Yes, Mystery Meat is back! Because I’m really too curious for my own good sometimes. Here’s something from this past winter:
It does look like caviar and cream on toast, doesn’t it? That’s probably why I decided to try this stuff out — one of the things I miss the most about SoCal is the variety of fresh seafood. You could easily get at least five different kinds of fish roe at the local Japanese market. Not so much the case here. The only stuff they have is salmon roe, and even those are teeny tiny in comparison to the plump marble-sized ones we had back in OC. Mmmm, salmon roe.
Anyway, love of fish eggs drove me to try this stuff out. But as you know with anything featured on Mystery Meat, it ain’t what it looks like. Click below to see what I really bought…
A taste of Finland, it says! Well, actually, “Finnish taste”, but I most certainly hope it doesn’t taste like Finns. Especially not the ones stumbling home drunk from the bar down the street. Berries of the Sea, it trumpets! Black and red seaweed caviar, cholesterol free! Yep, I bought faux vegetarian caviar. It was mostly for decorative garnish purposes, but I figured that I’d have to eat a more sizable portion to report back on the actual taste experience, hence the toast spread above.
And what can I say about it, exactly? Meh. I mean, I’ve heard of the stuff before — read an article on some pretty high-quality imitation caviar coming out of Japan a while ago. But perhaps I’m not the best person to review this, and probably not even close to being the target demographic, owing to my deep love of real seafood. They tasted a bit too oily and artificially flavored, to me. The coatings even verged on being a bit rubbery, which totally ruins the fish egg feeling. The orange ones were more offending than the black ones, probably because they used stronger flavoring. I ended throwing out the orange tub and keeping the black for garnish. I do think these would make perfectly decent garnishes for when you’re mass producing huge plates of hors d’œuvre, or to add a bit of splash to a food blog photograph, but I probably wouldn’t ever subject anybody to more than a little dab.
The stuff I used below the caviar, btw, was spreadable Finnish cream cheese. A bit more cheesy than Philly, but still rather tasty in its own way.