Crazy Things That Happen to You in London
“Do you want to try caviar!” the woman asked abruptly with a heavy Eastern European accent.
I looked up from looking through the curved glass counter at the beautifully displayed cuts of meat in Harrods. She caught me by surprise. I blinked and swallowed.
She hit me with another abrupt question in her heavy accent. “You like fish?”
I looked at her like a deer caught in the headlights before I blurted out, “I love fish. I love it so much, my wife says she gets tired of watching me eat fish when we travel.”
She warmed up to me as she smiled and steered me over to her station. She reached for her tin. “Hold out your hand,” she ordered me.
I did what I was told as there was no fooling around with this Amazon woman that looked like she could wrestle a one ton sturgeon down and rip out its eggs in short order.
She plopped half a teaspoon of dark brown fish eggs on top of my skin between my thumb and index finger. I thought, funny, the same spot where people put cocaine.
“Taste,” she ordered.
I licked up the blob of caviar and let it melt in my mouth. My eyes rolled back in ecstacy. “OMG,” I said, “that is like crack!”
Not that I have ever had crack but it was a food crack nevertheless. I just wanted more and I was ready to do anything to get more.
I pushed my hand out. She plopped a darker blob on my outstretched hand. Wow, how could that be even better but it was. I had to reach out to the counter to steady myself as I was overcome by the deliciousness of the caviar.
Now she was smiling and fawning. She had me hooked as she reached for another tin. The caviar was darker and smaller. It melted even faster and with even more intense flavour but without any pop that the previous two samples had.
“You like?” my bewitching Amazon sales clerk asked.
“I like. What’s the difference between the samples.” I asked.
She spent a few minutes elaborating on the differences of the samples. The first sample being the cheapest at £65. The flavour was not as intense and the egg membranes were tougher. The last sample was the most expensive at £185 but I did not like it as much as the 2nd sample at £95 for 30 grams – about 1 ounce.
The 2nd sample of caviar was the best. It had the intense flavour of the ocean, salt and unami with a satisfying and delicious pop when the sturgeon eggs burst in my mouth.
I was hooked. I had to get some in the worst way but it was our first stop of the day and I had no way to keep the caviar cold at 35F for the entire day until we got home to our place in Crouch End, 45 minutes by bus North of Harrods. I told that to my caviar dealer. She smiled and turned.
“You want to taste Caviar?” she asked the next unsuspecting customer.