On the face of it fish eggs are a slightly odd thing to eat, but nevertheless they are delicious, and when offered some samples from the Handpicked Foodstore, I asked to try both their salmon and trout roe, or keta caviar so I could compare side by side.
Caviar or roe is the unfertilized eggs of a female fish. Red caviar is from salmon and related fish, and black from sturgeon. For red caviar smaller grains are regarded as better, whereas the opposite is true for black where the larger grain are more savoured. Like many luxury foods, there is a mystique involved with caviar – it’s traditionally eaten using mother of pearl spoons so as not to taint the taste.
Like many fish products, caviar production is under great pressure from overfishing, to the extent that international trade in sturgeon caviar was brought under the control of the UN after the fall of the USSR. The absolute ban on trade has been lifted to a limited degree, but it has led to the development of farmed sturgeon caviar; despite this, black caviar remains a premium product, with matching pricing. Much more in reach for the rest of us is red keta caviar, from salmon and related fish. We tried two: salmon, and trout.
Salmon Keta Caviar
- Much larger eggs
- A stronger, more intense, saltier flavour.
- Wetter, almost juicy, consistency,
Trout Keta Caviar
- Smaller eggs with more texture than the salmon, they popped in the mouth.
- A more lightweight, delicate flavour.
- A drier consistancy.
- Perfect for the caviar novice. If you’re unsure, start with the trout keta and go from there.
Salmon and Trout Keta Caviar from the Handpicked Foodstore, £15 a jar.
A fab recipe using keta caviar is MiMi’s Japanese style pasta.
In the manner of Harry Hill, “I like salmon roe, but I also like trout roe. But which is best? There is only one way to find out … FIGHT!”
Many thanks to the Handpicked Collection who sent me both the roes and the olivewood board for review.