The roe of the sturgeon was already eaten by the inhabitants of the ancient Persian empire. She called it “خاويار” which means as much as “lump of energy. Consequently, many centuries before our era, sturgeon eggs were used as a kind of medicine.
For the ancient Greeks, on the other hand, caviar was primarily a stimulant. Aristotle even describes how at a banquet a platter of caviar was served with trumpets.
The biggest consumer of caviar was undoubtedly Tsar Nicolas II. Every year he and his court consumed over eleven tons of the best sturgeon eggs from Astrakhan and Azerbaijan. At that time, the Western world had lost all interest in this delicacy. In 1899, Parisians paid less than twenty centimes for a kilo of caviar.
Just before World War I, they had to pay forty centimes again for the same quantity, but then that was also the price of a simple “baguette. Only in the United States was caviar even cheaper. There, in the pubs, you got a free bowl of caviar with your beer.
Nonetheless, caviar has become a luxury delicacy in today’s era. Caviar is eaten from the can, from the hand or from the cooler. If desired, toast or blinis (a thin pancake round made of buckwheat flour) can also be used.
However, before caviar is consumed, vodka is drunk. Once the vodka has neutralized the taste buds, the caviar pairs even better with a nice glass of dry white or light sparkling wine.