The latest innovative way to enjoy caviar: Caviar Cream. Photo courtesy Petrossian.
The Petrossian brothers introduced caviar to Paris and went on to become the premier buyer and importer of Russian caviar worldwide. You’d think that just providing the world’s finest caviar would have been enough. But the company has outdone itself in innovation. (What’s caviar innovation Read on!)
Born on the Iranian side of the Caspian Sea (home to the beluga, sevruga and osetra sturgeon) and raised on the Russian side, Melkoum and Mouchegh Petrossian emigrated to France to continue their studies of medicine and law, which had been interrupted by the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.
The brothers missed caviar: The French had yet to discover the rare delicacy. So the Petrossians set out to remedy the situation.
Unable to gain entrance to French medical and law schools, they became caviar merchants. Had they become a doctor and a lawyer, their names would probably have been lost to history. Instead, they became known worldwide for setting the standard in fine caviar and creating a dynasty of purveyors of the finest delicacies.
They pestered the Soviet embassy to sell them caviar and, eventually, the diplomats arranged for a shipment to Paris.
Initially, the French were uninterested in the salty, fishy eggs. The first customers to patronize their shop and restaurant were White Russian émigrés. Finally, Cesar Ritz, the great hotelier, placed an order and caviar became the rage. The rest is history—exquisitely delicious, if pricey, history.
The current generation of Petrossians does not rest on the family laurels. Their creative product development has been remarkable. Three of our favorite food products of last year—and forever—were the Petrossian’s newly-launched Caviar Powder, Caviar Cubes (see photo below) and Papier Russe (Russian Paper—think nori, the sushi wrapper, made of caviar instead of seaweed).
Many thanks to Alexandre Petrossian (grandson of Mouchegh and son of Armen), director of the New York shop and restaurant, for introducing us to these marvels of quality and creativity.
INTRODUCING CAVIAR CREAM
Sturgeon caviar is one of the most expensive foods on earth. But create Caviar Cream by mixing it with some heavy cream (plus a pinch of salt and some stabilizer), and it brings the cost down—as well as creates a simply delicious spread for hors d’oeuvre: blini, brioche, toast points and potato slices, for example, or stuffed into miniature tomatoes and potatoes. Had we won the recent half-billion-dollar lottery, we’d be ordering it by the case as a dip.
Definitely at the top of the “good things come in small packages” category, Caviar Cream will be a long-remembered gift for the caviar lover. Buy it at Petrosian.com. A two-ounce jar is $42.00; but the memories are worth far more.
For a bit of romance, all you need are a bottle of Champagne, a jar of Caviar Cream and some toasted brioche.
We’re on our second refill of Petrossian Caviar Powder, a unique way to enjoy caviar. We gave it our Food Innovation Award of 2011.
http://www.thenibble.com/zine//food-awards-2011.asp#belowFine caviar is dried via a proprietary technique that intensifies its flavor. It comes in a grinder that enables you to grind the pearls over your food (eggs, buttered toast, grilled fish or seafood, potatoes and pasta for starters) or sprinkle full pearls of the caviar on the food.
A 30 gram mill of Caviar Powder is $88.00; refills are $74.00, at Petrossian.com.
The greatest garnish for a Martini: Caviar Cubes. Photo courtesy Petrossian.
CAVIAR CUBES: THE PERFECT MARTINI GARNIS
Another beloved caviar innovation: Petrossian Caviar Cubes. Wow your guests with these cubes of pressed caviar, the size of a cocktail garnish.
On a martini, atop canapés and other hors d’œuvre, these cubes of caviar create luscious memories.
To paraphrase Loreli Lee, upon seeing her first diamond tiara in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, “I just LOVE finding new ways to eat caviar.”*
Get them at Petrossian.com: 20 grams, 16 to 20 cubes, $45.00.
Learn all about caviar in our Caviar Glossary.
*The original quote: “I just LOVE finding new places to wear diamonds.”