Thursday, January 7, 2010

Salmon roe gems

I recently discovered that Whole Foods sells wild salmon roe in small jars for $11. When we consider how important fish eggs were in traditional cultures for children and pregnant/lactating women, I feel the expense is justified though it's hard to swallow the environmental implications of eating anything from as far away as Alaska. A small jar can last a few weeks, and we will not be eating this regularly, though I hope in the next few weeks to find some good sources of wild roe from local anglers/fishmongers, and save it in some way to last throughout the year. (Traditionally, it was dried for preservation. It can also be frozen or canned.)

I enjoy mine on crackers with raw milk sour cream, while Oliver eats his mixed with sour cream, from a small bowl using his very own little spoon. He eats this with great gusto!

The saturated fat in the cream works synergistically with the mono-unsaturated fats in the fish eggs to allow for optimal absorption of all the available nutrients (we see this instinctive wisdom in traditional dishes, like the Greek spread taramosalata, which uses cream and roe). Just the color alone is a feast for the eyes -- in more ways than one!


  1. yum, love this. my mom was recently in brighton beach and picked up some salmon roe along with some sort of butter. she loved it and i thought it sounded delish!

  2. What kind of crackers are those? They look tasty! The roe is such a beautiful vivid color... but you know I have texture issues.

  3. The crackers are Wasa brand sourdough rye. I think they're great, but you wouldn't want to eat them alone probably -- not too heavy on flavor. :)

    For me, taste is more a problem than texture as the salmon roe is not mushy and really doesn't feel like anything. The taste can take a little getting used to as they taste quite briny and oceanic...They sort of burst in your mouth and the inside is liquid. So you don't notice anything really but the flavor. If it's a problem, you can get roe from fish that have tiny eggs, like flying fish and whitefish. It's the same kind they use to roll maki in - for the outside of sushi rolls (also known as masago in Japanese). That's a delicious way to get some fish eggs in your diet! (If you're buying for home consumption, go for the wild kind; probably most of what they serve in restaurants is from farmed fish.) The tiny fish eggs can come in all sorts of beautiful colors, and have a slight, pleasant crunch.