Your Unpretentious Guide to Caviar

Toast to the new year by treating yourself to a delicacy.

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This New Year’s Eve, go all out and serve caviar. That’s right — caviar. Why? The better question is, why not? This salty, briny delicacy may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Read on and get ready to turn out a spread that will definitely wow, however you’re celebrating the new year. Once you’ve learned the basics, visit your Whole Foods Market store to browse our wide selection of caviar, or Prime members can shop online with pickup or delivery.

Exclusively for Prime members in select ZIP codes.

What Exactly Is Caviar?

Good first question. True black caviar is roe harvested from sturgeon. The caviar we sell is Responsibly Farmed in Germany, Greece, Poland and California.

Flavor and Appearance

Expect a salty flavor with some brininess. When you press the caviar to the roof of your mouth, the smooth beads will pop (so satisfying), and that’s when the full flavor will come out. Depending on the variety you choose, you could get nutty, fishy, rich, buttery, clean or earthy flavors. Black caviar can range from small to large in size (the larger eggs tend to be super creamy, and the petite eggs are more of a texture-driven experience), golden to jet-black in color and from soft to firm in texture. More on that — including other colors caviar can be — later.

How to Buy It

How much caviar do you need to buy? Plan for one ounce (30 grams) for every two people. When you need to stock up, stop by the Seafood department in your nearest store and ask a team member for help. They’ll be happy to steer you toward the perfect caviar pick for your preferences.

Shrimp and caviar platters

How Do I Serve Caviar?

To experience its unique flavor and texture, you can serve caviar straight from the tin, but there are plenty of other delicious ways to enjoy it. Follow these pointers to pull off the classiest spread.

  • Keep the caviar in its unopened tin or jar in the coldest part of the refrigerator before you’re ready to serve. Caviar doesn’t like heat or oxygen.
  • Fill a small dish with ice, nestle the tin into the ice and serve the caviar right out of the tin.
  • Traditionally, dainty mother-of-pearl spoons are used, but you might not have one of those lying around. (However, certain brands, such as Tsar Nicoulai Caviar, Caviar & Caviar and Caviar Russe, include one!) You can also use a gold-plated, plastic, glass, bone or shell spoon.
  • Consume the caviar within an hour of opening for the best taste, but if you have leftovers, be sure to eat the entire tin within a day.

You can also enjoy caviar on blinis, as a topping for eggs, even on chips — try Homemade Root Veggie Chips With Caviar or keep reading for some specific suggestions. Or, showcase it on a stunning seafood tower with oysters on the half shell, crab, lobster, shrimp and more.

Favorite Caviar Picks to Try

You know the basics, but you're not quite sure where to go next. Use this buying guide to find the right caviar for your preferences, plus get perfect pairings.

Whole Foods Market White Sturgeon Caviar
Size: Medium to large
Color: Grey to charcoal-toned
Taste: Smooth and buttery with a mild flavor and plush texture.
Pairing: Plop a dollop atop boiled potatoes, scrambled eggs or any buttery pasta dish.

Whole Foods Market Salmon Roe
Size: Large
Color: Bright orange
Taste: Robust savory flavor
Pairing: Sprinkle a handful on top or alongside shellfish or lobster, or serve it on toast with a touch of crème fraîche.

Whole Foods Market Whitefish Roe
Size: Medium
Color: Light amber
Taste: Clean and mild flavors are welcoming to newcomers. An ideal entry point to caviar.
Pairing: Spread it on top of blinis — you know, those small, thin pancakes — with a touch of crème fraîche and fresh herbs, or upgrade your favorite kettle-cooked potato chips.

Caviar Russe Pacific Sturgeon (aka White Sturgeon)
Size: Large
Color: Grey to charcoal-toned
Taste: Elegantly mild and buttery with a clean finish. A great place to start for caviar newbies.
Pairing: Add a scoop on top of a simple buttered whole wheat spaghetti and finish with a sprinkling of fresh bread crumbs.

Caviar Russe Caspian Osetra
Size: Medium to large
Color: Dark
Taste: Nutty and full-flavored.
Pairing: Spoon over buttery soft-scrambled eggs.

Caviar Russe Siberian Sturgeon (aka Siberian Osetra)
Size: Medium
Color: Deep mahogany to black
Taste: Originating from pure Siberian sturgeon stocks with clean, focused flavor.
Pairing: Perfect for potato chips! Caviar works well with their scooped shape and crispy texture.

Caviar Russe Caspian Golden Osetra
Size: Medium to large
Color: Amber
Taste: A complex and refined flavor, delivering exceptional balance and finish. Historically reserved for royalty with a brilliant appearance and rich, abundant flavor. The connoisseurs’ choice!
Pairing: Top off deviled eggs with crème fraîche subbed in for the mayonnaise in the yolk mixture.

Tsar Nicoulai Classic
Size: Petite
Color: Deep Army green to graphite
Taste: A complex, rich flavor noted for its briny finish. Melts on the palate.
Pairing: Serve on water crackers with slices of daikon radish for fresh crunch.

Tsar Nicoulai Estate
Size: Medium
Color: Jet-black
Taste: Rich and clean with a creamy finish.
Pairing: Sprinkle on labneh-topped crispy toasts.

Tsar Nicoulai Reserve
Size: Large
Color: Tawny brown to platinum
Taste: Lingering creamy finish.
Pairing: Swirl into a basic risotto for a decadent special-occasion meal.

Tsar Nicoulai Golden Osetra
Size: Medium to large
Color: Glowing golden color
Taste: An extremely rare caviar with mild flavor with a smooth, buttery finish.
Pairing: Top off fluffy cottage cheese pancakes (with just a hint of sweetness). The golden color will be pretty dotted over the pancakes, too.

*Must be 21+. Please drink responsibly.

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