Did you buy more black caviar than you can eat and want to save it for later? You might think that freezing it would be a good option. Read our article to see if it is okay to freeze caviar and how you can do so.
Can I freeze caviar? No, you cannot freeze caviar because low temperatures will make the fish eggs burst and the ice crystals will damage the delicate shell of the eggs. Instead, you can put caviar in a glass container, close it tightly with a lid, fill the plastic bag with crushed ice and place it in the bowl and put the caviar on top. Put on the upper shelf of the fridge close to the back wall. This will save all the nutrients and keep the caviar fresh for a week.
How does freezing affect the quality of caviar? Very often, wanting to extend the shelf life of a valuable delicacy, people simply freeze caviar. Then, a couple of months later, they discover some gruel instead of caviar. Why?
Each fish egg contains three layers of a protective shell, protoplasm, that is, an aqueous solution of fats, proteins, microelements necessary for the nutrition of the embryo, and embryonic speck. The protoplasm filling the egg freezes already at -5 degrees.
That said, freezing caviar is not okay because And in the harsh conditions of the freezer, the ice crystals expand and damage the delicate shell. The fish egg bursts and the liquid inside starts leaking. Then, during defrosting the fish eggs, we get some unattractive substance with no nutritional value.
Why shouldn’t you freeze caviar? On the shelves, you can find caviar that has been previously frozen. However, industrial freezing is significantly different from how you can freeze caviar in a freezer at home. The production uses a special installation that performs shock freezing of caviar — up to minus 35 degrees. With this method, the ice crystals do not have time to break the eggs. This allows caviar to be stored for up to a year without using preservatives.
Home freezing will not allow you to keep the caviar intact. In a conventional freezer, freezing will occur slowly and only up to minus 20 degrees. As a result, some fish eggs will become unattractive or burst. Also, caviar will lose its original taste.
Recommendations for Freezing Black Caviar
If nevertheless, you decide to freeze caviar, you can do this only once. Repeated freezing will lead to the formation of a gray unappetizing substance instead of individual shiny eggs. To prevent this from happening, adhere to the following rules:
- Divide the caviar into several small portions;
- Pour a teaspoon of any vegetable oil into each container, close hermetically;
- Use the fast freeze mode so that large ice crystals do not form;
- Maintain a constant low temperature.
How long can you freeze caviar? How long does caviar last in the freezer? Caviar can last up to a year in the freezer, provided that you pour a teaspoon of vegetable oil and close the container hermetically and use the fast freeze mode, so that ice crystals do not form and do not damage the delicate shell of the caviar.
Defrosting Frozen Caviar
How do you defrost frozen caviar? You must defrost caviar gradually and not subject it to sudden temperature changes, or it will lose its nutritional value and appearance. Put the caviar container in the fridge for 10-12 hours at a temperature of less than 5°C. After that continue defrosting caviar at room temperature. Make sure caviar does not get direct sunlight. Rinse caviar with sparkling water.
If you want the caviar to retain its appearance and taste, you must defrost gradually increasing the temperature. From the freezer, you first need to move it to the refrigerator, where the temperature is closer to zero. In such conditions, the caviar should be kept for at least two days. Then the temperature in the refrigerator should be raised to the usual 5-6 degrees Celsius, and the caviar should be left for another 12 hours.
Caviar Storage Methods
But if it is not okay to freeze caviar, then how to store it to keep it fresh and tasty? The best option is not to store it at all. It is better to buy caviar directly on the day of consumption and enjoy its freshness with pleasure, especially since today there is no lack of caviar in shops, although it is not cheap. But if you need to store caviar, you can use the following methods:
- Purchase caviar in a tin jar. Such caviar is kept in a package with preservatives, therefore it can be stored for 1-3 months without much change in taste. Do not be afraid of the components indicated in the composition with the “E” marker. They all undergo safety testing, and it is thanks to them that the caviar reaches us fresh, despite the many kilometers and days of the journey.
- If you bought caviar by weight, then you should transfer it to a glass jar (preferably previously sterilized), close it tightly with a lid, place the container itself in a deep cup with ice, and then put it in the refrigerator under the freezer. In this place, the temperature will be maintained from +1 to -2 ° C, and the melting ice will stop the development of microorganisms in the eggs, but at the same time will not freeze them. It is only necessary to periodically replace it with a fresh one up to the day of use. Thus, caviar can be stored for 3 days.
- There are models of refrigerators with a freezer, which allows you to set less severe freezing modes, including up to -5 ° C. If you have such a fridge, then caviar can be kept fresh in it for months.