The Common Man's Caviar

July 7, 2008

Have you ever gotten disapproving looks at parties for eagerly scooping up too much of the caviar? That's never happened to me per se (I'm much too sneaky to get caught), but if you have then you will enjoy this scoop-worthy roe.

Tarama is cod or carp roe that is salted, dried and sometimes smoked. When combined with olive oil, lemon and soaked bread a classic Greek meze, often referred to as the "common man's caviar," is created: taramosalata. Creamy, lemony, and with just the right amount of that fishy-saltiness, taramosalata is good and cheap enough to make you unapologetically snarf it down like a hungry Greek fisherman.

And I do.

Prep time: 10 minutes

  • 3 1/2 ounces of cod or carp roe (plain or smoked)
  • 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 slices of bread, crust removed
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • warm water

Run the bread under water, then squeeze dry. Put roe and bread in a food processor and blend (setting 2) until mixed. Add the olive oil and lemon juice slowly and pulse until creamy and thick. If it gets too thick use a bit of warm water to thin it out. Cover and place in the refrigerator until well chilled.

Personal experience note: unless you like the taste of a fish monger's floor, then do not lick the tarama spoon <gag!>. Patiently wait until the recipe has been completed.

In a hurry? You can also find pre-made taramosalata in Mediterranean markets or on

Thank you SunSirrah for your nice photo!
Taramosalata on Foodista



Melanie D's picture

Looks really yummy to me. The bread looks so soft and so delicious. Thanks for sharing, i'll try this tomorrow and see if i can impress my mom.

Lauren's picture

I want to know what that beautiful bread is! Definitely stole the show in this post.

Buttered Lips's picture

I LOVE taramosalata. Thanks for the recipe...I'm going to make it....just as soon as I find the roe. Have you ever tried skordalia? These two are my favorite things to eat with pita.