Friday, March 11, 2011

Fake Caviar Versus Real Caviar

I was walking around our local supermarket recently and was very surprised to discover that it sold something that was called caviar. This is how it looked.

Make sure you pay attention to the
brand name and to the packaging.
The price of a two ounce jar of this supermarket caviar was $9.99, which, of course, is completely ridiculous. As a true journalist I absolutely had to buy it and try it out. You would truly appreciate my dedication to blogging if you tried this vile fake caviar. Which I don't recommend because it might damage your health.
This is what the 2 ounce
jar of this monstrosity looks like 
The fake caviar tastes extremely salty. Just looking at it is enough to make one's blood pressure rise. It also has a bunch of weird ingredients that have no place in caviar.

Just look at its color. See how ridiculously black it looks? It actually drips artificial coloring substances. It kills me to think that people will buy this fake caviar, decide that all caviar sucks and will never buy it again. 

Now this is what real caviar should look like:

Do you see how the color is completely different? The taste has nothing in common with the fake kind either. The size, of course, varies, so you can't go by the size you see in this picture. However, there is one thing that all kinds of real caviar have in common: they only have two ingredients, roe and salt. If there is a list of artificial colors and weird chemicals attached to it, it means that you are being swindled. 

The best places to buy caviar are Russian grocery stores. You will not believe how much cheaper it is there than anywhere else on this continent. Obviously, you'll need a Russian speaking friend to take you there to make sure that you get the right caviar and the right price.


Pagan Topologist said...

Curious. I was under the impression that russian caviar cost hundreds of dollars per ounce.

Clarissa said...

I buy it at a Russian place where I pay $40 per kg. I think that 1 kg equals approximately 2 lbs.

Everything else is a total rip-off. My hair always stands on end when I see how much it costs at any restaurant in the US.

Pagan Topologist said...

1 kg. is aout 2.2 pounds, so this is a little over a dollar an ounce. I have bought caviar only once, I think. I paid about $30 for an ounce in about 1980.

Sorry; I have bought "salmon caviar" a few times. The eggs are red and much larger (5 cm in diameter, perhaps.) I do not recall what it cost.

Clarissa said...

My entire family prefers the red kind precisely because the eggs are bigger. It's a very normal thing to eat caviar among us, and not a sign of being filthy rich. My mother used to give me caviar sandwiches to take on my Greyhound trips because she doesn't see Greyhound and caviar as things belonging to different social classes.

Clarissa said...

I think I'll never figure out how pounds and ounces work.

Pagan Topologist said...

I understand how Kilograms, etc., "work," but I will probably never have an intuitive sense of what they mean.

Jim said...

That looks like lumpfish caviar, the first shot. I don't know what a lumpfish is.

I prefer salmon caviar, ikura, anyway because for one thing salmon are primarily ocean-going fish so it seems cleaner. Besides it's pretty.

Rimi said...

I finally worked out caviar is machher dim, of fish eggs, which is a local delicacy. I suppose I can now act snooty around snobs, and tell them I grew up on caviar.

I have Pagan Topologist's problem in the reverse, I "get" miles, Fahrenheit, pounds and ounces (actually I don't get ounces, I always have to look it up) but I can never ever grow accustomed to thinking in those terms. I actually used to do a quick C/5 = (F-32)/9 before casually commenting on the weather. Sigh.

Pagan Topologist said...

Rimi, it is somewhat helpful to remember a few common equivalences. For example, 68 F = 20 C, 50 F = 10 C, and of course 32 F = 0 C.

Rimi said...

Good tip, and I like your profile pic :-)

Pagan Topologist said...

"Sorry; I have bought "salmon caviar" a few times. The eggs are red and much larger (5 cm in diameter, perhaps.) I do not recall what it cost."

OOPS! I meant 5 mm. in diameter.