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Caviar On New Year's: A Luxurious Tradition

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New Year's Eve is the time to set resolutions and prepare ourselves for a fresh start — and, of course, to party with our closest family and friends! For many celebrants around the world, a tin of caviar is just as essential as counting down to midnight.

Want to try something new this year? Read on to learn why caviar should be part of your festivities.

3 Reasons to Enjoy Caviar on New Year's Eve

You may wonder why so many people go out of their way to make sure they have some caviar for their end-of-year festivities. Here are some of the biggest reasons why New Year's caviar is such a big deal.

1. It Goes Well With Champagne

Popping a bottle of bubbly at midnight is a time-honored New Year's tradition for people around the world. And what could make this tradition better but a spoonful of high-quality caviar? We dare to say the two were made for each other.

Champagne's delicate, sparkling flavor perfectly balances the briny, nutty flavor of caviar, cleansing the palate and preparing you for another bite. Plus, the chilled champagne matches the temperature of the cold caviar pearls, which helps to better integrate the flavors into a smooth, consistent culinary experience.

2. It Has a Long History

Did you know caviar was once considered a poor man's food? Sturgeon was abundant in medieval Russia, so its roe was a readily available source of nourishment for Slavic peasant families. For centuries, it was a common occurrence to eat caviar at parties and festivals, especially during major celebrations like New Year's. 

However, with the rise of modern international trade, competition within the market led to overfishing and skyrocketing prices that transformed caviar from a commoner's food to a delicacy.

3. It Helps You Start the Year Off Right

Many cultures view fish as symbols of abundance, fertility, and health — in China, for example, it's a popular tradition for a family to eat a whole carp to bring a year of well-being and prosperity. Similarly, in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, people often eat pickled herring.

Caviar has long been a symbol of wealth and luxury worldwide. And because it's the eggs of sturgeon, a rare fish, it's safe to say that eating a spoonful at the beginning of a new year can bring you a year filled with joy and success.

That said, it's probably best to skip the lobster tail. Lobsters can move backward, which is the reasoning behind the superstition that eating lobster on New Year's Eve will actually set you back. 

How to Serve Caviar at Your New Year's Party

If you're unfamiliar with caviar, you might be a little unsure what to do with it. And that's totally understandable — its reputation as a luxury food can make it seem inaccessible to those trying it for the first time. Here are some of our best tips for throwing a successful New Year's caviar party.

1. Create a Caviar Bar

Maybe you or your guests are new to the world of luxury foods, and you want to savor the experience. Setting up a self-serve caviar bar is a fun, chic way to introduce people to this luxury at your New Year's party. 

Key components of every caviar bar include:

  • Serving dishes and utensils: Place your caviar on ice in a nonmetal bowl and use a spoon made of bone, glass or mother-of-pearl to serve. Metal utensils can cause the caviar to oxidize, resulting in an unpleasant metallic taste.
  • Bases: A crispy base — like French mini blinis, water crackers or even potato chips — provides a satisfying contrast to the caviar's smooth, buttery texture. Guests can load up their bases with crème fraîche, butter or whatever other toppings they please to enhance the flavor. Alternatively, you can place the pearls on your hand to do a caviar bump.
  • Sides: Fresh fruits and cheeses round out the spread, providing your guests with the ultimate freedom to choose whatever they wish to snack on.

Depending on where you live, you may also be able to book a pop-up caviar bar for your party to save valuable time and energy. 

2. Add Caviar to Creative Appetizers

Although you can never go wrong serving blinis topped with crème fraîche and caviar, the new year calls for appetizers that are a little more adventurous. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Deviled eggs: Rich deviled egg yolks make a decadent pairing for buttery, salty caviar. You could also let the caviar take center stage by foregoing the yolk and filling the plain egg whites with a scoop. 
  • Waffle bites: Plain waffles provide perfect pockets for holding caviar. Make standard-sized square waffles, then cut them into strips or individual squares and serve with your caviar bar.
  • Truffled potato salad: Fluffy golden potato salad drizzled with black truffle oil provides a delicious umami accompaniment to caviar's signature salty flavor. It also makes an excellent side for dishes containing A5 wagyu beef steaks.

3. Pair Caviar With the Right Drinks

As with any food, the right beverage can make or break your caviar eating experience. A bottle of dry champagne — usually labeled "brut" — is the best pairing for New Year's Eve, as any lingering sweetness will drown out the subtleties of the caviar. 

If you know some of your guests are out on the champagne, caviar is also an excellent companion for:

  • White wine: A crisp and dry wine with subtle salinity — such as a Chablis or a Muscadet — elegantly balances the slight briny notes in caviar. 
  • Chilled vodka: Because traditional vodka is a neutral spirit, it serves as an excellent palate cleanser between bites of caviar. 
  • Sake: A good Junmai or Junmai Ginjo provides a smooth, savory flavor with a light mineral undertone that beautifully complements caviar's nuanced flavor.

Nonalcoholic alternatives have also become popular in recent years, so you can easily find zero-proof versions of your favorite spirits for anyone on your guest list who would prefer a dry evening. Anything with a light, clean flavor profile will work well.

Make Imperia Caviar Part of Your New Year's Caviar Tradition

At Imperia Caviar, we're dedicated to the sustainable production of high-quality sturgeon caviar for every occasion, including and especially New Year's Eve.

Our Kaluga Hybrid caviar combines Kaluga and Amur roe to create a balanced, creamy flavor. With its decadent, buttery texture and a slight hint of brine, taking a bite of this caviar at midnight is sure to ring in a luxurious new year.

Or, for a more refined flavor, try our Royal Ossetra caviar. With its firm texture and defined nutty finish, this caviar is bold yet gentle on the palate. Its rich flavor makes it an excellent complement for equally hearty dishes — like creamy pasta and red meat — but it's just as indulgent on its own.

Shop our online store today to order a tin for your New Year's Eve celebration.

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