Etiquette Boss: Caviar Etiquette

In honor of the Olympics – Caviar Etiquette

Can you think of one food that would almost certainly be offered to our American athletes and visitors alike while presently in Russia? Caviar, or “black gold,” of course. In honor of the Olympics, I would like to give some attention to the etiquette of eating this food that is loved and hated in equal measure.

Many “haters” have had a bad first experience with caviar because they ate the most affordable type of fish roe (highly salted, lumpfish eggs dyed black) during a cocktail hour while drinking wine. Do not give up on this delicacy unless you have tasted the roe of the beluga, osetra or sevruga fish, which has more flavor and less salt.

The eggs of the beluga (legally the only roe that is caviar) are larger, naturally gray or black, shinier, and neither “fishy” nor “salty” in taste. It is interesting to note that two thirds of the world’s supply of beluga caviar is sold in the United States from farmed Beluga roe.

Savor with very cold vodka or a dry champagne to avoid overpowering the natural taste of the roe with flavors from the alcohol. Purists skip the egg yolk, capers and chopped onion as well, as they also help to camouflage taste. This was instituted in the early days of refrigeration to camouflage spoiling roe taste.

For the best experience, do not eat on a hard base, as the natural “pop” experience of the egg gets lost. Use blinis or a soft toast.

Most of the people who love caviar know the type of fish they enjoy. Some love the taste of the osetra above the rare and more expensive beluga. Have a few select friends over for a ‘champagne and caviar’ celebration. It’s a great experience.

BEAUTY ETIQUETTE TIP: Hydrate dry skin

The sheen of a vibrant complexion goes quickly from all but the very young in these harsh winter months. However, we can take a tip from the Australians who use emu oil (sold in most health stores). The fatty acids it contains are similar to those in human skin. It also helps to thicken thinning facial skin. Thinning neck skin might also benefit from this oil.

Phillipa Morrish is the president of Etiquette Training International.

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