The 6 Best Caviars

Updated October 04, 2017 by Melissa Harr

6 Best Caviars
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 35 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Navigating the waters to find the best caviars can be somewhat tricky, since terminology is anything but standard and issues related to ecological impact, legality, and sustainability are a little murky. The ones we’ve included on this list, though, offer a fine starting point for both newbies and enthusiasts alike, whether for a party or a solo treat. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best caviar on Amazon.

6. Roland Red

The Roland Red comes from lumpfish found in the North Sea. It can be used as a garnish for sushi or enjoyed plain, thanks to its crunchy and solid texture that gives it a pronounced flavor. Because it's sold in packs of two, you'll have plenty to share.
  • attractive bright coloring
  • inexpensive option
  • overly strong fishy taste to some
Brand Roland
Model 20204
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Marky’s Alaskan Salmon Roe

Succulent and lovely, the Marky’s Alaskan Salmon Roe will give you a striking salmon taste that lingers on the palette, one that pairs well with everything from omelettes to baguettes to potatoes. It works as a substitute for the more expensive keta variety, too.
  • extra-large beads
  • good gift for foodies
  • some find it too salty
Brand Marky's Caviar
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Bemka’s Crown Russian Ossetra

The Bemka’s Crown Russian Ossetra comes to you packaged for freshness and offers a consistent taste and texture similar to that of cherished wild Caspian Ossetra. Its rich and full coloring is also a testament to its quality.
  • good balance of saltiness and bite
  • selected specifically for epicureans
  • a bit on the pricey side
Brand Bemka.com
Model pending
Weight 5 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Olma Beluga Sturgeon Hybrid

While the pure variety is illegal in the United States, the Olma Beluga Sturgeon Hybrid will give you all of the mild and buttery flavor you expect without the legal or ecological problems. The pearls vary from light to dark gray and are quite large.
  • produced in south korea
  • shelf life of 12 months unopened
  • available in various sizes
Brand OLMA Caviar
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Northern Divine Gold Label

From alluring packaging to delectable flavors, the Northern Divine Gold Label should satisfy even the pickiest of aficionados. Perhaps best of all, though, the company is committed to green practices and protecting the white sturgeon from which it derives its product.
  • glossy and firm pearls
  • from british columbia
  • certified organic
Brand Abundant Naturals
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Black Diamond Hackleback

The Black Diamond Hackleback represents some of the best that American varieties have to offer. It comes from the hackleback, or shovelnose, sturgeon from the estuaries of the Mississippi, and is usually compared favorably to more costly European types.
  • jet black and savory
  • sustainably sourced in usa
  • variety used by professional chefs
Brand Black Diamond
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

A Brief History Of Caviar

When I was a little kid, someone told me that fish eggs were considered fancy cuisine. I couldn't believe that anyone could eat something so disgusting, and then I went right back to my Pop Tarts covered in Colby-Jack cheese.

Now that I've actually had caviar, I see what the fuss was about. These fish eggs — usually sturgeon, although other fish like salmon and trout are sometimes used, as well as beluga in higher-end dishes — are actually quite tasty, even if they don't pair well with brown sugar cinnamon Pop Tarts.

Genghis Khan's grandson, Batu, is the earliest recorded caviar connoisseur, as Orthodox Christian monks in one Russian village, eager to get on his good side, served him hot apple preserves topped with sturgeon eggs. After the feast, the monks and their village were spared, so Batu must have been a fan.

The dish soon grew to be popular all throughout Eurasia, so much so that the European sturgeon became extinct due to over-fishing.

Fortunately, by the time the European fish disappeared, Atlantic sturgeon from the United States was ready to fill the void. These Yankee fish were just as tasty as their continental cousins, and far more abundant. In fact, at one point there was so much caviar that it was served in bars the way peanuts are today. By the 19th century, however, American sturgeon were being over-fished, as well, with the bulk of the catch being sent to Europe.

That left the Caspian Sea as the primary venue for obtaining caviar. However, in the 1950s, the Soviets began to dam up many of the rivers that fed the Caspian, and without access to spawning grounds, sturgeon numbers began to fall. Caviar was an important part of the European diet — especially since it was associated with the aristocracy — so Russian scientists began to immediately search for ways to artificially breed the fish.

They were able to do this by building hatcheries underneath their dams. Eventually, one scientist defected to the United States, bringing with him the secret to breeding the fish. He settled in California, and as a result the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento River have played host to a bustling sturgeon population.

Today, sturgeon numbers are on the rise, with farmed fish representing the bulk of the caviar haul. Finding great tasting, sustainably-farmed caviar is as easy as it's ever been, which will come in very handy indeed if any more of Genghis Khan's descendants decide to go on a rampage.

Tips For Choosing The Best Caviar

First off, it's important to know that you don't have to spend a bundle to have great caviar. Thanks to farm fishing, prices are dropping all over the world, and you no longer need a co-signer just to enjoy a fine dining experience.

The main thing that determines a caviar's price is the breed of fish used (salmon or lumpfish will produce cheaper roe than river beluga, for example). Be aware, however, that true river beluga isn't available in the U.S. due to the species' vulnerability, so any beluga you buy will be farm-raised.

There are also some unfamiliar terms you may see thrown around when you're shopping. If you see the word malossol on a tin, that means that it was made using a minimal amount of salt. This purportedly makes for better caviar, but it also makes it less stable, so only get it if you're planning on chowing down soon.

You may also notice caviar that's been pasteurized. This means it's been slightly cooked, so it will stay fresh for much longer than other varieties, and many pasteurized options can be stored at room temperature.

If you see pressed caviar, on the other hand, then you're looking at a spread that's been made of broken or damaged eggs. Some food snobs will turn their nose up at pressed caviar, but it's still quite tasty, and is often used as a spread in other recipes.

Regardless of what you buy, the important thing is to indulge yourself, so bust out the cravat, put on your finest monocle, and be sure to tell your butler to let the Bud Light breathe before serving.

How To Serve Caviar

If you're going through the trouble of serving caviar at a party, you need to look like you know what you're doing, or else the effect will be ruined and your guests will fail to be shamed by your superior sophistication. Fortunately, I'm not about to let that happen.

One thing you need to know is what kind of dish to use. It's best to keep the caviar in its original tin until you're ready to eat it, at which point you can transfer it to a serving bowl. It's perfectly fine to serve it out of its original tin, or you can use a gold or plastic bowl — just don't use silver.

The same goes for the spreading utensil. A mother of pearl spoon is considered proper, but no one will judge you for using plastic. There's a widespread belief that touching caviar with metal will spoil the taste, but this seems to be a myth, and most tins use metal lids anyway.

Take it out of the fridge about 15 minutes before it's time to serve, and try to consume it within an hour. Caviar doesn't react well to open air, so don't leave it out, and try to finish it all in one sitting (as if you needed any encouragement).

Traditionally, the eggs are spread over brioche toast or boiled potatoes, but you have my permission to put it on whatever you like. It pairs well with vodka (naturally), champagne, or a dry white wine. Of course, half the fun is in feeling like a sophisticated member of the aristocracy, which is why I drink mine with chocolate milk served out of a highball glass.



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Last updated on October 04, 2017 by Melissa Harr

Melissa is a writer, editor, and EFL educator from the U.S. She's worked in the field since earning her B.A. in 2012, during which time she's judged fiction contests, taught English in Asia, and authored e-courses about arts and crafts. In her free time, she likes to make stuff out of sticks and string.


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