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.