How Far In Advance Can You Purchase Caviar?

Every now and then, it's worth treating yourself to something luxurious. Just make sure that if you decide to splurge on something expensive like caviar, plan accordingly and don't end up purchasing the mineral-nuanced, salt-kissed sturgeon eggs too far in advance! 

Although caviar and roe are used interchangeably, Petrossian explains that roe denotes any and all types of fish eggs, whereas caviar only refers to the salt-cured eggs obtained from sturgeon. With unparalleled taste and texture, caviar can vary in size and color, falling anywhere on the rainbow between silvery gray to amber to sage green and even inky onyx. 

Of the many varieties, WebstaurantStore explains that the most prized caviar is buttery Beluga — now illegal in the U.S. due to its status as an endangered species — followed by nutty Ossetra, beads of briny Sevruga, sweet Hackleback, earthy pearls of golden Kaluga, and even rich Sterlet.

Since caviar has such a huge flavor profile (and price tag!), less definitely is more. Serve simply to elevate the tasting experience and err on the side of modesty in terms of portion. In fact, Saveur suggests buying no more than about 2 ounces per person. That said, how far in advance can you buy caviar before its quality becomes compromised?

Don't buy caviar more than 4 weeks in advance

Although it might go without saying, caviar doesn't have an impeccably long shelf life, regardless of which variety you choose. When left unopened, Caviar Star shares that vacuum-sealed tins of the delicate packed pearls can last between four to six weeks or up to one year if the caviar has been pasteurized. However, it's important to note that the application of heat used to pasteurize the roe can impact its integrity.

Best kept in the fridge, caviar needs cold temperatures to avoid spoilage and elongate shelf life. With an optimal storage temperature between 28 F and 32 F, Imperia Caviar stresses the importance of placing tins in the coolest part of the fridge, like the bottom shelf towards the back. But, while caviar craves frosty temperatures, freezing the salty beads isn't wise. Despite the fact that it can extend shelf life, My Caviar shares that the process of freezing and thawing compromises the iconic texture and nuanced flavors of the eggs.

Finally, once caviar is opened, it's best eaten quickly to avoid the beads from drying out or losing flavor. Pearls of Caviar recommends enjoying it within three days, making sure that the remaining caviar is well-coated in oil before covering the tin with plastic wrap and storing it in the fridge. 

If you're at a loss for ideas, you can also add a bit of glamor to snacking and use leftover caviar to fancy-up potato chips.