Dubai's caviar chauffeur company is the real deal
Everything you wanted to know about caviar we asked AmStur's partner.Robert Chilton January 30, 2017
Last month we told you about the new caviar home-delivery company that had opened in Dubai, using chauffeurs for door-to-door premium roe service – a.k.a. the most Dubai thing ever.
Since then AmStur Caviar has been busy, not least entering the Guinness World Records for the largest tin of caviar in the world, weighing 17kg.
We sat down with Nicholas Narsavidze, partner at AmStur, to find out more about the burgeoning caviar business.
What fascinates you about caviar?
I love the flavour and health benefits of good quality caviar. Furthermore, I’m fascinated by the culinary arts, and the versatility that caviar as a delicacy can bring – it is quite inspiring. Beyond that, I respect sturgeon, they are one of the oldest living animals on the planet whose species dates back over 150 million years.
What would you say to people who have had a bad caviar experience?
Good quality caviar should not taste fishy or muddy. About 8 out of 10 people who show reservations about caviar have usually had a bad tasting experience where the caviar was simply unpleasant. I think this is usually compounded by companies using unclear terms and definitions for evaluating or grading their product.
How do you grade the caviar?
We grade and value the caviar based on flavour as we think it is incorrect to value or grade it based on species alone. If the sturgeon was properly raised in its native-habitat than it is more likely to produce good caviar, which then must be graded with scrutiny based on flavour, firmness, pop, size, and colour.
Talk us through the four types of caviar you deliver
We have four grades: Imperial, Empress, Royal, and Select. Each has a very particular flavour profile. Imperial is our rarest grade because it is the caviar with the most “buttery” flavour, the most intense pop, excellent firmness, large pearls (nearly 4mm in diameter), and an unmistakable eye-catching gold colour.
Empress is the first organic-certified caviar in the UAE and one of the only organic caviars in the world from native-raised sturgeon. It has a very pronounced flavour that is reminiscent of almonds that were dipped in the ocean. I prefer to eat it straight because there is just so much to appreciate about it.
Royal is the preferred chef’s choice of caviar. It is one of our most mild-flavoured caviars with a nutty top flavour followed by a butter middle with a very clean finish.
Finally, Select has a very delicate firmness that melts smoothly against your palette. It is also very versatile and can be used to complement many dishes.
How is the caviar packaged?
Our caviar is packed in specially made tin plate canisters with a gold-lacquered food-grade lining. These canisters are vacuum-sealed which removes more than 99 per cent of the air from the tins, ensuring freshness. We never use any kind of preservatives or chemicals for extending shelf life. This ensures that you only ever receive pure, fresh, sturgeon roe mixed with less than 3.9 per cent salt by weight.
What experience do your chauffeurs have in caviar?
All of our caviar chauffeurs handle caviar on a daily basis; they are part of the AmStur family and have been with us since we began our operation in the UAE.
Our caviar chauffeurs are experts in properly handling, transporting, and storing caviar and are keen to share their knowledge with our customers to ensure that they have the ultimate caviar experience.
AmStur Caviar prices: Premium, from AED 220 for 30g; Royal from AED 315 for 30g; Empress from AED 405 for 30g; Imperial from AED 895 for 30g.