My stepfather is a gourmand and every year for Christmas he asks for just one thing: caviar.
This is how I came across Khavyar, a new US website selling 14 sustainably farmed varieties of salt-cured fish eggs. Founder and CEO Patrick Brown sources the delicacy from the waters of Denmark, Belgium and Israel, as well as southern US states such as Louisiana and Kentucky, which results in a wide and democratic range of pricing, from $12 to $150 for 30g.
The site’s standouts include the black, buttery beads of Siberian Gold ($145 for 30g) and the rich and nutty Osetra Galilee Prime ($125 for 30g, first picture). The Sea Trout roe ($50 for 250g, second picture) from Denmark has a mild flavour and succulent texture, as well as a brilliant orange hue that is as pleasing on the plate as it is on the palate.
The lesser-known American caviars run the gamut from the Alaskan Ikura Salmon ($15 for 30g), with its firm texture and bold flavour, to wild-caught Hackleback ($42 for 30g) – aka shovelnose sturgeon – sourced from the cold lake waters of Illinois and Kentucky. For connoisseurs, Khavyar’s Sturgeon Royal White ($99 for 30g), with its big, beautiful, metallic-grey pearls, is as close as you can get in the US to the Russian Osetra.
Caviar complements are available too: French blinis ($14), kosher crème fraîche from Vermont ($10 for 225g) and, of course, simple, sculptural mother-of-pearl spoons ($20 for a pair) for optimal tasting.