There’s never a bad time to discover a new favorite snack. Even better is finding out about a combination of your favorite ingredients that forms something better than the individual parts. Think fresh cut veggies and tzatziki, peanut butter and chocolate, or the perfect acai bowl that you can assemble in a pinch.
You’ve heard of those snack classics before, no doubt, which is why we’re highlighting an underrated gem in today’s article: potato chips and caviar. Yes, we’re talking about high-end sturgeon caviar and the crispy, greasy potato chips you’d find at any old grocery store or gas station!
But before you run for the hills, just let us say that this combo of flavors and textures (plus the fun twist on tradition) makes this an instant classic snack, even if it seems outlandish at first glance.
Bear with us as we explain why potato chips and caviar make for such an epic snack, and you’ll soon discover why this is a chosen tasting format for top-tier chefs and gastronomy experts around the world.
Potato and Caviar: A Classic Pair
There’s a lot we have to say about the unlikely combo of potato chips and caviar, and you’re likely in search of some answers.
Let’s start with some context to make everyone more comfortable with the idea of pairing caviar with potato chips, focusing on the long-standing connection between potatoes and caviar that has held strong for centuries.
It’s no exaggeration: potato has served as a trusted canvas for caviar ever since cookbooks were widely published and printed. Only champagne and caviar might have a closer connection.
Just look at the wide array of potato-based caviar appetizers and accouterments that have become certified classics over the years.
The Top Caviar Pairings We Know and Love
The simplest of all is a waxy potato cut into coin shapes and roasted to perfection with olive oil, salt, and pepper. These savory little discs could not be more ideal for a dollop of crème fraiche and a scoop of cold caviar to go on top.
Fingerlings, baby reds, or anything labeled “new potatoes” are perfect as standalone delivery vehicles for caviar. They offer the right amount of texture and flavor without overshadowing the main event.
To take things to the next level, look no further than potato pancakes, comfort food that instantly turns into a delicacy when caviar enters the picture. Making potato pancakes might be a bit labor-intensive compared to the standard roasted preparation, but the added textures and homemade feel make it all worthwhile.
Potato also makes its way into more advanced dishes that have traditionally included caviar, namely those with creamy, savory foundations like soups and gnocchi.
These dishes are perfect for caviar because of the rich, creamy potatoes mixed, combined with leeks, butter, chicken stock, and other savory classics. Adding caviar to the mix serves to enhance the overall flavor without taking away from the dish or masking the impact of the caviar.
If you’re still hesitant about scooping caviar onto a potato chip as a snack, just look back over the history of these two ingredients. You’ll see that there is plenty of evidence to support this more modern creation.
Why Potato Chips Go Great with Caviar
As all great culinary artists already know, potatoes are a perfect match for caviar and have been for many years. It was only a matter of time before the invention of potato chips and the bright idea to use them as part of a caviar snack.
We recognize that the burden is on us to convince you that caviar and potato chips go together, so let’s go through the three reasons why we believe this to be such a high-impact snack.
True caviar connoisseurs know that texture is where all great caviar experiences begin. Before you even register the flavor of caviar, you feel the unique texture of the roe on the palate. It’s like no other food you’ve ever tried.
Each individual pearl registers on the palate as a unique entity, and there is a magical moment when you explore each one between the tongue and the roof of the mouth. Some caviars are firm and burst on the palate with pressure, while others offer a melt-in-your-mouth experience that reveals rich oils and flavors.
How do potato chips play into this experience? By adding an undeniable crunch and unique oils of their own, potato chips serve as a great foundation for even the highest caliber caviars.
Consider other caviar delivery starches like buckwheat blinis, toast points, or roasted potato segments shaped like coins. Each one offers a subtle yet noticeable texture that helps elevate the caviar while never stealing the spotlight.
That’s the entire point of a potato chip in the context of caviar service — it’s unexpected, unassuming, and compliments the caviar in the spotlight without ever getting in the way.
Caviar is known to have a wide range of flavors that take time and careful consideration to experience in full. That’s why caviar, like fine wine, is as much a cerebral experience as it is a simple snack.
When potato chips are introduced to the equation, the taste of the caviar is only enhanced by the presence of salt, oil, and neutral potato flavor. We’re not talking about sour cream & onion or barbeque chips, mind you — only the most basic crispy chips with salt will do for caviar.
Salt is so crucial to the balance of the caviar experience. The world’s finest caviars are prepared with the lowest amount of salt possible in the curing process, a standard known in Russia as malossol.
Therefore, the quick hit of salt from a wafer-thin potato chip is just enough to bring out another layer of flavor from the caviar without breaking one’s focus on tastes like butter, nuts, earthy herbs, and other savory surprises that come with each bite.
Just when you thought it was impossible for caviar to taste any better than it already does, potato chips turn out to do the job perfectly, where no other ingredient could.
When piecing together a caviar service, you’ve got a lot on your plate, in a very literal sense. Not only do you have to manage the procurement and shipping of the caviar itself, but you’ve also got to prepare garnishes, settings, appetizers, drinks, and all the rest.
It’s no small feat to make a caviar event come together, even if it’s just a few people or a date night with your loved one.
This punctuates our last point on why potato chips go well with caviar: it’s just so simple!
Bringing potato chips into the fold makes the whole experience more casual, taking pressure off the host and allowing everyone to relax into the evening.
Plus, you can start celebrating with caviar more often by simply scooping caviar straight from the tin with your favorite salty potato chips; why wouldn’t you?
Your Perfect Caviar Service Made Real
While caviar is shrouded in tradition, there’s also plenty of flexibility and exploration that comes with the territory. Potato chips are the perfect expression of the adventurous legacy of caviar, so don’t write off this amazing combo.