Kaviari, House of exceptional caviar
Famous for its expertise in wild and farmed caviar for more than 40 years, the Kaviari caviar house has chosen this festive season to set up shop at La Grande Épicerie Rive Gauche.
While installed at the unique caviar bar*, Kaviari will display its range of exceptional caviars. To mark the occasion, founder Karin Nebot takes a look back at this nique expertise in caviar, and teaches us how to distinguish each variety.
Tell us about the house of Kaviari.
"Our house is one of historic caviar, started by my father over 40 years ago, during the good days of wild Iranian caviar. His partner and associate, Raphaël Bouchez, carried on the adventure, founding Kaviari in 2001.
Caviar is, of course, the heart of our profession, the 'DNA' of our brand.
The sturgeon has become a protected species, leading us to work with caviar only from farmed sturgeon, but our work remains strictly the same. We seek out the most beautiful grains worldwide, then mature them in our Parisian laboratory. To achieve this we go to the source, working beside our farmers to manage together the production of our caviar. We finally receive the tins of caviar chosen to proceed with their maturation.
What are the main values of your brand?
Kaviari is, above all, a human adventure, with a loyal team that has been with us for more than 30 years. Our house is founded on strong values, intimately linked to its heritage, to this historic expertise in Iranian wild caviar. We, together with our farmers, used this expertise to make caviar to our taste, that is to say that meets our specifications. It is also made with our own salt, non-refined and very pure, which goes well with the grains.
This worldwide quest for the best product drove us to expand our range of other exceptional products, like smoked salmon and fish eggs. It takes place, of course, with respect for the environment and in accordance with our sustainable development charter. For example, we favour labelled products, from certified fisheries or sustainable farms. We also monitor our carbon footprint to reduce our impact on the planet.
Our close collaboration with the greatest Michelin-starred chefs (note: the house provides 17 3-starred chefs) has also shaped our House. Above this uniting passion for caviar, we also share the same vision of the world.
All these values are re-transcribed in the simple, unvarnished world of our brand, where quality, refinement and sharing take pride of place.
What are the unique characteristics of each variety of caviar? How can we recognise them?
Our range is made up of five different caviars. We offer a Baeri, a Beluga, an Oscietra, a Kristal and a Transmontanus.
• The Oscietra is a large fish weighing up to 80 kilos, mainly farmed in central Europe. It gives firm, regular grains. It is also characterised by its marine flavours, lovely length on the palate and a final note of hazelnut.
• The Baeri is a fish from Siberia, weighing up to 20 kilos. We recognise its iodised, earthy flavours, with an after-taste of notes of dried fruits. - The Beluga is the mythical fish from the Caspian sea. Weighing up to 100 kilos, it gives the largest grains, with a creamy texture. Its eggs are light grey,with a particularly fine membrane. On the palate, it reveals buttery notes and incredible length. It is also a very rare caviar because the female must wait 14 years before she gives her first eggs.
• The Transmontanus: is a deep black caviar which we get from Italy. Its oily, buttery flavours melt in the mouth and leave behind agreeable hints of undergrowth.
• The Kristal refers to sturgeons starting life in the Amur river, between China and Russia. It is a very imposing fish, with almost green grains, that reveals a lovely almond finish. The Kristal is an exceptional caviar, really distinctive.
Have you any advice for us on tasting our caviar?
A good caviar stands by itself. I recommend, therefore, a simple accompaniment like a slice of good, slightly grilled, bread with butter, a potato with a dot of cream, a little homemade blini, or an egg as these go particularly well with caviar.
It is also important to remove the caviar from the fridge 10 minutes before eating, otherwise it tends to hold back its flavours.
What variety of caviar do you recommend for:
• introduction to caviar:
I recommend our Baeri farmed caviar from France. It is an introductory caviar whose grains have a lightly iodised taste. It is accessible, for that first approach to caviar.
• to enjoy on New Year's Eve: I would choose Oscietra, a sensual caviar with subtle, marine notes and a beautiful length of hazelnut. It is a really festive caviar, ideal for starting the New Year.
• to impress an expert: When caviar was still wild, connoisseurs especially appreciated the "Sevruga", a caviar with small, strongly iodised grains.
Today, I would go for the Beluga; it is a rare, majestic caviar with an absolutely magical light grey colour. Otherwise, I would advise a pressed caviar, known for having very strong flavour. We are working on a recipe that will complete our range."