What Is Amuse Bouche?

 

Caviar Director

Simple.  It is an appetite stimulant, a French term that means a little bit of food.   An hors d'œuvre is an example.  They are not appetizers because they are not ordered, but are presented by the chef or host.

A selection of fine quality caviar is a great way to treat your guests to memorable amuse-bouche.

 

Be creative in your pairing presentations – simple blinis are timeless - add deviled eggs, salmon, trout.  Don’t forget garnishes.  Not only are fish eggs full of nutrient dense super foods, but caviar is also an essential ingredient for extravagant eye pleasing presentations that exhilarate the atmosphere.

Patrick Brown, CEO of KHAVYAR, is passionate about his commitment to exceptional caviar. “Caviar is confident, elegant and the perfect, decadent addition to your holiday presentation,” he says. “It can be enjoyed in a variety of ways—paired with a classic blini and crème fraiche or on top of a lobster roll—and always adds a level of sophistication to each dish.”

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Caviar for Father's Day - The Gift He Actually Wants

Caviar Director

“He” already has all the neck ties that he likes & will wear; they were selected with suits he purchased. 

“He” doesn’t want cologne.  “She” does.

If you purchase anything for his “shop”, you’re the tool. 

Get him booze & caviar. 

The quick & easy way to determine how much caviar you’ll need is easy – 1oz or 30 grams for every 2 people.  Obviously, if you have enthusiasts, you’ll want to consider more & additional varieties.

For the unassuming Father who might criticize how much you spent on a gift, we suggest something domestic.  These are great choices…

  • $38 - Spoonbill American – Wild caught from Alabama, rich & creamy notes of Osetra
  • $49 Hackleback – Wild caught Kentucky, rich & robust, deep black berries
  • $52 American White Sturgeon – Farmed, rich brown black egges, creamy rich clean finish like Osetra
  • $190 Royal White Sturgeon – Farmed, exceptional size coloration from slate to black, clean flavor similar to an exceptional Osetra

Imported varieties are more outspoken. These are some to consider…

  • $129 Giaveri Siberian – Italy – medium grains, brown to black, rich & slightly briny flavor comparable to Sevruga
  • $148 Giaveri Osetra – Italy – rich golden brown, nutty, fruity flavor.
  • $148 Siberian Gold – Belgium – black pearls, larger than most Siberian caviars, buttery with hints of sweetness
  • $184 Osetra Belgian – Belgium – medium sized olive to dark olive in color, distinct nutty flavor, fantastic mouth feel.

For a little conversation with your caviar, here are some historical facts:

  • People looking for things to talk & write about trace Father’s day back to the discovery of a 4,000-year-old stone tablet from the ruins of Babylon. A boy called Elmesu carved a stone wishing his father good health & a long life.
  • Sonora Smart Dodd celebrated the first Father’s Day in the U.S. in Washington state on June 19, 1910 after getting the idea from a special sermon at her church honoring mothers.
  • 1924 - President Calvin Coolidge recommended to Congress that Father's Day become a national holiday
  • Lyndon B. Johnson finally designated the third Sunday in June as Father's Day by executive order in 1966
  • Congress finally recognized Father's Day as an official national holiday during the Nixon administration in 1972

When you buy, don’t forget the accompaniments.  You’ll need spoons, blini & crème fraiche. 

Take in the full complexity of flavors by first tasting a small spoonful of the tiny eggs. Always use a Mother of Pearl spoon since metal will tarnish its delicate flavors. With premium quality caviar, balance out the mild saltiness with a dollop of smooth and tangy crème fraiche and add a sprig of dill for a vibrant dash of aromatics.

Show your appreciation for fatherly guidance and paternal wisdom with a selection of the finest import & domestic roe and everything you need for an authentic tasting.

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Why You Should Buy Caviar Online.

Patrick Brown
Buying caviar online is faster, fresher & cheaper. 

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A Pound of Caviar & Fried Chicken

Patrick Brown

Sound crazy?  Yes. 

But that didn’t stop Celebrity Chef David Chang from pulling out this magic trick at Momofuku Noodle Bar in July. 

This sounds like the type of dinner party & presentation that's beyond your reach.  It’s not.  It may be the easiest event you’ve ever hosted.  What’s even better is the fact that it dresses up or down to your specific event – cocktail or tailgate – it’s impressive.

The portions are typically 1 Whole Fried Chicken to 500g of Amia Calva.  Which is, of course, 1.1lbs of caviar.

