Champagne & vegan caviar is a perfect alternative to a classic luxe wine pairing to serve on NYE. Pop bottles, save a sturgeon, and have a lovely 2020.
What the $*%& is vegan caviar?
Vegan caviar might initially sound disgusting (“what could it possibly be made of?”), but chill out friends – it’s just made from seaweed and is shaped into tiny egg-like spheres. The seaweed provides that ocean-y, salty flavor of a fish egg making it a perfect alternative to unfairly killing an unsuspecting fish to steal its eggs (sorry not sorry – in 2020 we tell it like it is).
I tried a couple of brands that have dropped humane versions of caviar. One of particular interest came from IKEA – yes, the furniture store. It’s called Caviart and it resembles the small fish eggs called tobiko that you may find on some sushi rolls. Another brand, Tzar Delicates, more specifically resembles the classic sturgeon caviar. For this particular pairing, choose the Tzar Delicates. If you’re in need of tobiko for homemade sushi – choose Caviart. Both can be found on Amazon, though you can find Caviart in IKEA stores (but not online).
How to serve:
Caviar is traditionally served exclusively using Mother of Pearl, gold, or at worst plastic serve-ware because other typical materials (such as metal, silver, or stainless steel) can alter the flavor of your $250/oz sturgeon fish eggs. That’s a big no-no. You don’t want to spend that much just to ruin the taste. For vegan caviar, you don’t need to stress about that – but it’s fun to stick to the tradition. So, if you have the means to get some legit caviar serve-ware then definitely do it – otherwise, whatever works (just another of the many perks to choosing vegan caviar over the real thing!)
Eat it with…
You could go old school and serve caviar with crème fraîche and toast points, or you could bring a modern and more casual vibe to this typically decadent pairing: use potato chips. I love how eating caviar with potato chips makes a somewhat “elitist” food item much more approachable. The first time I had this combination was at Air’s Champagne Parlor in NYC – a Champagne bar that strives to make all aspects of Champagne drinking more affordable and approachable. It has stuck with me ever since.
A salty, crunchy potato chip is the perfect vessel for caviar because it complements the brine-y flavor while also adding a crunch. Even better – potato chips on the own pair well with Champagne too. The high acidity and bubbles of a dry Champagne help to balance the fat and salt of the chips.
Top your basewith some crème fraîche, fresh herbs, and lastly a dollop of caviar. Mix and match with the following ingredients to make this pairing your own:
- Toast points
- Potato chips
- Mild crackers
- Latkes (potato pancakes)
- Crème fraîche
- Sour cream
- Red onion
Finally all you have to do is pop the Champagne – and welcome 2020 in with style, flavor, and a perfect pairing.