Caviar Selection and StorageFresh caviar should be stored at temperatures between 26 and 34 degrees F. and can last between one to four weeks, depending on the freshness factor when you buy it. The high oil content keeps it from freezing at these temperatures.
Request the rubber-banded jar be opened to get a whiff - it should smell briny, but not fishy. To transport it home from the market, bring along a container of ice to keep it cold.
Freezing fresh caviar is often recommended by sellers. However, should you choose to freeze it, keep in mind that you risk the eggs bursting and might end up with a mush more akin to pressed caviar than the good stuff you paid for. Once opened, use fresh caviar within a day or two.
As a home cook, you are probably going to only find and use canned, pasteurized caviar (in lacquered tins or glass jars), which will most likely still require refrigeration. Be sure to read the labels carefully for storage instructions. It will still need to be kept in a cool place up to two months. Once opened, store refrigerated in the tin or bottle, covered tightly with plastic wrap, being sure the eggs are not exposed to air. Consume pasteurized leftovers within a week.
With both fresh and pasteurized caviar, be sure to check the label for specific storage instructions and expiration dates. You will most likely have to consult your fishmonger or grocer in advance to order fresh caviar. Pasteurized caviar is likely to be hidden away by the market and available only upon request due to its relatively high cost, much like saffron.
More about Caviar: What is caviar? FAQ
How to identify real caviar
Caviar Varieties and Terms
Caviar Selection and Storage
Caviar Etiquette and Utensils
Finding Affordable Caviar
Caviar Cooking Tips
Caviar and Health
Caviar Photo © 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
|||Caviar: The Definitive Guide|
|||The World of Caviar|
|||Champagne and Caviar|
|||The New York Times Seafood Cookbook|