If you’ve have not fried a whole bird, Bon Appétit has this recipe to use as a guideline.  You can season the bird to taste.  Some of our favorite seasonings are from Cajun Injector.  This particular one provides the right amount of flour, seasoning & flavor for a crispy taste that grabs the caviar.

Wine – lean on the white, dry side.  If you have no preference, you can go by a sliding scale of wines to fit the formality of your event - Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling to Chardonnay & Champagne. 

Beer. If you don’t have a favorite, lagers are crisp & refreshing with a smoother finish.

Booze.  You’re on your own.  Fried chicken makes this anyone’s choice.

As for your presentation & sides, the options here are limitless.  Crepes, homemade sauces, stuffed celery, cucumber & salmon roe all make eye catching, mouthwatering selections for any assortment of picky eaters. 

But everyone loves fried chicken.

And everyone will remember this party.  Because love it or hate it, everyone remembers the party that has caviar.  It’s like a social bookmark. 

Can you name the last caviar party you went to?

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6 Food Delicacies as Rare as Caviar (Infographic)

Caviar Director

Caviar is synonymous with luxury, but it’s far from being the only food that costs more per ounce than the average grocery item. These six delicacies are considered to be the most prized foods in the world, savored by the elite for their rarity and complex flavors.

 

Saffron

Saffron threads are actually the stigmas of a particular variety of crocus— about 50,000 square feet of crocuses need to be harvested to yield 1 lb. of this delicate yet potent spice. Saffron is used internationally in many culinary traditions.

$10-30 per gram

 

Almas Caviar

While many varieties of true sturgeon caviar are available at a more affordable rate, the sought-after Almas caviar, sourced from 100-year-old albino sturgeons, is the most rare and precious.

Up to $12 per gram

 

Alba White Truffles

These delicious, pungent fungi are unable to be cultivated. Alba White Truffles must be sourced from the wild with the help of a truffle pig or dog.

$7-11 per gram

 

Matsutake Mushrooms

A lesser-known luxury in the mushroom family, spicy-smelling Matsutake mushrooms can only be harvested once a year and are often discovered by hungry forest animals first, making them even more difficult to come by.

Up to $10 per gram

 

Swiflet Nests

Painstakingly crafted by the male swiftlet bird, these nests are a crucial ingredient in bird’s nest soup, and lend the Chinese delicacy its gelatinous texture as well as its celebrated health benefits.

$2 per gram

 

Civet Coffee

Made from beans that have passed through the digestive system of these catlike creatures, civet coffee is said to have a less bitter flavor profile than traditional bean. The process of sourcing and cleaning civet coffee beans is extremely labor intensive.

$1 per gram

 

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The Best Oyster Bars in America

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The Best Oyster Bars in America

The beginning of fall doesn’t just signal a shift to cooler temperatures— it’s also the beginning of oyster season. Though there are countless ways to enjoy these delicious molluscs, the start of the season is a prime time to partake of the raw, chilled oysters you’ll find at America’s best oyster bars— whether you prefer them with a spritz of lemon or a bit of house-made cocktail sauce, you’re sure to be treated to a delicious evening at these locales.

 

Northeast: Maison Premiere, New York

While Grand Central’s oyster bar may be the most famous in the city (and remains a classic spot for channeling Mad Men vibes), the swanky Brooklyn-based Maison Premiere is an intimate alternative far too good to pass up. Paying homage to the Parisian and New Orleanian, Maison Premiere offers the city’s largest Absinthe list— no small feat in Francophilic New York. The restaurant boasts 30 types of oysters, as well as seafood “plateaus” that offer an eclectic mix of shellfish— “la grande plateau” even comes with caviar.

 

South: Casamento’s, New Orleans

In a town that likes to enjoy oysters year-round (a luxury afforded by the warm waters of the Gulf), it speaks volumes that New Orleanians wait patiently all summer while this time-honored institution is closed. Casamento’s reopens every September at the beginning of the “season”, showing off an unchanged (and rightly so) menu of centuries-old favorites. Whether you opt for raw oysters or Casamento’s poached oyster stew, this iconic, intricately tiled eatery never disappoints, and is the ideal place to spend a long afternoon with a drink in hand.

