There are many various kinds of caviar, but I’ve only tried a handful of them. Some individuals dislike the flavor because it is overly salty or “fishy,” while others love it. When I was younger, I knew a woman and her sister who began loving the flavor of caviar by hiding beneath buffet tables and sneaking caviar when their parents hosted dinner parties. Other people I’ve known have just recently gained an appreciation for the flavor of caviar, while others have never developed a taste for it. There are caviar purveyors on the Internet, and some great types may be acquired in little quantities for as low as $40-$50 – if you’re serious about trying caviar, you can sample 2–3 variations (in small containers) for around $100.
I recommend that anyone interested in learning more about caviar research the traditional ways of serving it (with toast points and other accompaniments), then invest around $100 and give it a try; purchasing caviar in restaurants is more expensive than purchasing caviar for home consumption, and you have to trust the establishment’s word on the variety and quality; of course, you also have to trust the caviar purveyors on type and quality.
In either case, a simple expenditure can allow multiple individuals to assess whether they appreciate caviar or not if three or four friends come together and undertake a “caviar tasting” for $25-$30 each.
I’m not sure if I’m a food snob… I enjoy nice eating (gourmet cuisine?). posh cuisine? I’m not sure what the proper phrase is, but I enjoy a lot of small-town eateries and home cuisine, and I try not to criticize people based on their preferences.
However, I am a big fan of caviar. Salmon roe, like the ikura in the foreground of this photograph, is my favorite type of fish egg:
The masago in the backdrop is likewise fish eggs, but it is considerably smaller and has a very distinct feel.
I also enjoy the more traditional black caviar:
As you can see, it’s about the same size as the two orange ones I showed you. All of the ones I’ve eaten are salty, but they also have different flavors and sensations, as I said.
My favorite is the biggest, ikura. It’s the only one I actively seek for, and it’s a rare occasion that I don’t order it at a sushi restaurant. It’s sweet, salty, and generally chilly in comparison to the hot rice. It’s also a lot of fun to bite into.
All of this being said, I can definitely understand someone disliking it. So I’m not sure I’d use the word “great” to describe it. I’ve had far too many instances where I’ve exaggeratedly recommended food to someone just for them to dislike it. Now I’ll just provide a basic description of the cuisine and say that it’s worth trying, if only for the experience.