Keepin’ It Fresh: How to handle caviar on board

Oct 6, 2022 by Chef Danny Davies

Chef Danny Davies consulted the experts at Petrossian Caviar on how to best transport and store caviar. Here’s their advice: 

What are the three main things you should do when packing caviar before transporting it? 

The only really important things are that the tin retains its original seal, is packed right side up, and is always in an iced or refrigerated container that keeps the caviar at roughly 38 degrees for the duration of the journey.

What is the best way to store caviar once you get it on the yacht? 

In a refrigerator set to 38 degrees, which is fairly standard for most fridges. 

How long will open and unopened caviar last? 

If the original seal (from purchase) remains intact, then refrigerated caviar will maintain peak taste and texture for four weeks. Once unsealed, caviar can be maintained for up to 24 hours, but only if refrigerated and inside a closed tin. If opened and served over ice, caviar will begin to dry out after approximately one hour. Never consume dry or room-temperature caviar.  

How can I tell if my caviar has gone bad?

If the caviar is warm, room temperature, hard, or dry, it has been out too long. Any tin (refrigerated or not) will be past its prime after 24 hours. If at any point the caviar is overly mushy, discolored (caviar has a wide color range, but most chefs will know the range for each varietal), or smells overly fishy, discard it and contact your supplier. Caviar is matured seafood, so it’s best to be cautious.

What are things a yacht chef should look for when buying caviar?

There is a lot of cheap caviar on the market right now. It may have the right name, be the right species and even come from a prestigious farm, but you can only tell the real quality upon testing the taste, texture, and finish of each tin. As a result, it’s very important to work with an experienced, trusted provider. Chefs also should feel comfortable speaking with their provider about which caviars to choose and how to pair them, if they have any questions.

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