Proper way of eating caviar?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Dining' started by Jimgotkp, Sep 21, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    I'm currently about to book an itinerary in F on certain airlines including CX. This will be my first time flying F internationally so it's a pretty big deal for me. ;) Since I know caviar is served on CX F with Balik salmon (thanks to TRs) I wonder how you eat caviar... I never had caviar in my life ever. I never had Balik salmon ever. I never had "real" champagne other than Andre. Yes I live a rather dull and uninteresting life.

    So the question is how do you eat caviar with all those extras (eggs, onions, salmon, sour cream, etc.) Do you mix everything together and place it on top of the toast/belini? Do you eat the salmon separately by using a fork? I'd like to know the proper etiquette so I don't make a fool out of myself. Considering I'm 20 years old, I'm sure I will be pitied by the FA's.
     
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  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    I wish I had this problem, you have!:oops: I had never caviar so far in my life, however we have enjoyed some champagne, a wonderful treat you will enjoy through and through!

    I'm pretty sure many MP'ers will help you out in learning // showing you the proper etiquette in eating caviar!:)

    Enjoy your First Class experience! Have a great flight!:)
     
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  3. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Citi AAdvantage bonuses! Do it! :)
     
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  4. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Don't sweat the "proper" way and just try it out and see what you think. Some people will argue that "plain" is the way to go, others will insist on plenty of garnish -- eggs, sour cream, etc.

    And anybody that looks at you funny for trying it "your way" (whichever way that might be) probably does what they think is best anyway, so don't sweat them either. Old school Russians will tell you *very* small quantities on belini with a small dab of sour cream. Others will say as bland a "platform" as you can, others will even say buttered toast... so in other words, try it your way and see what you like. :)

    I'd personally pass on champagne and get some ice cold vodka, but that's just me.
     
  5. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Much appreciated. I don't want the etiquette police waiting for me at the gate upon arrival :(
     
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  6. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Good question.

    Caviar is something you can eat a number of different ways. With limited exception, there is no wrong way. Most important is that you enjoy it. Ways you can eat it include:
    1. Plain (on a spoon) (see important note about spoons below)
    2. Plain (on toast points or blinis)
    3. 1 or 2, but with Creme Fraische
    4. 1 or 2, mixed with some or all of the finely diced accompanying items (chopped egg, etc)
    Since it will be your first time, I'd recommend having the first taste plain on a spoon. (#1) Just get the pure taste of the caviar. While there are lots of different grades, egg types and styles, you should "taste the sea" in the first bite.

    From there, mix and match to include the accompanying items that you think you'll like. Caviar has some self-adhesive qualities, I feel it is OK to use your fingers a bit if you need to (though try not to use them too much). You can blend the accompanying items in a section on your plate. Feel free to mix the caviar right into your blends.

    My wife usually gets me the "caviar of the month club" for Christmas from Petrossian. It's quite nice, and I've gotten the kids into it too...and we all make a little party when it comes each month. I end up using techniques 1, 2, 3 and 4 - it sort of depends what mood I'm in at the time - as it is a slightly different experience each way for me.

    You mention that CX serves the caviar with salmon. I would eat the salmon separately, and not co-mingle it with the caviar. I would make sure my first bite, and last bite, from that course are of caviar. I'd have the salmon some where in the middle. I don't use the lemon or lime provided on the caviar, though you might enjoy this. (Try it plain, first.) I have on occasion placed the lemon directly on the salmon for a bit to create a slight ceviche.

    Spoons are very important. Metal spoons can have a big impact on caviar. At home, we have special mother-of-pearl spoons to use for caviar. Even on Concorde (AF's), they served plastic spoons to go with the caviar - which didn't look great, but was important for the taste. If they didn't have a plastic spoon solution on CX (which I suspect they do), I'd ask for chopsticks. I've only been in CX F [two] times (before F was discontinued on the SYD-HKG route), and slept the entire way both times - so I don't know what they have.

    Caviar is a special food, and a special treat. Don't be afraid or ashamed. You're sitting in front - it should be on your terms. I know I've mixed things I shouldn't have when I get the Korean meal on KE - but who cares - they won't kick you out! Beware: It can become an expensive habit. Most of all: enjoy!
     
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  7. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Wow. I really appreciate it! Getting great replies :) I guess I will take the time to explore different ways of eating it. I hear caviar is a hit or a miss with people so hopefully it isn't an addiction! :p
     
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  8. NYBanker
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  9. MSPeconomist
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    Good answer. I prefer to scoop a small amount of caviar onto a small bit (the size of one small bite) of toast or melba toast and skip the trimmings. After tasting it plain, I'll experiment with adding some lemon juice but I don't like the other stuff and usually ask that they not be served to me. If you do want the trimmings, I wouldn't mix them like paint in a pile on the plate but rather just scoop them all onto the toast piece. Don't be afraid to ask for more toast (or more caviar, but I find that a small serving is enough). If a tiny ivory or plastic spoon is offered, use that, but SQ IFC uses regular metal silverware for their caviar course. To me, the vodka is too strong, so I stick with champagne, which will be excellent in IFC. (Champagne can be consumed with any food or you can switch to white/red wine with the meal and then back to champagne with dessert, perhaps in place of the port, dessert wine, or cognac, although I'm personally not fond of champagne with the cheese course after a meal.)
     
