Note: I’m starting my list with luxury foods because I want to make a point that low carb does not equal hardship. Instead, I believe that enjoyment makes a low carb diet sustainable. I suggest embracing culinary fat and splurging whenever you can on luxury foods.
Caviar – Low Carb Foods, Luxury, #2
If you eat caviar every day, it’s difficult to return to sausages. — Arsene Wenger
Next time a friend mentions how abstemious you must be to live on a low carb diet, whip out a jar of caviar. Roe (fish eggs) are among the most expensive foods in the world, and roe of the sturgeon — caviar — are the most costly of all. Russian caviar is considered the best. Other countries, including China, Iran, and the US, produce caviar. It’s important to note that most sturgeon are endangered or critically endangered in the wild, so do not buy wild caviar or caviar that has been poached. Luckily the fish are now farmed and no longer killed to extract the roe.
Caviar is salted, which improves the flavour and helps with preservation — the more salt, the better the preservation but worse the taste. It is perishable and must be refrigerated when opened and consumed quickly. Since caviar is a treat, buy the best you can afford, although other varieties of roe can be quite tasty. These include roe of salmon, trout, and the bright orange lobster roe usually discarded (I love to fry them briefly in butter, which gives them a pleasing crunch).
Seven low carb ways to serve caviar:
- On a spoon
- On fresh, crunchy cucumbers
- On homemade cheese crackers
- With sour cream or crème fraiche
- On eggs
- As caviar butter (gently blend caviar and butter)
- As caviar butter sauce. Look it up. It’s a thing
Caviar varieties and terms
- American Osetra — the white sturgeon. Illegal if poached.
- Beluga — the beluga sturgeon. It’s considered the highest grade. Do not buy illegal wild varieties. It is farmed, and wild populations are starting to recover.
- Hackleback — the shovelnose sturgeon in the US.
- Mallosol — means little salt, so it’s more perishable and considered the best.
- Ossetra — the ossetra sturgeon is near extinction in the wild. It is second only to the beluga in price.
- Paddlefish — cousin to the sturgeon. Common in the US.
- Payusnaya — pressed. It’s caviar that’s not intact as eggs. OK for recipes.
- Sevruga — also known as the ‘starry sturgeon.’ It’s critically endangered in the wild.
- Sterlet — Once considered the finest. Now virtually extinct.
- Vegan — Yes — it is possible to find caviar made from kelp.
Why I’m writing a list of 103 Foods: When I changed my diet for health reasons, I spent the first weeks mourning the foods I could no longer eat. What’s the point in being miserable, though? By switching to focusing on the foods I could eat, and savouring every bit of them, I started enjoying food again. I also found hope for the future, especially as the weight fell off and my diabetes reversed. Now, I would love to help others who might find themselves in a similar situation. Finally, there are endless possibilities in terms of what to do with any food. Take that as a challenge, and let me know if you have any suggestions. I wish you happy eating.
Thanks to Robert Anasch for making the photo available freely on Unsplash.