Kosher Caviar - What's the Best?
I'm looking for kosher caviar and all I've found is the usual supermarket brands - like Romanoff. Is there a source that's markedly better? Seems everything in the supermarket is whitefish or salmon. Are there any other fish I should be looking for? In short: what's the best? And where can I find it?
You want a top-of-the line Russian brand of lightly-salted, red salmon eggs. . like http://www.red-caviar.com/ProductInfo...
Unless, of course, you hold that sturgeon is kosher, this was once a widely held position, but, now, it's complicated, and I'm not cure there is a mainstream posek who eats sturgeon.
That price sounds impossibly good . . . 7 ounces for only $12. I've seen tiny jars in supermarkets for twice the price. Do you know this company's reputation? Have you ordered from them? Just seems too good to be true . . . and you know what they say about that.
By the way, it's not a Russian company; it's an American one, based in Seattle, according to their website.
I have gotten Russian salmon caviar, both imported and "Russian style" American brand. I have bought it in stores serving Russian Jews,most recently in San Francisco (it's a nice hotel-room Shabbos first-course)
But you are right. I cannot vouch for this brand. Nor can I remember the brand they sold in the store in San Francisco, a kosher store just north of Golden Gate Park. But it was a low-salt brand with russian script on the lid. And it was really good. And very pricey for, as you say, a tiny jar.
If you find yourself stuck with the lower line supermarket brands, like the Romanoff Lumpfish (larger black eggs), or Season's whitefish roe (very small/fine eggs), a very gentle washing with fresh water using a fine strainer (GENTLE IS THE KEY WORD HERE!!!) will do wonders in terms of removing the overly salty/fishy overtones most commonly associated with cheap caviar. Interestingly enough the most poskim do not require a heksher on salmon roe as there is not a non-kosher fish which produces anything remotely similar.
I order from Awers Inc. all the time - (www.red-caviar.com), which is the website that AdinaA indicated. We get their red caviar, which is really great (big Russian staple in our house).
I ordered black caviar from there once for my non-Jewish cousin, and I do not believe it bore any sort of a hechsher, whereas all of the red caviar is O-U certified.
Note, that you have to order a minimum of 12 items in order for them to ship anything to you. We usually do a neighborhood order, that way we also save $ on shipping. And of course, since they are sending it out of Washington state, there are no taxes:). I think they have a Facebook page, so if you follow them, they post discount codes from time to time. Good luck!