How to Buy Caviar in NYC: A Guide for Connoisseurs and Beginners
Caviar is one of the most luxurious and exquisite delicacies in the world, but also one of the most challenging to buy. With so many varieties, grades, and sources of caviar, how can you find the best quality and value for your money? And where can you buy caviar in NYC, a city that offers a plethora of options for food lovers?
In this article, we will answer these questions and give you some tips on how to buy caviar in NYC, whether you are a seasoned connoisseur or a curious beginner. We will also recommend some of the best places to buy caviar in NYC, from specialty shops to restaurants.
What is Caviar?
Caviar is the salt-cured roe (eggs) of sturgeon fish, which are native to the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. There are several species of sturgeon, each producing a different type of caviar with distinctive flavor, color, and texture. The most prized and expensive caviars are beluga, ossetra, and sevruga, which come from the beluga, Russian, and Persian sturgeons respectively.
However, due to overfishing and environmental issues, wild sturgeon populations have declined drastically in recent decades, making these caviars rare and costly. As a result, many countries have started to farm sturgeons and produce caviar from other species, such as American, Siberian, and white sturgeons. These caviars are more affordable and sustainable than their wild counterparts, but still offer a high-quality and delicious experience.
How to Choose Caviar?
When buying caviar, there are several factors to consider, such as:
- Variety: As mentioned above, different sturgeon species produce different caviars with different characteristics. Generally speaking, beluga caviar has the largest and most delicate eggs, with a buttery and creamy flavor. Ossetra caviar has medium-sized eggs with a nutty and fruity flavor. Sevruga caviar has the smallest and firmest eggs with a briny and intense flavor. Other varieties of caviar may have different flavors and colors depending on the fish’s diet and habitat.
- Grade: Caviar is graded according to its quality, freshness, appearance, and flavor. The highest grade is A (or 000), which means the eggs are large, firm, glossy, uniform in color, and have a rich and complex flavor. The lowest grade is C (or 0), which means the eggs are small, soft, dull, varied in color, and have a mild and simple flavor. The grade also affects the price of the caviar.
- Source: Caviar can be either wild or farmed. Wild caviar comes from sturgeons that are caught in their natural habitats. Farmed caviar comes from sturgeons that are raised in controlled environments. Wild caviar is more rare and expensive than farmed caviar, but it may also pose ethical and environmental concerns due to overfishing and illegal trade. Farmed caviar is more accessible and affordable than wild caviar, but it may also vary in quality depending on the farming methods and standards.
- Packaging: Caviar should be packed in airtight metal or glass containers that are labeled with the variety, grade, source, expiration date, and lot number of the caviar. Caviar should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator (between 28Â°F and 32Â°F) and consumed within a few days after opening.
Where to Buy Caviar in NYC?
NYC is a paradise for caviar lovers, as it offers many options for buying caviar from specialty shops to restaurants. Here are some of our recommendations:
- American Caviar Company: This family-owned business has been importing and distributing caviar since 1984. They offer a wide selection of domestic and imported caviars at wholesale