 

Midwest: GT Fish & Oyster, Chicago

Led by a Michelin-Starred chef, GT Fish & Oyster is a far more swanky affair than its straightforward name implies. Bridging the line between traditional and modern, GT’s raw oysters (sourced from both coasts) are offered with cucumber cocktail sauce or ponzu mignonette— far from your average fare. The atmosphere, which is described as “fisherman’s cottage-meets-yacht”, neatly mimics the hybrid dishes you’ll find there. Depart from the oyster menu, if you so choose, with squid-ink gnocchi or braised baby octopus to keep with the nautical theme.

 

West: The Walrus and the Carpenter, Seattle

An informal-yet-thoughtful vibe makes this neighborhood joint a local favorite. A rotating menu of Pacific Northwest-sourced raw oysters is served (with a handy cheat-sheet) alongside house-made sausage, fresh-baked bread, and other delightfully unassuming dishes. Looking for a different way to enjoy your oysters? “The Walrus”, as it’s known to locals, also offers fried oysters served with a cilantro aioli— their striking gin-cured salmon, too, is not to be missed. Enjoy it after sipping on one of the bar’s enticing gin-based artisanal cocktails, like the intriguingly named, grapefruit-tinged “jewel of denial”.

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Wild Caught Caviar - Learn About Wild Caviar

Caviar Director

wild caught caviar

Though farmed caviar has become popular in recent years after over-fishing critically depleted some imported caviar varieties, some types of caviar are still harvested form the wild. Wild-caught caviar varieties continue to thrive due to an attractive combination of accessibility, fine flavor, and domestic availability. The harvesting of wild sturgeons (and other fish) is widely accepted for those breeds that are not currently facing environmental threats, a status which is defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. One such variety is the Shovelnose Sturgeon, which make their homes in the waters of many states, including Illinois and Kentucky— these and many other fish native to North America can still be responsibly wild-caught and harvested for their roe.

Khavyar’s wild-caught roe offerings range from Amia caviar, harvested from the bowfin fish that populate North America’s freshwater habitats in the Great Lakes and Gulf regions, to Spoonbill caviar, which originates in Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee. These fish, along with Golden Whitefish and the Shovelnose Sturgeon, can be harvested from the wild without disrupting or endangering future generations of the species. Because these fish are plentiful and have not been categorized as threatened or endangered, they are sourced directly from their natural habitats.

In some cases, the fishing and harvesting of roe from these species is a rich and time-honored part of the locality. Paddlefish roe, for instance, has long been a part of the fishing culture in Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee, with many local organizations spreading information about sustainable fishing practices and keeping a close eye on the waterways to ensure these populations are not overfished. Though this paddlefish caviar is harvested responsibly from the wild, it bears a striking resemblance to Caspian sturgeon caviar— a population who has been repeatedly depleted by overfishing—without the environmental toll.

Though the term wild-caught caviar once was synonymous with overfishing, the caviar industry has now entered a new age of environmental responsibility and sustainability. Through local, state and even international regulations that dictate what fish can be wild-caught and in what quantities, greater focus is put on the impact of caviar. Khavyar and its partners are committed to providing world-class caviar in an environmentally responsible manner. In conjunction with like-minded farms and fisheries, responsible harvesting of caviar from the wild ensures that this rare delicacy can be enjoyed both in the present, and for future generations to come.

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Farmed Caviar - Learn About the Finest Farm-Raised Roe

Caviar Director

farmed caviar

Whether it originates from Italy, Israel, or the United States, much of the world’s finest true caviar available today is farm-raised. After persistent overfishing and smuggling led to significantly diminished sturgeon populations in the Caspian Sea and Black Sea basin, the United States banned the import of Caspian and Black Sea basin Beluga caviar in 2005. This led to an increase in interest surrounding farmed caviars— today, many varieties of sturgeon are considered to be “threatened”, “endangered,” or “critically endangered” in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Among dozens of threatened sturgeon varities, the Russian sturgeon (from which Osetra caviar is harvested), the Beluga, and the Siberian sturgeon are prized for their roe.

In order to continue supplying the finest caviars in the world without negatively impacting the natural environments of these sturgeons, a variety of countries have introduced sustainable farms and fisheries. Not only do these sustainable farms take great care to mimic the natural environment of each sturgeon, providing them with an ideal space and diet to support growth, but many farms have begun cross-breeding desirable sturgeons, yielding hybrids that produce exquisite new additions to the caviar marketplace. Khavyar’s Beluga Siberian caviar, for instance, boasts all the rich, full flavor of Huso Huso roe, in spite of being farm-raised in Italy as a hybrid breed. This allows the highly prized characteristics of Beluga caviar to be passed down to future generations without negatively impacting Beluga in the wild. Similarly, Khavyar’s Imperial Prime caviar is harvested from a hybrid breed that combines the freshwater Kaluga sturgeon with the Japanese sturgeon to create a caviar with very large pearls and a striking mélange of golden-amber hues.

