Caviar: General Packing, Storage + Shipping

By: Austin Pejman Chehrazi and Wael Abu Zaid

Just as important as any step in the Caviar production process is keeping the product safe and at optimum quality, aroma and flavor, after harvest, curing and packaging, for the longest time possible without using anything unnatural. Any mistakes, and years of hard work and investment go down the drain in a blink of an eye. At best, an airtight tin of malossol Caviar would keep fresh up to 100 days. However, the average production time for farmed Caviar is 40 times longer than that, or about 10 years of hard work, care and stagnant financing, making any waste, especially due to lack of expertise, a very costly, and unnecessary mistake from all angles. Hence, this part sets novices apart from those with experience who take science as their compass.

So what to do one asks?

Well, first we should ask, “What not to do?”

Do not give Caviar too much.

Too much what?

Too much of anything.

Too much pressure. Too much washing. Too much salt.

Too much heat? Spoiled! Too much cold? Not much better. A slushy ruined mess! Too much time in open air? Do not even ask, and definitely do hold your nose…

There is one thing though that you should always give Caviar too much of before you get it to your clientele’s hands and that is Love! As much as can be afforded…

Caviar’s Public Enemy Numero Uno

Contact with air? After opening a sealed container of Caviar, under the best of conditions, storing it at the required -2 to +3 degrees Celsius, taking care not to freeze it and avoiding air contact, at best keep it for 3-4 days and most likely you have to throw it out after that point. Some experienced noses can tell the exact moment, but otherwise, that’s the best answer you’ll get.

It is perhaps best to invest in a small vacuum-sealing machine if you are spending on Caviar regularly because in the end it could make its value back in Caviar not wasted or not gone “blah”. Especially if you purchase bigger tins and end up leaving them in the fridge with the butter and cheeses, as most of us do after dabbling at wee hours when we really should be sleeping, after brushing our teeth. Unfortunately (or not?), that is how good Caviar can be. Making us forget the better of ourselves at 3am. The point to get at is that oxygen and Caviar have never been known to be even decent friends and in the long run they always inevitably run into volatility, which never ends up good for one of the two. Regrettably, that “one” always and always ends up being just one of them. We leave it up to you to guess which one. So keep them away from each other in any way you see fit if you have unused portions worth using later. Air will dry Caviar in the fridge and rot it outside of it. Take your pick but don’t ever do it, please! At least to Caviar. Find something else.

From Producer to Retailer

The traditional and best way of packing Caviar to protect it from crushing, is to do it by hand. Producers normally package their product in 1.8-Kilo cans, kept shut by a band. This “Original Tin” is then shipped (actually air couriered) to the retailer in order to be repackaged in smaller portions. Quality Control by the retailer must take place at this stage. Caviars are never blended and each species’ eggs must be packed separately. The only way that Caviars are “blended” is by crossbreeding the Sturgeons. However, “Grading” Caviar is a completely separate matter, evaluating consistency and quality of each batch, taking into consideration size of the grains, and color and shade consistency. Farming has lent way to greater consistency due to the ability to control conditions of production and capability to choose the age and size of sturgeons for harvest.

Newly opened Imperial Caviar

Sampling the product is another stage of QC and is only useful when performed by someone with years of experience, checking for freshness, texture, how easily it melts in the mouth with the traditional expected Caviar “pop”, richness of flavours and range of tones, saltiness and naturalness of the product as opposed to use of artificial preservatives. Once all these considerations are made, the Caviar is packaged according to various weights in tins or jars and vacuum-sealed, labelled, and refrigerated for shipment by airfreight to consumers.

Vacuumed sealed King Caviar Tins ready to be shipped

At King Caviar, we adhere to the highest standards of freshness, quality control and international standards set in high-end markets of the world with use of the most modern facilities under proper sanitary conditions. That is our guarantee to you, our valued customer.

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