. Additionally, serving caviar in smaller portions, such as on mini-blinis or in small tasting spoons, can help stretch the amount of caviar you have and still provide your guests with a taste of luxury.

  1. Give us one of your favorite plating/serving suggestions.

Pairing Florals and Caviar
Pairing Florals and Caviar

One of my favorite plating and serving suggestions for caviar at a wedding is to plate a flight of three caviar canapés per guest. Canapés can be beautifully decorated with fresh edible flowers to add a touch of elegance and visual appeal to the presentation.

To create the canapés, you can start with a base of blinis or toast points and then top them with a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream, followed by a small spoonful of caviar. You can then garnish each plate by adding to each canapé a tiny fresh edible flower. The edible flower must be mild in flavor or flavorless.

Edible flowers are a popular wedding trend today, and they nicely complement the caviar trend by adding a natural and organic element to the presentation. Together, they create a beautiful and luxurious culinary experience that will delight your guests.

Caviar Expert Alina Davidov

Alina at Home in Her Kitchen
Alina at Home in Her Kitchen

Alina Davidov is a true caviar and fine food lover. At the age of two, Alina was introduced to the world of caviar and was immediately captivated by its unique taste and delicate texture. As Alina grew older, she developed a deep appreciation for caviar and became a true connoisseur of the delicacy.

Now the Owner and Founder of Real Gourmet Foods, Alina is dedicated to providing only the finest sourced and most exquisite culinary experiences. Real Gourmet Foods caviar is sustainably sourced from the purest waters, and their selection of gourmet foods is carefully curated to include the highest quality ingredients. “At Real Gourmet Foods, we believe that every meal should be a celebration, and it is our mission to make that happen for our customers.”

Real Gourmet Foods take great pride in the quality of our products and the level of service they provide. Their experienced team of culinary experts is constantly seeking out new and innovative ways to elevate the flavors and presentation of their offerings. Whether you’re hosting a grand gala or an intimate dinner party, Real Gourmet Foods and their signature caviars are sure to impress.