If you want your New Year's table to be truly festive, learn how to buy delicacies wisely. How to choose good quality red caviar? Take advantage of our tips and become your own "expert".

Expertise: how to distinguish red caviar from a fake

On the eve of the New Year, one of the main chores is thinking through the menu, finding interesting recipes and buying food for the party. As a rule, we try to have the most delicious and high-quality dishes on the festive table. It is at this time that we allow ourselves to buy those delicacies that we have been refusing all year, primarily because of the high price. In particular, caviar. Not a single New Year's menu is complete without it. Today, many substitutes for this traditional Russian product have appeared on the shelves. The so-called imitated caviar looks like real, but at the same time costs ten times cheaper. Can it be considered fake? How is this product faked in general and how to distinguish it on the counter and at home? Find out how to choose good quality red caviar.

What is simulated caviar

In fact, this is a completely legal product. It was invented back in Soviet times, when natural caviar was not available to most of the country's inhabitants even once a year. At first, it was made exclusively from natural protein, dyes and vegetable oil were used. Over time, technology has improved. Now the imitated product is made not only from protein products, but also from gelling agents (for example, agar-agar), brown and red algae extracts, fish meat, broth, salt and spices. In addition, preservatives are added: sodium sorbate or benzoate.

An important criterion that consumers pay attention to is the ability of eggs to burst on the tongue, which makes it tasty and pleasant. Previously, only a natural delicacy had this quality. Imitation manufacturers have been able to solve this problem - and artificial eggs now also burst appetizingly in the mouth. This is often even written on the packaging: “bursting eggs”, etc.

The taste of artificial caviar is noticeably inferior to natural. First of all, because of the large amount of salt. But if it is made in accordance with all technical requirements, rumors about the oil products and other harmful substances contained in its composition are unfounded. Compared to the real one, the simulated one is less caloric (only 30 kcal), but this, and the affordable price, are perhaps its only advantages. Therefore, if you still want your New Year's table to be really festive, it is better to take a small jar, but real caviar.

How to distinguish real red caviar

The most popular caviar in Russia is red - salmon caviar. Let's figure out how to choose the right jar of red caviar in the store. Here are a few criteria that you need to focus on when considering packaging.

  1. GOST. Now caviar is produced either according to GOST or according to TU (technical conditions). The second allows us to interpret the production conditions much more broadly, the recipe according to the specifications allows the use of some additives. Whereas according to GOST everything is strict: caviar itself, table salt and a preservative (sorbic acid or sodium benzoate). What exactly to choose is up to you. In this case, there is only one recommendation: prefer proven red caviar.
  2. Title . Salmon is the name of not one type of fish, but a whole family. It includes pink salmon, chum salmon, trout, coho salmon, sockeye salmon, chinook salmon. It is better to choose a jar on which a specific type is written, for example, “Pink salmon caviar”. If simply “Salmon” is indicated, then at least several types were mixed, and this significantly reduces the quality of the product.
  3. Place and date of production . Quality caviar is produced where the red fish is caught. In Russia, these are the Seas of Japan, the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and the Barents Sea. Stored no more than 12 months. Look at the date of manufacture. It is best if the product was produced in the months when the salmon family goes to spawn. Depending on the species, this period is from mid-May to October-December. So, if you buy caviar produced, for example, in July, you can be sure that it was made from fresh yastiks (bags of eggs that are taken out of caught fish). If other dates are indicated, then frozen blanks were used.
  4. Price. Good natural caviar cannot be cheap. If there are jars on the counter for 1200 rubles. and for 200 rubles, it is not difficult to determine where the real one is. How much red caviar costs is also a fairly accurate criterion of quality. Another thing is that under the guise of a first-class natural product, they can slip you an incomprehensible mixture of assorted second-class eggs. If the can is tin, you will only see it at home. But in a glass container, you can try to determine the quality by eye.
  5. Appearance. If the product can be considered, pay attention to the amount of liquid in the jar. The smaller it is, the better. The difference between the first grade and the second: first-class eggs should be of the same size (the smallest are trout, approx. 3 mm in diameter, the largest are chum salmon, up to 8 mm), there should be no burst eggs. The color of a good product is uniform, with the exception of coho salmon and sockeye salmon caviar, which can contain both bright orange-red eggs and dark ones. Inside natural eggs, you can see the fatty spot-embryo.
  6. Consistency . High quality caviar should be viscous. If you turn the jar over and its contents easily flow down, it is better not to take this one. If it keeps well, and only a few eggs fall down, then the product is dry, first grade.
  7. Container . The tin can does not give the opportunity to consider the product when buying. And storing it in a bank after you open it is also not recommended. The best container is glass. Bulk red caviar is mainly sold in plastic packaging. It needs to be transferred to a glass container at home.

How to check the authenticity of red caviar at home

We examined cases where manufacturers act within the law and sell exactly what is written on the packaging. But there is also fraud in this area: simulated caviar can be sold under the guise of natural caviar or mixed with a real product. And they learned to do it so masterfully that it is possible to determine a fake only at home. For example, you need to take a small amount of caviar and pour boiling water over it. If it is natural, white flakes should form. This folds the protein, of which the real caviar mainly consists. If it is an imitation, the water will be colored. Or it will remain transparent, and on the surface you will see droplets of fish oil.

You can check whether natural red caviar or not, using hydrogen peroxide. This is convenient when you do not have the opportunity to use boiling water. For example, if you buy a product by weight in the market. You put a few eggs in a teaspoon and add a few drops of peroxide. You see white flakes - everything is in order, you can take it. The eggs have dissolved or have not reacted in any way - go to another seller.