4/11/05 | Caviar Recipes – NOT
[ Currently Eating: ]
I’m starting up a new category called the Cheap Eats Hall of Shame. This is reserved for products which seem to hit a significant number of no-nos as far as cheap eats concerned as well as presenting other problems. Take for instance CAVIAR. Never mind the prices which we will get to. Although, there have been some strides in looking into alternatives to true caviar which is Sturgeon Roe (fish eggs), this delicacy is still frowned upon by environmental groups as a non-sustainable form of aquaculture.
I think in the old days sturgeon (which is a prehistoric looking fishing that grows extremely slowly and can reach huge lengths) were just killed in huge numbers for their eggs without a thought to the populations. Indeed, I read somewhere that it was common to have big bowls of it sitting around in bars for FREE. Nowadays, there are heavy restrictions in effect in the U.S. and in many places abroad. Different kinds of caviar include Beluga, Oestra, Sevruga which come from overseas mostly near Russia or Iran, and domestic types like White Sturgeon, Montana Golden Whitefish, Paddlefish, Chum Salmon caviars. (Some of those varieties like paddlefish aren’t “true” caviar but attempts at finding sustainable substitutes)
Anyhow, if it weren’t enough that you might feel guilty about eating caviar for the above reasons, it is also godamn expensive. I think it can go anywhere from about $100 per OUNCE for the well known Beluga Caviar to over $200 an ounce for harder to find things. Geez. One ounce of even the cheaper forms caviar could be some people’s MONTHLY budget for food.
Another problem with caviar is that isn’t really USEFUL. It’s like eating gold leaf straight out of a can. And once you open the can you gotta use it pretty quick. I see them use caviar on all these shows like Iron Chef. They say it’s decadent. I say it’s decadently stupid to keep something around in a can that you can’t use for anything except eating it by itself or topping something equally stupidly expensive. There are no variety of uses as far as I’m concerned. It’s all for look and show.
I would give it a big fat zero, but caviar comes in a can and that’s about the only plus that it has going for it: that it’s not fresh so you can store it in the pantry. So you can save the stupidity for a special occasion like Aunt Verna’s birthday. Everything else makes it nearly the king of the Cheap Eats Hall of Shame.
Cheap Eats Score: 1/10