Caviar, especially fine caviar, tastes like fireworks in your tongue. Like champagne with texture, little bubbles of salty sea-tasting amazingness erupting around the teeth. Every taste is a pleasant surprise. You could like caviar if you like pickles, olives, and capers.
It was red lump fish caviar that originally drew me to California rolls and sushi. Caviar is unlike any other food. Tentative tooth pressure on a salty spherical, then POP! Fish! The Sea! plus something else…just a smidgeon of oiliness? Every time is a new adventure. I’ve never had the opportunity to sample the high-end products, but I’ve had some really nice ones and it’s a lot of fun.
I didn’t like caviar the first time I tasted it. I was twelve years old and attending a family funeral. I grabbed a cream puff, a CREAM PUFF, to be exact. I assumed it was topped with chocolate sprinkles and filled with whipped cream. It was filled with SOUR cream and topped with black caviar from the supermarket. Imagine Tom Hanks straining to get it off his tongue in BIG. When I was in my twenties, I learned to appreciate it during a family wedding on Long Island. It was served alongside shrimp on a buffet table (prawns). I ate some of it after it went on the shrimp. It was fantastic! I tried a few more times. I had returned several times by the end of the night for that caviar.
For me, it’s a blend of the two. When my father returned to Brazil and bought a small can of caviar from a European supermarket, we ate it with white rice, and it was a unique and remarkable experience. Nonetheless, the taste appeals to me. It’s just incredibly nice to have some caviar, brie, chopped Italian bread, and maybe wine in the fall, by the fireplace, etc., if you get the chance to be with a spouse who appreciates new and weird flavors.