What Does Caviar Taste Like?

You might know caviar as the dish that rich, fancy people eat in movies. Maybe you remember a young Tom Hanks, spitting caviar on the floor and wiping off his tongue in Big

Caviar, which is raw fish eggs, mostly tastes like salt along with a fishy flavor. The eggs are very tiny and have a fat, buttery texture to them. It should also be soft, smooth, and feel fresh on your tongue.

Different qualities of caviar will have different tastes and textures. In addition, different colors of caviar, coming from different fish, can change the flavor, although usually, it’s black or red.  Also, believe it or not, your choice of utensil can also change the flavor of caviar.

Black Caviar

Generally speaking, black caviar is roe that comes from sturgeon. Traditionally, if you requested caviar, you received black.

Black caviar tends to have a somewhat more complex flavor palate than red caviar. It should be slightly salty, slightly fishy, and melt in your mouth.

With black caviar, the eggs are separated and it’s easy to see the distinction. Also, the roe is much smaller than red caviar.

Red Caviar

Red caviar generally comes from salmon, although recently that has been expanded into other types of fish. 

Here, the caviar should also be slightly salty and fishy. However,  if you put a few too many eggs in your mouth at once, you get a very bitter taste.

Unlike black caviar, red caviar is somewhat more congealed, with an almost jelly-like texture. The eggs are difficult to separate and larger than black caviar.

Low-Quality Caviar

If you get low-quality or inexpensive caviar, you’re going to taste mostly salt. And we don’t mean, oh this is too salty, we mean, you’ll probably follow suit with Tom Hanks.

Another important aspect of caviar is its texture. The eggs should be whole and not broken or smashed, calling popping. Caviar is not meant to be chewed, as chewing it makes it lose its flavor.

If a lot of your caviar has popped, you’ll get a much milder flavor and your caviar will not be as enjoyable.


Silver spoons are pretty, and fancy, but shouldn’t be anywhere near your caviar. Generally, you will be served caviar with a small, plastic spoon. if you’re somewhere especially fancy, they may present you with a spoon made of pearl or gold.

The metal in the silver can cause the caviar to oxide and changes its flavor. Your lovely smooth, salty, butter-flavored caviar, now tastes like metal.

Serving Caviar

Like most fish, caviar shouldn’t sit out long. When you’re serving, a good idea is to sit the jar in bowls of ice. This helps to maintain the temperature and make sure your caviar doesn’t go bad. 

Try to keep your caviar around 28 degrees, but do not freeze it. Keeping caviar cold, but not frozen helps keep its texture.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, both black and red caviar taste like salt and fish. However, the black caviar has a texture that may appeal to more people and has a somewhat buttery flavor.

Red caviar has a somewhat gelatinous texture and can be bitter if you eat too much at a time. 

However, you get good, high-quality caviar, it’s a lovely experience with a nice perfectly balanced taste.