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Mar 17, 2008 07:44 AM

Best Caviar VALUE in Boston area

We are serving an egg-themed appetizer course for Easter and want to include caviar - most likely on blinis with creme fraiche - I am not well-versed in this food item.

What specific caviar type that you can buy in Boston or within 128 this week (e.g., not by mail order or by driving to NYC) would you use?

Where would you buy it (Savenors, Formaggio, Whole Foods, and Bazaar are the usual suspects that come to mind)?

What price should we expect? We are feeding 10 people and have a budget of $40 or less (much less, preferably) for the caviar portion of the menu, so we assume the premium Russian stuff is not in the cards (and we are fine with that - it just needs to taste good).

Thanks very much!

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  1. American paddlefish caviar is actually pretty good, and inexpensive. This is one I've had which was good (got it in NYC, can't say where here - just call around). It was less than $20/2oz when I had it, I see it's now $25:

    I also really like salmon roe, I'd get that at Kotobukiya in Porter Square.

    3 Replies
    1. re: steinpilz

      I've bought that paddlefish caviar at Foodie's Urban Mkt on Washington St in the SE.

      I'm also a fan of Bazaar.

      1. re: 9lives

        Glad to know there's a place in Boston that has Kelly's Katch. Thanks.

        1. re: steinpilz

          sorry, I wasn't clear. They carried an American paddlefish but I don't recall the brand. It was a good a good price.

    2. I like salmon roe with blini and would suggest the various Russian stores like Bazaar in Allston for the best prices.

      1. I'm a fan of Sterling caviar out of California.

        I'm not sure if you can purchase it at any stores in the Boston area though. Easy enough to get online though.

        1. Try Little Pearl. They have delicious American raised caviar (so no worries about illegal caviar that's probably old too.) They're local, too!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Scruffy The Cat

            I tried some of their American Sturgeon this weekend...$26 an ounce...Pretty convincing!
            TC says as long as the eggs are small, seperate,and black, it's close enough to Russian for him...;)

            1. re: Scruffy The Cat

              BIg fan of the service and experience on the phone with Little Pearl, however, the American Sturgeon and Paddlefish we tried for Easter were really lackluster - both in flavor and texture (though they looked good) - not so worth the $24-$26 an ounce. I'll use that budget on some other indulgence in the future or try a different source. I had such high hopes for finding an amazing local vendor, but it didn't really work out...

              The Yukon salmon roe, however, at $12 an ounce was really good and would be worth repeating.

              1. re: rlh

                wow, that's too bad...But it you like salmon roe, you should really head to bazaar, becasue they have 4 grades, and you can do fabulously well with the $20 stuff.

            2. Or, if you want mediocre caviar 'just for fun', you can get jars of Swedish ABBA-brand lumpfish caviar at IKEA for about $3. It's very fishy.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Boston_Otter

                very good salmon roe caviar runs about 25.00 a pound at Bazaar on beacon street in brookline.

                1. re: Boston_Otter

                  marty's liquors also sells lumpfish caviar for pretty cheap, as well as the expensive sturgeon stuff. I never found the lumpfish in jars from there to be very fishy. Looks pretty, black and shiny at least.

                  whole foods also sells sturgeon or at least paddlefish.

                  Make some phone calls..

                  1. re: silver queen

                    Whole Foods carries the stuff from the Little Pearl, mentioned upthread...You can also pick it up at their facility, even tho it's a wholesale outlet...

                    1. re: galleygirl

                      THANKS! The Little Pearl website was so inviting, I called to ask about a time to stop by, but Travis was so helpful on the phone and noted the 1-day shipping for $5 -- so we have 3 kinds of caviar coming directly to our door for Easter - very excited to try this and would never have known about it without the Chowhound guidance!

                      When headed near Union Square, we do hope to stop by at some point in person as well to check out the wholeshop as well.