Frontin' With Fish Eggs: Cavi-Art®
I got something very exciting in the mail this week! My order of Cavi-Art® by NorSea! This product is such a cool idea - caviar that doesn't further damage already endangered fish species. Because it's not real caviar, it's made from seaweed! Brill.
Question is, does it taste good?
Now mind you, the type of caviar these guys emmulate, salmon roe and lumpfish caviar (dyed black, red or gold), is not particularly endangered at this time, definitely not like the caviars that come from sturgeon. But it's still a cool (and vegetarian) idea.
Doesn't this "salmon roe" Cavi-Art® look delicious?
It's a very realistic texture, similar to the ikura (sake cured) you get in a sushi restaurant.
And this is the "black lumpfish" Cavi-Art®:
Looks exactly like the real thing.
So now let's get in there and eat some up! First, the salmon roe. As you can see, I decided to prepare it in a fairly traditional European manner, with some crème-fraîche and chives on toast.
It really looks pretty, except the individual eggs, when isolated, are a strange bi-color (note the ones in the background). Real salmon roe has this color separation, too, but it is way more subtle. When I popped a few of these eggs, they leaked an oily substance, not unlike real roe. The manufacturers should work a bit on blending the color within the eggs, but other than that, the texture was perfect. So far so good.
Then I bite in. Hmmm. Okay, good texture, good pop... but aaak. What a weird taste. Somehow they've seen fit to fill the egglets with oily dill pickle juice. Mmmurrff. Gaaak. Hmmm.
But you know, combined with enough crème-fraîche, I can get it down. (One might argue that you can get almost anything down with crème-fraîche.) Not the most awful thing I've ever tasted but I would not eat it again.
Moving on, we have the lumpfish caviar, also prepared with crème.
I munch. Ahhh. This one is not too bad. Not as salty as your usual lumpfish caviar (which is kinda nice), and has a very good texture. I do detect dill, which means they probably use some of the same stuff as in the salmon roe, but it works way better in these little eggs. I would eat this again, and will probably eventually finish the jar.
I love the fact that this Cavi-Art® is made from seaweed product. That rocks because you know I love seaweed . And I think it looks pretty darn good! I would highly recommend it for food stylists because it does not need to be refrigerated until opened and doesn't smell and won't go bad like real caviar would. It would be perfect on set.
I also think people who are interested in vegetarian and vegan products might dig it if they want to eat something caviar-like. Also, there is no cholesterol in this product, unlike real caviar. But then again, you don't get all those nice Omega-3s either. (Unless they use flax-seed oil, which I am assuming from the taste they do not.)
Chefs might be able to do clever things with it, as the website states that Cavi-Art® is not damaged by cooking! There are some tasty-looking recipes on the Cavi-Art® site, including a creamy fish soup.
But if you love real caviar to be eaten as-is as the focus of the moment, then I say caveat Cavi-Art®. This most likely won't do it for you. Especially the salmon roe. Akkk. Gerrrpp.
Cavi-Art® Red "Salmon Roe" - $7.98 for 3.5 oz
Cavi-Art® Black "Lumpfish" - $5.98 for 3.5 oz
** Contest! First person who posts a comment counting the correct number of ®'s in this post gets a half-eaten jar of Cavi-Art® Red "Salmon Roe"! **