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How to Serve Caviar and Roe

What’s the best way to enjoy your caviar or roe? Simply, says Éric Ripert, chef at Le Bernardin.
By Published Oct. 6, 2021

These days, you see caviar and roe adorning everything from fried chicken to oysters. And it’s certainly true that there’s no wrong way to eat caviar or roe. (Well, except maybe in a smoothie.)

But the caviar and roe farmers, restaurateurs, and aquaculture specialists we talked to all agreed that the best way to enjoy caviar or roe is the most basic: Just eat it plain, directly from the tin or jar, using a spoon made from a neutral material (see why spoon material matters here). This is certainly the purest and most intense way to experience this delicacy. 

Yeasty blini (left) and buttered toast (right) are both great foils for briny caviar.

If you do want to serve your caviar or roe with other foods, keep it simple. As we learned from Éric Ripert, chef at Le Bernardin, the best accompaniments are fairly mild-flavored, allowing the subtle flavors of the caviar or roe to shine. A piece of buttered toast would be fine—for a nice contrast with the brine of the caviar or roe, choose something with a little sweetness, such as brioche or potato bread. Blini (small yeasted Russian pancakes) are also a good option. 

Ripert has mixed feelings about using crème fraîche with caviar; while it’s traditional, its richness can overwhelm or blunt the nuances of the fish eggs.

Another great, simple option? Serve it on a potato chip. The chip is a relatively neutral vehicle, and its crispness provides a nice contrast to the softer caviar or roe. Just be sure to get unsalted chips, as the caviar is already salty enough.

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