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Acquired taste
What to do with caviar

By Ashpaz Baashi
July 16, 2001
The Iranian

Jahanshah Javid writes: Caviar has never been popular among most Iranians. Most don't even know what it is. But in recent years more caviar has been sold domestically by the Iranian fisheries organization. What do we do with it?

There's nothing special about Iranians in this case. Caviar has never been popular among most human beings on earth, and most of them don't know what it is either. The fact is, it's an acquired taste, and acquiring even a small taste costs a big chunk of money.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that you have acquired some modest amount of the stuff. What to do with it:

Invite a few of your most trusted and generous friends. Put a bottle of vodka in the freezer. Cut a baguette into paper-thin slices and toast them in the oven till golden and crisp. Serve the caviar in a bowl nestled in ice, and spread on the toast. Add a squeeze of lemon if you like. Some people add finely chopped onion or hard-boiled eggs, but the onion only masks the flavor and the hard-boiled eggs are nothing but filler, an insult to the true connoiseur.

There are other ways to eat caviar, but they are now mere historical curiosities: In the garden at Leon's, on blinis, tiny buckwheat pancakes slathered with melted butter and sour cream, served by octogenarian waiters with an accordionist playing the theme song from Doctor Zhivago for the seventeenth time.

Facts about caviar

Fish eggs from Japan are not caviar. Fish eggs from Scandinavia are not caviar. Many things that come from Russia in small jars are not caviar. Mashed eggplant with a fancy name is certainly not caviar.

Caviar must be kept cold at all times. Ask the flight attendant to put it in the refridgerator for you. On arrival, ask the flight attendant to give it back to you. Don't overlook this step, no matter how jet-lagged you are, or how long ago your visa may have expired, or how determined you are to refuse to be finger-printed. Flight attendants are among the elite few that have definitely acquired the taste for caviar.

Caviar is an excellent source of vitamin D.

Caviar, when dried, has adhesive properties similar to those of epoxy glue. Spread thinly on both surfaces and allow to dry for four hours.

Caviar should not be kept in the same household as a teenaged boy: "We were out of tuna, so I used up that stuff in the blue can. Can we get some more?"


Do you have a cooking question? Do you have a nice recipe you would like to share? Email it.

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