The best part of my job is talking with Braden (executive chef) and the team about new menu ideas and food and wine in general. We’re so excited about our Bastille Day degustation menu that we’ve decided to run it for the whole week, commencing 10 July and culminating on 14 July – Bastille Day.
When we were brainstorming the menu discussion turned to caviar. Caviar is not traditionally French, however France has supplied the market with the highest quality sustainable caviar for many years. We then started discussing the difference between caviar and fish roe, which is the inspiration for our latest blog.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FISH ROE & CAVIAR?
At its most basic level, they are essentially the same thing. However, “roe” is a reference to the fish eggs themselves, whilst caviar is roe that has been cured and placed in tins for ageing.
So caviar is processed, salted fish eggs. True caviar comes only from the sturgeon fish and the “best” caviar from Beluga, Osetra and Sevruga sturgeon. Caviar from any other type of fish must be labelled with the type of fish from which it is extracted, such as Salmon Caviar. In some countries it must be labelled as “Salmon Roe” or “caviar substitute”. If it only says caviar on the label, it should be from a sturgeon.
Sturgeon have the largest roe with the lightest colour. Colour traditionally played an important role in the grading of caviar, but not the taste. However, these days, because every species of sturgeon fish is on the endangered species list, the most expensive caviars are not priced by taste, but by rarity. This is affecting the way in which consumers purchase caviar: the new thinking being that the best tasting caviar is not necessarily the most expensive.
It is considered “good etiquette” to consume caviar in small bites (with no other flavours present) from a bone, crystal or mother of pearl spoon (let me just get mine out of the cupboard.) It should always be chilled. Metal spoons are a no-no, because they are believed to alter the taste
For our Bastille Dinner we can’t offer mother of pearl spoons, but we can offer a small taste of black caviar. In a break with tradition, it will be served with a coffin bay oyster, dill and crème fraiche.
Bastille Day Degustation 10th – 14th July. Each guest will take home a small gift.
Tasting menu not available during the Bastille Day Special. Lunch and dinner menu will run as normal.