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  10. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    What does this have to do with the post?
     
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  11. Rlpro
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    Rlpro Silver Member

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    Great question! I was wondering the same thing on a recent FC award flight on LH. I preferred mine simply, while my husband enjoyed all the accoutrements and vodka.

    Thanks for the very helpful information NYBanker and MSPeconomist!
     
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  12. SQ LPP
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    SQ LPP Gold Member

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    Love all the answers! :)
    Those answers reminded me from reading on line about how to enjoy caviar in a proper way. But till now, I have not eaten caviar the way the book or expert written. I eat what works for me. But yes, from those many many times having caviar, when you use the regular stainless still spoon, you will loose the real taste of caviar. Plastic spoon is better. But of course the best way is to use the mother-of-pearl spoon. Fortunately for me, SQ years ago had gifted some of their flyers this mother-of-pearl spoon. Thus when I am traveling, I usually bring it along in my carry on. I know one other flyer who takes his spoon from the Concorde day.

    Here is the presentation on SQ.

    [​IMG]

    Yes, vodka should accompany the caviar. But I don't drink those. So, a great champagne would go well with caviar. I remember CX served Krug.

    And, yes, you should not eat balik salmon and caviar at the same time. I remembered both were the choices for appetizers on CX. But what I did was by asking to have caviar first, and then the balik salmon after. In LH F, you have more choices for appetiser. And I always started with caviar first.

    And here is the presentation on LH.

    [​IMG]

    And here is on NH.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. MSPeconomist
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    In many places, you make a very positive impression by just eating unusual foods very confidently as if you know exactly what to do, regardless of how you do it, with additional brownie points for eating in a way that exhibits skill and manual dexterity.

    At times I've tried to avoid the dreaded metal spoon by using one piece of toast to scoop the caviar onto another piece of toast. This would be harder if the caviar is presented in a jar, but it seems to work pretty well when you have a small mound on your plate.
     
  14. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    The fact that you can redeem those bonus miles on CX F and have caviar and everything else.

    On another note, I appreciate it for the posts. I noticed that there is are no threads in regards to eating caviar and being caviar/champagne "aficionados", I thought this would be useful for me and others. Thanks for the helpful posts guys! :)
     
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  15. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Love it !!:)
    AGREED !!!
     
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  16. ACMM
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    The proper way to enjoy caviar us when someone else is picking up the tab :D

    [Sent from my milePoint enabled iPhone]
     
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  17. MSPeconomist
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    Yes, especially when that someone else is an airline or a FF program, although my first memory of sampling caviar was at a wedding (not mine!) as a child.
     
  18. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    I'll throw in a picture from my recent LH flight (JFK-FRA, A380). No non-metal utensils in sight, so I had to use my fingers to help get caviar onto toast slices. :( It was accompanied by a pretty decent seared tuna and, to my disappointment, Smirnoff vodka.

    IMG_20110905_172054.jpg
     
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  19. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Okay now I get it;)
    As for the question - I think the correct answer is "any way you like!" I experimented a bit to see what I liked best - of course while I was flying (in F on award miles):p You should note that many airlines are now using farmed or not "real" caviar (eg not from sturgeon) b/c coast and/or the danger of extinction. I actually noticed the difference in taste on SQ a year or so ago.
     
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  20. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    Can't gainsay anything NYB has offered, and in the same order of preference.
    The more you like the taste of fish eggs, the higher you go on that list.

    Gold (at least plated) spoons are also nice.
     
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  21. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    The best advice that I can offer is to ask for seconds.
     
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  22. Rejuvenated
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    I've had caviar in F with several different airlines. But since the OP's experience will be with CX, I'll limit my take on that, plus it's the airline I've had most experiences with the caviar. Personally for me I would eat it plainly and separately from the salmon. The cream and the eggs I normally would put a little on the Salmon but not the caviar. Since this will be a first for you, I would suggest you try it out with a little bite plainly and see how it suits your taste. After that, you can decide for yourself whether you like like that or you would like to add the extras. Personally that's how I did it when I had my first ever cavair back in 2005. And if you do mix the creams and eggs, do so only to part ot the caviar. Because if it turns out you don't like the taste as a result of those additions, it'll be rather hard to remove them away.

    But for the most part CX is usually generous in giving seconds and even thirds in you ask for more. Usually the only time you may not get extras is if you have a bad crew and/or a full cabin with every passenger asking for seconds and thirds.
     
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  23. taiwaned
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    taiwaned Silver Member

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    I saw a first the other day.

    In China, friends offered caviar. No crackers no bread, but got to scoop caviar with cucumber sticks..
     
  24. General_Flyer
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    General_Flyer Gold Member

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    Here's the presentation on CX:

    Out of SFO:

    [​IMG]

    Out of HKG:

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    My favorite way to eat caviar is with my mouth; I would advise against and of the alternate methods.
     
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