While each source of farmed caviar is different, all Khavyar suppliers are committed to upholding an unparalleled level of quality and sustainability. In Israel, for instance, sturgeon are raised in the crystalline waters of Dan Springs, where mountaintop snow melts into the Jordan River to feed the sturgeon ponds. These sturgeons are raised with the utmost care, and are fed an all-natural assortment of plants and proteins that support their roe. In Italy, water temperature is monitored around-the-clock to ensure all Giaveri caviar surpasses even the highest standards. Though farm-raising sturgeon has only come into popularity more recently, it has quickly become the gold standard in the industry, both for its environmental responsiveness and the caviar itself.  

Today’s emphasis on farmed sturgeon caviar even allows domestic customers to source world-class varieties of caviar from within their own country. Our American Siberian caviar, for instance, offers deep charcoal-colored, medium-sized roe with a taste reminiscent of a fine Sevruga, all from within farms in the United States. Indeed, this roe is harvested from true Siberian sturgeon stock that are raised and maintained within the country.

When purchasing sturgeon caviar, it’s essential to confirm that it is sustainably raised and harvested. While some import and export bans have been lifted, a great many sturgeon populations are still critically threatened. By purchasing farm-raised sturgeon caviar, you can ensure you are contributing to environmentally responsible practices while still receiving the finest available sturgeon roe.

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Destination Guide: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Adaline Colton

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

An event truly unlike any other, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta offers guests the chance to see over 500 balloons take flight in the clear blue skies of New Mexico. Now in its 46th year, the event is heralded internationally as a spectacular display of hot air balloon feats, firework displays, competitive events, and more. To enjoy this unparalleled event in person, here’s what you’ll need to know about making the trip to the Duke City.

 

When to go

Occurring annually in October, the 46th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will be held from October 7-15, 2017. Each day offers a different schedule of events, so be sure to check online to decide which events spark your interest. Each day’s events kick off at 5:45 A.M., showcasing brilliant laser light shows against the wide-open Albuquerque sky— but those who aren’t early risers can rest easy knowing that these displays repeat at nightfall, around 7:45 P.M.

 

How to get there

Regardless of when you plan to arrive on-site, be sure to factor in traffic. The grounds open around 4:30 A.M. and begin to fill up shortly afterwards, meaning that the surrounding area will be abuzz with activity. Combination event and transportation tickets can be purchased in advance, which provide you with the option of using the local train and a shuttle. Similarly, shuttle services from the surrounding parking areas are available for those with a car in tow. If you’re staying nearby, however, the best option may be to bike— not only is there a complimentary bike valet service at the Fiesta, but some local hotels (such as Los Poblanos, below) offer complimentary bike rentals with your lodging.

 

What to do

While there are plenty of events to enjoy throughout the week, including several stages that will offer revolving acts of musical entertainment, there’s one type of balloon display that is truly unmissable: the mass ascensions. These group ascensions feature hundreds of balloons taking to the sky at once in a spectacular display. There are four mass ascensions to behold throughout the Fiesta, excluding the special “Flight of the Nations Mid-Week Mass Ascension”, which showcases balloons from 20 different countries, with each pilot carrying a flag. Equally essential are the Balloon Glow events at dusk, wherein ballooners fire up their burners on tethered balloons, lighting the sky with an enthralling glow.

 

Beyond the ascensions and Balloon Glow events, balloonists will engage in a variety of agility tasks, including ring-toss competitions from great aerial heights. For those not content to watch from the ground, balloon rides are of course available to be booked. For those who prefer to stay earthbound, there are also 300 acres of vendors to peruse, offering everything from local art to food to limited-edition collectibles.

 

Looking to upgrade your Fiesta experience? Chasers’ Club or the Gondola Club tickets can offer you premium gated viewing locations, private dining experiences onsite, and a host of other exclusive experiences at the park.

