Black Caviar

Although caviar is most often associated with luxury and excess, paired with champagne and a high rolling lifestyle, caviar is a fairly common item in Russian households. I distinctly remember growing up with my sister and I sitting at the kitchen table slathering slices of white bread in butter and spreading a dollop of caviar on top. Her favorite was red, and mine was black. It was the best combination of sweet and salty and the little clumps of roe would pop in my mouth like bubbles. It could be breakfast, lunch or dinner but most of all it was perpetually in our fridge. My parents emigrated from the Soviet Union to Israel in 1990, and from Israel to the US in 1993. When I was born, they were by no means wealthy and they essentially gave up on their dreams and the illustrious occupations they hold in the Soviet Union. My father would tell me that a good jar of black caviar was more expensive than red and when I was younger I had no sense of the real difference in price, the dent it could put in a monthly grocery budget or how much work it took to get that on the table. All that mattered was that the good jar would be on the countertop, ready for me to slather on every slice of buttered bread I would have coming home from school. Looking back, it fills me with gratitude that my family made so much effort to give us the best and whatever our hearts desired, even if it wasn't necessarily the most fiscally responsible thing to do. Black caviar has never tasted so sweet.

Year: 2016

– Briana Belfer

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