Caviar Sans Oligarch

Caviar is unrivaled in its association with pure luxury. The unfertilized eggs or “roe” of the female sturgeon are rare, pricey and coveted. Several species of sturgeon, a large unattractive specimen that swims the Caspian and Black seas, produce caviar, with Beluga being the largest, scarcest and, at $3,500 a pound, the most expensive of them all. It is no wonder that caviar is often associated with Russian oligarchs.

In Louisiana Caviar was first introduced to the culinary world in 1986 by Louisiana Caviar Company, which gathered, processed, and packed the eggs of the Choupique (Amia Calva) Bowfin in keeping with traditional Russian practices. The Choupique Bowfin, a prehistoric fish, is found in the fresh waters of the Atchafalaya Basin along with Sturgeon and Paddlefish.

Bowfin is harvested from the Atchafalaya Basin from early December through February. The natural black color and delicate flavor are neither enhanced nor preserved in any way. Its low salt content of five percent classifies as “Malossol” earning it a ranking among the finest caviars in the world.

Caviar Sans Oligarch


What to Drink with Cajun Caviar

Champagne Canard-Duchêne Brut has a golden hue and delicate bubbles. With intense aromas of fresh fruit, it tastes of fruit and buttery brioche.



How to Serve Caviar

Caviar is consumed as much for its prestige and serving rituals as it is for its taste. If eaten on its own, it is served deeply chilled with a canister or jar resting within a bed of ice. Spoons for consuming small bites of caviar are made of either bone or mother of pearl. Metal spoons are anathema. (Metal is said to impact the flavor.)

Caviar is often served as an hors d’oeuvre whereby the precious eggs are passed to guests on a neutral vehicle such as buttered toast points or in a blini, a small, thin, pliable Russian pancake. 

For the latter, the caviar is spread atop the blini with sour cream then rolled. 

Another familiar serving vessel is a very small, cooked baby potato that has been chilled, cut in half, the interior flesh scooped out and refilled with crème fraiche then topped with caviar.

What Makes Cajun Caviar Special

In 2016, entrepreneurs Alden Lagasse, Amy Hollister Wilson, and Alison Vega-Knoll purchased Louisiana Cajun Caviar from its founder, John Burke. They rechristened the company Cajun Caviar and started rebranding it. They say its mild flavor and relative affordability ($90 for 5 ounces of traditional Cajun Caviar, $55 for 2 ounces of Spicy Cajun Caviar, $90 for 3 ounces of Paddlefish Cajun Caviar) makes it approachable and versatile. You can top your oysters, deviled eggs, even Zapp’s potato chips with it. 

Caviar Sans Oligarch

The Experts

Alden Lagasse, Amy Hollister Wilson and Alison Vega-Knoll of Cajun Caviar,

“Cajun Caviar is a very special product that comes from our own waters, “said Wilson, a co-owner and the company’s managing partner. “It has such richness and delicacy and is much more approachable than other caviar. The firm black pearls will pop in your mouth. For Louisiana chefs the fact that it’s harvested in Louisiana makes it extremely special, and much more personal for them.”

Digital Sponsors

Become a sponsor ...

Sign up for our FREE

New Orleans Magazine email newsletter

Get the the best in New Orleans dining, shopping, events and more delivered to your inbox.