 

Where to stay

For the full experience of all New Mexico has to offer, book a room in Los Poblanos, a bucolic bed-and-breakfast situated on 25 acres of lavender fields. Accented by woodcarvings, ironwork, and murals created by some of New Mexico’s most influential artists of the 20th century, the inn itself is as enchanting as the exquisite gardens and organic farms surrounding it. Guests can opt to stay in suites in the property’s 1930s dairy style buildings, surrounded by traditional white stucco walls, wood-burning fireplaces, and private patios that overlook the lotus ponds and gardens, or stay farther afield (literally) in the Field Suites, which offer up to 950 square feet of living space and boast breathtaking views of the Sandia Mountains. The inn’s restaurant redefines “farm to table,” offering seasonal delicacies grown just steps away.

 

For a more glamorous affair, opt for the Hotel Andaluz’s Zsa Zsa penthouse, so named for Zsa Zsa Gabor who once spent a night on the premises— fitted with a full-size dining room, a large fireplace, and an extravagant copper soaking tub worthy of the star herself.

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Caviar Hors Doeuvres for Your Emmys Watch Party

Caviar Director

Caviar Hors Doeuvres for Your Emmys Watch Party

Image via Martha Stewart

On September 17, many of us will be gathering together to watch a parade of stars grace the red carpet on their way to the 69th Emmy Awards. What better time than during the awards to offer a bit of Hollywood-worthy indulgence to your guests? Echo the on-screen luxury with a few bottles of Champagne and, of course, some extra-enticing caviar hors d’oeuvres befitting even the most glamorous celebrities.

 

Caviar Potato Chips With Lemon Cream

We’ve all indulged in some potato chip snacking while watching television, but an occasion like the Emmys calls for a serious upgrade. In this recipe, crème fraîche with a hint of fresh lemon zest adheres luminescent salmon roe (or your personal favorite variety of caviar) to each potato chip, making for a most indulgent twist on this classic bite. Looking for an even more unexpected variation? This amuse-bouche can also be made using sweet potato chips and whipped goat cheese for a more autumnal presentation.

 

Makes 8-12 servings

 

¼ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
¾ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
4 ounces Salmon roe or other caviar
Potato chips (thicker, kettle-cooked varieties are best)

Stir together the crème fraîche or sour cream and the fresh lemon zest. Arrange each chip on a platter and dot with crème fraîche mixture. Top with roe or caviar.

 

Parmesan Crisps With Caviar

This creative party food features one of our favorite entertaining tricks— aesthetically pleasing, deceptively simple parmesan crisps made in the oven. The final assembled treat juxtaposes architectural angles and enticing caviar pearls, creating a striking presentation worthy of an evening affair. We suggest using Siberian Gold caviar to complement the notes of Parmesan.

 

Makes about 8

 

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 ounce caviar
1/4 cup crème fraîche

 

Preheat an oven’s broiler to 480-500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat. Drop about 1 tablespoon of the shredded Parmesan onto the baking sheets into small mounds. Bake 5 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely before loosening with a spatula. Once room-temperature, top each Parmesan round with a dollop of crème fraîche and caviar.

 

Blini With Quail Eggs And Caviar

What’s more luxurious than quail eggs? Quail eggs and rainbow trout caviar. Invite your guests to sample this elevated variation on two types of eggs as the Emmy Awards are announced— it’ll be an unforgettable bite. While it’s a bit more labor intensive, the final result (and the reactions of all who eat them) will be well worth it.

 

Makes 4 dozen


6 Tablespoons fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped, plus extra for garnish
Coarse salt
6 scallions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup crème fraîche
2 dozen quail eggs
Blini, warmed in a 350-degree oven before assembling
2 ounces trout or salmon roe

 

Prepare an ice bath and set aside. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon salt. Add the scallions, cooking just until they’re bright green and just tender (about 1 1/2 minutes). Add tarragon leaves, and cook until bright green (about 20 seconds). Immediately transfer scallions and tarragon to the ice-water bath to preserve color. Let cool completely.


Drain scallions and tarragon, then squeeze dry in a clean kitchen towel. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add mustard and pulse again. With machine running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream. Process the mixture until smooth and thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the crème fraîche. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (this can be made up to 2 days ahead.)


Prepare another ice bath and set aside. Place a dozen eggs in a saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer and cover with 2 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to the ice-water bath and allow to cool. Meanwhile, repeat with remaining eggs. Once cool enough to handle, peel the eggs, dipping them in cold water if needed to remove shell pieces. (These can be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight.)


Pick 4 dozen small leaf clusters from remaining tarragon sprigs and set aside as a garnish. Halve the eggs lengthwise. Arrange blini on a platter. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon sauce in center of blini. Top each with half an egg, 1/4 teaspoon roe, and a tarragon cluster. Serve.

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