Why You Should Try Eating Caviar Right Off Of Your Hand

Have you ever done a bump of caviar? We'll leave you to put two and two together as to how exactly this particular method of eating caviar got its name. The idea behind the caviar bump is to relish this coveted sturgeon roe at its most lusciously decadent, unadulterated by toast squares, crackers, or crème fraîche. It's a way of consuming caviar that, while seemingly unusual to outside eyes, is actually very common and popular. 

Eating caviar right off of the hand is considered the most traditional method of consumption, which stands to reason. Caviar has, after all, been eaten since the 13th century. As it is commonly served chilled, the natural heat of the hand warms the caviar, allowing it to begin softening in texture and livening up its natural briny flavors. By the time the delicacy reaches your mouth, it will have a completely different texture and flavor profile than the chilled, firm eggs you might be used to ingesting on top of other food.

As with any method of eating, there is a process that must be followed in order to achieve that optimal texture and flavor. It begins with where you place the caviar on your hand and then continues to how you savor and consume it once it's in your mouth.

How to do a caviar bump

Doing a caviar bump is not like spooning a pile of caviar into your open palm and then popping it into your mouth like popcorn, though there is no written rule that says you can't do it that way. The best spot to place your bump is the area on the back of your hand between the thumb and index finger. It provides ample surface area for the caviar to sit, ensuring that it won't fall as you're preparing to eat it. This part of your hand also conveniently conforms to the shape of your mouth.

Bring the caviar up to your lips and, using your tongue, gently push the eggs to the roof of your mouth and leave them there. Your hand's warmth will have already begun the process of melting the caviar, and, as it lingers on the roof of your mouth, it will thaw completely. This allows you to savor the full range of the roe's complex flavors, oceanic aromas, and unique textures. Eating caviar this way may make it too strong for some, but there is no denying the absolute purity of flavor achieved by using this method.

Obviously, this is not something that is likely to happen on an average Saturday night get-together, depending on what circles you run in. However, if you happen to find yourself at an upscale party and someone asks if you're interested in doing a "bump," they (hopefully) mean enjoying some high-quality expensive caviar.