“In the Soviet era, caviar was a requirement for any special occasion.”
– The Soviet Diet Cookbook
While the most famous serving of caviar is usually on blinis – also usually served alongside the classic toppings: the egg whites, finely chopped onions and crème fraiche – The authentic Russian experience, if not being had as is with no complimentary sides, calls for a spreading of butter over white bread and then a slathering of caviar on top. The Russians also pair the caviar with Vodka. In Russia too, caviar is associated with the high society and the royalties, however, it was never limited to only those. While sturgeon caviar had always been expensive and limited to special occasions as well as harder to get, during the Soviet Era, the red roe was more readily available and thus more commonly had on regular basis. Again, the roe was also usually had atop a butter spread white bread.
With that said, serving caviar, and especially red caviar, was also popularly served over halved boiled eggs, where the yolk would be removed and the caviar placed in the middle instead. This is especially true back then to families with moderate means as this allowed them to serve less caviar as opposed to the generously lathered piece of bread. See the connection with the egg whites served with caviar today? I guess as ever, a poor man’s food becomes high society’s celebrated servings in following eras!
It was not until the Russians living in America introduced a new way of serving caviar, where they would serve it with crème fraiche and potatoes, that caviar and potatoes as canapés swept the world as the go to fancy cocktail reception option. Come to think of it, potatoes are among the most commonly consumed root vegetables in Russia, so while this pairing took place in the United States, it still is very Russian standard! Mostly boiled new potatoes, halved then topped with creme fraiche and caviar (the classic recipe).
In a twist to that recipe, I had had the pleasure of tasting this baked potato with ricotta cheese mixed with crème fraiche topped with caviar while in New York, which I loved and decided to share with you here. So here you go, another very classic way to serve caviar these days…
I have also included for you a fun video on caviar etiquette!