Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day, Weep, Weep

I was disappointed with my caviar today.
Dammit! I had finally come to accept that I would never eat Russian or Iranian caviar again, due to the near-extinction of the Caspian sturgeons that must be slaughtered to yield their treasure.
I had tried one or two domestic caviars, and though I didn't expect fireworks, at least I got sparklers now and then. Whee.
However. Cranky popped $125 on two ounces of California-raised Tsar Nicoulai Osetra, and it was mushy. Collapsed. Insipid.
The flavor was not off; I'd have returned the jar to the store if it had been. But the eggs were lacking a certain character. Mush. No pop. They even seemed to be weeping black goo.
Dammit.
This is one personal, one-time experience. I understand Tsar Nicoulai gets glowing reviews on Yelp. Anybody else got an opinion?
But, poo. What a lousy Valentine's Day treat. I won't buy it again.
The champagne was good, though.

21 comments:

Zoomie said...

Oh, that Cranky! He's a lover-boy to try so hard to please you! Glad the champagne was good, anyway, but I'm sad for your disappointment. I'd tell the company - I'm sure that's not the experience they wanted you to have. Sounds like too much salt that drew the "pop" out of the eggs. :-(

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Lest I sound like an ungrateful sourpuss, we both enjoyed our feast of the caviar on creme fraiche-smeared roasted small potatoes. Quite a bit.
But. No pop.

dancingmorganmouse said...

Have you tried salmon roe? - not quite the same it's true but it pops like a dream and has a lovely fresh fishy flavour.

Anita said...

I do think you should let the store know. For $125, it should be orgasmic.

namastenancy said...

Let me second dancingmorganmouse's suggestion; I switched to salmon roe a few years ago and love it. It gives a very satisfying pop, is less expensive and isn't (yet) from an endangered species. I have it only on my birthday (Jan 1st) so I don't feel that I'm contributing to the demise of the salmon. If I'd only known how rare and expensive good caviar would become, I would have appreciated it a lot more when, as a kid, my family visited Iran. But I was only 12 or so (maybe a bit older) so what did I know? I just thought it was some black, fishy stuff and my Lebanese family that ran a store in Tehran were scandalized.
Ah youth!

Anna Haight said...

Lucky you to have Cranky spoiling you! Even if there was no pop. Me, I had V-day dinner with my Pop, he's a sweetie too.

ChrisB said...

Cranky gets points for trying and it's the thought that counts! Shame it didn't taste as good as it looks!
Glad you enjoyed the champagne.

Jennifer Jeffrey said...

Cranky's the best.

I agree with the others who suggest that you tell the company... even if you only ask for another product to substitute, rather than the money back. That's a lot of cash to spend on a special food that simply is not supposed to be mushy!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your view) was born with a missing caviar gene.

cookiecrumb said...

Morgan: I'm a little timid around salmon roe. The eggs... they are so big.

Anita: Yeah, I think we're gonna. Probly don't have the receipt anymore, but that's not the issue. Just gonna tell.

Namastenancy: Cute story. (Are you the First Baby Boomer?)

Anna: You are very, very good to your pop. xoxo

ChrisB: Ooh, I hope it doesn't sound as if I didn't appreciate Cranky's gift. I did. Even though we didn't love the caviar, we had a happy time eating it.

Jennifer: You're right, it's a lot of money for a dud. We should report it.

Susan: I might say "fortunately." Dat stuff's expensive!

dancingmorganmouse said...

Cookie - be brave, it's an amazing pop! Mr Brown & I order it every time we go to our fav fishy place.

Alice Q. said...

What kinda champagne - If I may be so bold? We had Domaine Carneros La Reve - v.v. good. Re: the caviar - We had something called "whitefish" caviar at the Hungry Cat in Santa Barbara over the summer. I'm hardy a connoisseur but I liked it - it definitely had the pop. I also loved the blinis and egg salad they served with it!

kudzu said...

Sorry about the caviar, but remember: amor vincit omnia!

Barbara said...

Can I borrow Cranky next Valentines day. I'm a salmon roe fan too, love the pop

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Bleurgh. Sounds nasty.

Thank god for the bubbly, huh?

Better luck next year...

Lore said...

Oh, sorry to hear about your caviar situation. Always good to have champagne in the house!

cookiecrumb said...

Morgan: I do eat salmon roe on sushi. For some reason that works for me. And, talking about Japanese roe, nothing beats the tobiko pop.

Alice Q: I'm even less of a connoisseur. It was cheap ol' Freixenet, our go-to, sit-on-the-patio quaff. :D

Kudzu: You're right, of course. We were disappointed but we weren't sad. Amor!

Barbara: I don't know who trained him before I got him! He's good. I might share. ;)

Lore: A little champagne in the house is like a first aid kit.

Heather said...

That makes me sad. The only thing worse than weepy goo is black weepy goo. We get a lot of sturgeon out of the Columbia River up here, but I don't know if they produce caviar. Also, I tend to avoid eating bottom-feeders out of Superfund sites. Call me crazy!

cookiecrumb said...

Heather: Ya crazy health nut. I wish we'd been on a double date with you and the hubz instead of eating weepy black goo. xx

Sam said...

I only buy TN's cheapest stuff. So what do I know? I do actually know that the best ever caviar I had was from a cart at Cyrus with champagne. I still dream of it a year later. I think that part of the meal may have been less than $125. (pp)

cook eat FRET said...

i've been out of town
catching up with you from the bottom up
i feel your pain
happened to me new years eve with a truffle
but dartagnan credited much to their credit
i'm not a fan of the Tn stuff, myself. missing the depth. the whole caviar thing is tres sad. one of my best friends worked for petrossian for years and well, those days are over but boy was i spoiled...