Caviar Is Becoming the Next Big Snack—And We’re Intrigued
Once considered a luxury food item, caviar is now casually served on chips for decadent snacking
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Caviar has long been considered a luxury food item, a decadent delicacy to be served at fancy dinner parties of the rich and famous, paired with vintage Champagne and fabulousness. But what if caviar were reframed and taken out of its luxe cocoon? What about caviar served on a potato chip? What if it was slathered in butter? How about atop a Dorito?
What Is Caviar?
Basically, caviar is salt-cured fish eggs, or “roe.” The term caviar specifically refers to the roe of wild sturgeon in the Caspian and the Black Sea, bordered by Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. Technically, “caviar” is a protected term, and it has been a favorite dish of royalty since at least the 10th century. However, “caviar” has become used to refer to the roe of salmon, whitefish, trout and many other fish species broadly. The term is even used, cheekily, for non-fish dishes, such as cowboy caviar or witch’s caviar.
Real, quality caviar ain’t cheap. TikTok creator Danielle Matzon recommends Kaluga Amber and Kaluga Gold Caviar in her recent video, which retail for around $70 and $170 respectively. On the less expensive end, Whole Foods currently sells domestic Pacific sturgeon caviar for $41 per ounce. They even have an unpretentious guide to caviar to learn more.
Why Is Caviar So Popular?
We could give you several cultural reasons why caviar is so popular. For instance, it’s a perfect example of an “affordable luxury,” the kind which becomes popular during tough economic times. “The concept of caviar (luxurious) as a snack (functional) is a practice in contradictions, especially in light of food inflation,” writes Bettina Makalintal, in Eater. Caviar is also a healthy snack, with omega-3 fatty acids and other minerals. But the real reason is likely something more straightforward: TikTok.
The “snackification” of caviar, as Eater puts it, is largely due to TikTok creator Matzon, who is quickly becoming the snack queen of TikTok. She is the same influencer who popularized the tunacado sandwich. So influential is Matzon that there is a #daniellemademedoit hashtag with videos of people trying out her favorite snacks (it has nearly 800,000 views). One commenter on her latest caviar post noted, “I just went to Whole Foods and all the caviar is 25% off and I’m convinced you are directly responsible.”
Be sure to eat your caviar on a Pringle, just like influencers do!