I am rarely more contented than when tasting caviar, but, over recent years, my pangs of conscience have increased, just as the numbers of wild sturgeon from the Caspian and elsewhere have diminished.
Happily, there is now a sustainable alternative. Royal Belgian Caviar is made from the eggs of farmed Russian sturgeon, and its complex, mellow, nutty flavour is a match for the best wild oscietra. I tried it with frozen vodka, and the combination was sublime, but you might like to sample it with chilled champagne, on warm blinis with a little soured cream: unlike most farmed caviar, it has a clean, not-too-salty taste, with the classic oscietra hint of ripe camembert.
It is also more than 25 per cent cheaper than the wild equivalent. Even better, it engenders a priceless sensation of guilt-free luxury.