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RUSSIA


Where to find the best caviar in St Petersburg?

An acquired taste that’s synonymous with luxury, caviar is one of Russia’s signature delicacies. Just as Luxe Travel Insiders wouldn’t leave Italy without sipping a glass of top-class Italian wine, caviar is an essential try in St Petersburg. From where to buy premium Beluga, to how to eat it and which vodkas make a perfect pairing, this guide to caviar has all the essentials covered.

Russian caviar

Russian caviar is a delicacy that all visitors should try when in St Petersburg, but before jumping straight into a tasting session, it’s important to know what makes it so special. The salt-cured fish eggs are farmed from wild sturgeon in the Caspian and Black Seas, which straddle the south-western tip of Russia. The eggs are taken only from mature sturgeon, although the process is complex – eggs are either massaged out from a live fish or removed when it’s no longer alive. Considered a gourmet luxury, the delicacy is usually served with a mother of pearl spoon and eaten on a blini (a small Russian pancake), with sour cream and condiments such as boiled eggs, onion or herbs.

Varieties to try

Black, red, orange, yellow, brown, grey – Russian caviar comes in almost as many colours as it does varieties. The main types include Beluga, Sevruga and Ossetra. While all come from sturgeon, they have their unique qualities. Beluga is the most expensive and is prized for its large pea-sized eggs. It’s also the rarest because Beluga sturgeons can take up to 20 years to mature to egg-producing age. The next most premium variety is Ossetra. The eggs have a medium size and a strong flavour that’s highly distinctive. Sevruga is the most common Russian caviar, in part because the Sevruga sturgeon reproduces quickly. It’s small in shape and salty to taste.

Vodka pairing

Vodka is to caviar what wine is to cheese, the perfect pairing. The subtleness of a good Russian vodka, served straight and ice cold, allows the distinctive flavour of the caviar to take centre stage on Luxe Travel Insider's palette. High-quality brands are best and certain vodkas pair particularly well with different caviar varieties. Beluga vodka with beluga caviar is an obvious choice, while Tsarskaya and Stolichnaya work well with a number of types, such as Sevruga.

Enjoy!


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Hotel Astoria - Russia, St Petersburg

Hotel Astoria - Russia, St Petersburg

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