Throughout history, caviar was reserved for society’s most upright aristocrats and oligarchs, and only a distant daydream of working-class folks.
Even today, the world’s finest beluga caviar is unattainable by most people, but in the 21st century, we have wider access to quality caviar than ever before, and at way better prices.
Mail order used to be the go-to method for obtaining premium caviar outside a restaurant, but now the internet has opened up endless possibilities for anyone with a computer or phone.
Let’s talk about the process of ordering caviar in today’s world, and give you some pointers to help make the most of your time and money.
Benefits of Buying Caviar Online
You may be someone who finds joy in browsing your local specialty shop or gourmet grocery store in search of interesting new tinned fish, roe, and caviar products to pick up and try.
There’s a lot of value to trying caviar in-person, and a trusted merchant can point you in the right direction and provide their professional opinion. When starting out on your caviar journey, there’s no better way to begin.
Eventually, it will come time to expand your palette and level up. The truth is that if you are interested in getting top-quality caviar for the best possible price, you’re limiting yourself by shopping in-store, despite the pleasant atmosphere.
Firstly, there is always going to be limited inventory at the store, even if it’s the best one in town. Caviar is not a very high-margin item for small shops, and even big-box retailers in your neighborhood will carry a narrow selection to ensure they don’t waste money.
When you venture online, you open your options up to a wide range of caviar and roe products that simply can’t be found locally. You can import containers from overseas, get the freshest batches from local fish farms and try new varieties you didn’t know existed.
In terms of freshness, online purchases also give you an advantage. Even the nearby fish market known for its fresh catch selection will keep caviar inventory for several weeks at a time, and no matter the quality, it will not be at peak freshness once you bring it home.
Caviar is always best when consumed soon after it’s packaged, an shopping online ensures you experience the product in its finest form. As long as you store the tins properly, you can enjoy a superior caviar compared to anything you’ll find in stores.
Finally, there’s the price point, which will always be in your favor when ordering by mail. When you buy from a grocer, there’s going to be a markup anyway you cut it. Retail space, employee wages and taxes all add up to a more expensive over-the-counter product.
You can save big bucks by buying online, and get even more caviar for the money when you plan ahead and purchase in bulk.
If you want to occasionally buy from your local vendor to support the business, that’s fine. Just know that the customer gets several major advantages when ordering via mail or online.
How to Select the Right Vendor
Once you have a clear idea of the caviar you like most, you can start searching for products online and make orders that save you time, money, and effort.
The next question is where to buy, which involves a few different factors.
Instead of putting in an order with the first company that shows up on your Google search, it’s worth browsing your options and buying from a vendor with a superior product and great customer service, even if the selection is not as vast.
Ideally, you will find a caviar purveyor that is directly linked to sustainable, ethical sturgeon farms, rather than a company that acts as a middleman and hikes up prices.
This way, you ensure that you receive fresh, quality caviar that doesn’t further endanger fish species around the world, and you are contributing to good aquaculture and environmental practices. The peace of mind is well worth it.
Look for companies that package caviar from 100% eco-friendly farms and give you the best possible product, rather than buying through shady supply chains. The broader the selection of caviar on a website, the less you’ll ultimately know about where the product comes from.
This is not to say that you run the risk of buying black-market caviar or might entangle yourself in illegal operations. You simply want to learn as much as possible about where your caviar is sourced and the farming practices involved.
Next, be sure to read plenty of reviews to determine if a company is worth supporting. If customers have expressed complaints about the quality of the product or service levels, don’t hesitate to move on. Caviar is all about luxury, and you don’t want to waste your money or time on companies that don’t deliver the best experience in every way.
Lastly, take the time to read through a company’s FAQ page, which should give you all the pertinent information about shipping, customer service, timeframes and more. This will let you know what to expect if you do decide to place an order.
Purchasing, Shipping and Storing
So you’ve picked a caviar company that fits the bill on every level, and now it’s time to buy.
Determine exactly how much caviar you need, whether it’s for a date night, cocktail party or just a treat-yourself celebration of one.
While it may be tempting to spring for higher volumes and get those discounts, you’ll want to avoid ordering too much caviar at once. These products are highly perishable, and decline in quality after around two to three weeks of storage.
With that in mind, order just enough for the next couple of weeks, and buy more down the line if need be. The last thing you want is to waste these precious pearls!
As far as logistics go, you should expect your caviar to be shipped within 48 hours maximum. It should arrive at your door in less than a week in a box packed with dry ice or another form of safe cooling material.
When your caviar arrives, be sure to immediately unload the containers into a designated spot in your fridge, ideally where temperatures are between 28 and 35 degrees. Now you have amazing caviar at the ready for an exquisite dining experience.
Stay On Top of the Trends
The world of caviar is changing fast, and the online buying experience is becoming better by the day. New purveyors are appearing left and right, offering excellent quality for the prices they charge. Make sure you follow your favorites on social media and sign up for email newsletters so you get updated on their latest offerings and don’t miss out on new releases.
Some caviar companies will even offer special deals for long-term customers, so expect to cash in on some savings if you remain loyal to one brand for a while. Remember to leave a positive review for your favorite brand to spread the good word on the web!
There is so much to be excited about in today’s caviar scene, and the internet marketplace is where the action really is. Buying caviar in larger quantities makes it more affordable than ever.
Follow these tips to get the best deals from the most reputable companies in the industry and learn to make caviar a part of your life more often.