The Best Chocolate To Pair With Caviar, According To Science

Caviar is made from sturgeon fish roe. If you're a picky eater who is unsure of what "sturgeon fish roe" means, you may want to avoid pulling out a dictionary. Put simply, caviar is a food that consists of the roe (eggs) from fish known as sturgeon. While "fish eggs" may not be to everyone's liking, caviar is among the most expensive foods around the globe (per Caviar Star). The delicacy can cost between $50 to $3,000 per ounce, and the price goes up in value depending on how rare the type of sturgeon is (via 

If you're already familiar with food combinations that are surprisingly good, like ranch dressing on pizza, then you may wonder whether chefs have tried combining any foods with caviar over the years. According to Food & Wine, you can essentially combine caviar with anything, including pizza, scrambled eggs, or even onion dip. Apparently, some experts looking for oddly delicious food pairings turned to science to reach a similar conclusion. They discovered that together, chocolate and caviar are a delight to the tastebuds. But what type of chocolate is the best to pair with caviar? 

Chefs recommend white chocolate and caviar

In a piece for The Guardian, celebrity chef Heston Marc Blumenthal writes about what prompted him to experiment with certain unexpected food pairings over 20 years ago. He writes that eating is an activity that involves all of the senses, which may influence our perception of different foods. Blumenthal suggests that people might like or dislike certain foods based on factors such as memories and the brain's perception. For example, Blumenthal writes that our eyes may cause us to believe that green ketchup tastes differently, even though it tastes exactly the same. He argues that while the combination he recommends may seem unexpected, there is a method to his madness.

According to Blumenthal, salt highlights the flavor of various desserts and this reasoning also applies when it comes to white chocolate. Therefore, Blumenthal initially tried combining white chocolate and other salt-based options like "cured duck ham" and "shellfish," which failed. He was surprised, however, when he discovered that caviar and white chocolate work wonders on the palate. Per The Takeout, in the 2020 book "The Art and Science of Foodpairing," Blumenthal shares, "Caviar transformed the flavor far more spectacularly than I could have imagined, making it richly smooth, briny and buttery." This discovery prompted Blumenthal to ask a food chemist in Switzerland exactly why this coupling makes for such a great mix. 

The science behind chocolate and caviar

Blumenthal writes that the first time Swiss scientist Francois Benzi tried caviar and white chocolate, he was so shocked by how good the two foods tasted that he had to step aside for 30 minutes to ponder the pairing (per The Guardian). According to Benzi, both white chocolate and caviar have a lot of "amines," or a "group of proteins," that also add to the flavor we find in "cooked meats and cheeses." The scientist suggests that this feature is what makes chocolate and caviar such a great fit. 

In 1992, Blumenthal and Benzi worked together to form "the food pairing hypothesis" (per Discover). Although the hypothesis has been questioned by other scientists, their theory states that "ingredients will work well together in a dish if they share similar flavors." If you're looking to do your own experiment, Blumenthal recommends that you use white chocolate discs and have to use real caviar, as substitutes do not have the same effect (via The Guardian). Alternatively, there is a fine dining restaurant called Coda in Berlin that offers a "caviar popsicle," (per 50 BEST STORIES).