False! False! Caviar only refers to the cured eggs of certain species of sturgeon. That’s it, don’t be fooled. Salmon, trout, paddlefish, etc. those are technically roe, but not caviar. Caviar is not a regulated term, so buyer beware.
What to look for:
Read the label. You want to see a far-off expiration date (most jars get at least two months from the time of packing), a lot harvest date to show tracking, and the scientific species, country of origin, and farm to know you’re getting what you’re paying for.
Be wary of the words:
“beluga,” “Caspian,” or “wild.” They are often black market
“Osstra” that is not specifically Acipenser gueldenstaedtii (Russian Sturgeon).
“Sodium tetraborate” a preservative that’s not necessarily bad, but is often used to mask off flavors
Look in the jar. You should see individual spheres, nothing smashed or deflated, no liquid pooling.
Good caviar needs nothing more than a buttery bread such as brioche or challah, crepes, or yeasted blini. Lay out an assortment of snipped chives, minced shallots, and sieved hard-boiled egg.