It all depends on your financial situation!
Fresh Russian Beluga is, in my view, one of the most delicious foods you can eat. I’d be willing to pay a lot of money for it (outside of the United States, of course, because it’s illegal there). However, would I be willing to pay the present asking prices?
This does not happen very often.
I enjoy a few other great caviars, but the vast majority of products offered under that label should be avoided. Farm-raised caviar has improved to the point that it is now edible. Some of it is even edible. Is the price, however, justified? Certainly not, in my opinion. It misses the genuine thing’s deep, nutty flavor; the firm, round form that rolls around in your tongue; the rich, oily texture with just a trace of the sea; and the flavor explosion as you bite down.
The majority of the alternatives taste like salty mush. Even if they’re free, I don’t want them on my plate.
My Moscow friend gets irritated every time I mention this because she maintains that the only way to eat caviar is with a spoon, directly from the container, but my favorite method to serve it is as sushi. The rice vinegar cuts through the oil, and the nori (seaweed) wrap adds a nuttiness to the dish.
Then, if you don’t mind a heart attack now and then, you may have uni (sea urchin) topped with caviar for a once-in-a-lifetime taste.
In any case, it’s well worth the investment!
If you like it, it is. If you enjoy caviar but don’t want to pay Beluga costs, consider salmon caviar. It’s a lot less expensive and tastes great. Even in Russia, where Beluga caviar is relatively inexpensive by Western standards, regular people prefer salmon caviar. It’s sold in tins or jars at almost every store.