Creamed Caviar in a Tube: How Bad Is It, Really?

Julia Bainbridge
Food Editor
March 3, 2014

This week, we’re taking a look at those international foods popularly thought of as “gross” and testing that theory. (Yay for us.) How bad are they…really?

Photo credit: Julia Bainbridge

Oh, the Swedes. They love their fish, and they love their condiments. Enter Kalles kaviar, creamed smoked fish roe in a tube, which they typically eat squiggled over toast and sliced hard-boiled egg for breakfast

That’s caviar paste. In a tube. An aluminum one.

The idea of that sends a small shiver down our spines.

The ingredients: fish roe, canola oil, sugar, salt, potato flakes, tomato purée, and a few difficult-to-pronounce preservatives. The brand: Kalles, a cult favorite (there was some uproar after IKEA switched from selling Kalles to a private-label version). The flavor: salty, fishy, and great.

"This is not gross,” said one of our editors. “It is very salty, but it is not gross.”

"One of the rare foods that stays in a pleasant way, as caviar does," said another. "More briny than fishy. I want Champagne now."

Another editor summed it up pretty well: “I could eat this all day long.”

Basically, an absolute zero on the Gross Scale. We think it would be great with sliced cucumbers on toast, as a party snack alongside a sweet cocktail.

Curious? You can buy the stuff online for little more than a ritzy latte.

A reminder of everything we tasted in this How Bad Is It, Really? series: Marmite, durian, natto, and haggis. Mmm mmm good (some of it).