Caviar Info

Why Petrossian Caviar?

For nearly ninety years, Petrossian caviar has stood for excellence. This legacy of quality began when two brothers, Melkoum and Mouchegh Petrossian, moved to France and distributed caviar from the sturgeons of the bountiful Caspian Sea. It developed as Petrossian expanded, with a restaurant in New York City and a product line that includes savory foie gras and sweet French chocolates. And it continues today, as Petrossian became the first major distributor to work with sturgeon farms, providing gourmet sustainable options with a taste that holds a place on the mantle alongside beluga, sevruga and ossetra caviars

So what makes Petrossian caviar special? It starts with the sturgeon: whereas other producers pull the fish as soon as it matures, Petrossian allows the sturgeons to age, giving their caviar a fuller, more robust flavor. Working with specialists at the world’s finest caviar refineries, the roe undergoes a specific salting process, giving the caviar beads the delicate accent of “malossol” – meaning “little salt.”

From there, Petrossian caviar is quickly refrigerated and stored fresh for sale. Thanks to our high output of caviar, sent direct to our restaurants across the globe, as well as other fine eateries and individual gourmands, Petrossian caviar is delivered at peak freshness. The end result? Luxurious caviar perfect for your palate. Bon appetit!

The History of Caviar

Caviar experts often debate the origin of the word caviar. The ancient Greeks served “avyron” at lavish occasions, while others claim that the Turks were the first to coin the word “Khavyar.” References to caviar date back to antiquity when Phoenician, Egyptian and Roman coastal populations began to salt and pickle sturgeon eggs.

Persians coined the term “Chav-jar” or “cake of power,” as they considered caviar to be a stimulant that increased their endurance and force. They were the first population known to consume sturgeon eggs, benefiting from the incredible resources provided by the Caspian Sea and its nearby rivers. Following the great commercial routes of Central Europe, caviar made its first appearance at the Russian court quickly becoming the preferred delicacy of their royal Czars. Caviar slowly acquired popularity in Europe, where it became a delicacy of Aristocrats.

Through time, caviar began to appear on popular tables. In the United States, at the end of the 19th century, sturgeon eggs were sold in saloons in hopes that its saltiness would make bar patrons thirstier. It is estimated that American caviar production reached 75 tons per year. Sturgeon, a major food source in the Hudson River, was commonly sold as “Albany Beef,” as it was so plentiful and affordable. At this time, sturgeon harvesting was also particularly intensive in the Gironde and the North and Baltic Seas. Sold at a frivolous price, the quality of caviar quickly declined.

In Paris, during the Roaring Twenties, caviar once again became a fine delicacy served at the greatest tables in the country. Exiled Russian royalty, intellectuals and aristocrats who fled the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, with the assistance of the Petrossian house, revived the art of caviar. The Petrossian legend began by serving this fine delicacy at the world’s most grand tables, becoming a symbol of luxury and an indispensable ingredient for success.

Benefit from Our Expertise:

Petrossian has spent almost a century perfecting the art of caviar and we're always happy to help new and veteran caviar-lovers find the perfect caviar through our Caviar Concierge program. Our trained experts, called Caviarologists™ or Caviarologs™, can provide you with every level of expertise, from answering simple questions to providing in-depth consultations. To speak with a Caviarologist™, please contact us between 9am and 5pm EST, Monday through Friday at 1-800-828-924. We'll be thrilled to answer your questions or set up a consultation to provide advice on caviar and seafood preparation and tasting.

Choosing your caviar and understanding the flavor:

 Species  Color  Taste
Ossetra Caviar  light to dark brown with
 golden highlights
 Delectably fresh and fruity, Ossetra has a
 firm, juicy grain with a distinctive nutty
Sevruga Caviar  light to dark grey with
 brown highlights
 The smaller beads of Sevruga allow for an
 intense, robust flavor of sea, green nuts,
 bitter orange, and cashew.
Alverta and
Transmontanus Caviars
 light to dark brown  Most similar to Ossetra, the Alverta and
 Transmontanus have Ossetra’s trademark
 nutty flavor, both smooth and robust.
Siberian Caviar  grey to golden brown  The farm-raised Siberian Caviar has
 smallergrains but maintain a subtle,
 woodsy flavor.

Serving Caviar

In serving caviar, freshness is key. Though caviar can be stored unopened in your refrigerator for up to four weeks, it should be consumed immediately upon opening. Remove the caviar from the refrigerator as little as 15 minutes before serving, and place the tin on a bed of shaved or crushed ice and serve with a caviar spoon.

A special presentoir designed by Petrossian showcases our caviar with a truly elegant presentation. So as not to break the eggs, caviar should be spooned carefully onto lightly toasted bread or directly in the mouth with Petrossian spoons – not metal, which can alter the taste. Serve fresh, premium quality Petrossian caviar in its original perfection – do not sprinkle with lemon or serve with chopped egg, onion, or sour cream. Save these garnishes for inferior grades of caviar. For serving accompaniments, we offer blini and crème fraiche – very subtle flavors made specifically to let caviar’s full flavor shine through.

To drink with caviar, we recommend you rinse the palate with a dry alcohol, ideally vodka, a dry white wine, or Champagne.

And beyond the spectacular taste of caviar, one can accrue all the fine points of caviar culture: the présentoirs and Scepters, the golden ladles, and the mother-of-pearl serving spoons!

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