Caviar Cachet

Once Plentiful and Cheap, the Sturgeon Roe Craved by Czars Increases in Demand as the Politics of Procurement Become More Byzantine

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Buying caviar in the United States is easy, because reputable mail-order firms, such as California Sunshine Fine Foods (800) 952-2842), Caviar Russe (800) 692-2842), Caviarteria (800) 422-8427; (800) 287-9773 in California), Murray's Sturgeon (212) 724-2650), Petrossian (800) 828-9241), Stone Hill Inc. (800) 672-2842) and Zabar's (800) 697-6301 outside New York City; (212) 496-1234 in New York) can ship overnight. Use those gel packs (instead of ice) to help keep the caviar cold in the refrigerator until you use it--no more than a day or two, or as soon as you can find a spoon.

Sam Gugino is the Tastes columnist for the Wine Spectator and the author of Cooking to Beat the Clock, to be published in December.

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