Congratulatory message by President Serzh Sargsyan on the occasion of New Year

Public Radio of Armenia
Jan 1 2018
00:02, 01 Jan 2018

Honorable Citizens of the Republic of Armenia,
Dear Compatriots,

I would like to express my gratitude to you just a few minutes before bidding farewell to 2017. I am grateful to Armenia’s soldiers and simple country folk, intellectuals and business people, I am grateful to everyone for dedication, patriotism and patience. Mat the faith we have for our people and the future of the country invigorate us throughout the coming year.

At this moment, we have gathered around festive tables with our family members. Every one of us is summing up the outgoing year, thanking God. Let us see 2018 in with a positive feeling of friendship and kinship.

2017 was a year of successive work and implementation of serious projects. The pace of large-scale transformations was not down at all; moreover, we implemented them with ever greater determination. The achievements we had this year are first of all your own achievements. And yet, we have much to do in order to consolidate the foundations of the Armenian statehood and society.

Our ambitions are great, and we will be consistent in implementing them. We will continue to defend Artsakh’s legitimate rights and interests. The work done by the authorities should be felt by every citizen of Armenia and instill a feeling of confidence in us. We have a wonderful country, and we should be proud of being a citizen of such a country.

Dear Compatriots,

In 2017, we elected a new national assembly. The electoral campaign was too keen, but the atmosphere was constructive. We avoided hostility and social divide, which matters more than the number of votes. This is another sound trend that should be built on in the New Year. Mutual respect, tolerance and consolidation must set benchmarks in Armenia’s political life.

Next year we will complete our transition to the new system of governance. It is noteworthy that we will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Armenia at the same time. We can state confidently that we will usher in this jubilee with more cohesive and well-established social and political institutions.

We are going to get our fellow countrymen back to Armenia. They will be back seeing that a great deal of work has to be done in Homeland. The chief objective of our work is to open up new horizons and opportunities, provide a wider field of activity for each Armenian citizen.

Dear Compatriots,

In 2017, we stepped up our efforts to build the armed forces of Armenia. As a result, we expect that those parents seeing off their sons to the army might feel confident that their son is called up to serve in well-organized and highly disciplined armed forces. Let us wish our soldiers good service. Let us thank them for protecting our peace.

One more year is going to join the line-up of Armenia’s millennia-long history and the years of our emerging independent statehood. Let the Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora trinity continue to strengthen in 2018; may our borders be safe and our homes – hospitable.

Let us raise a glass to wish peace to the Armenian world, as well as warmth and cohesion to our families. Always remember that the foundation of our country is the family.
May our hearth and home always be blessed with an atmosphere of love, affection, care and understanding!

Happy New Year and Christmas!

New Year Message of His Holiness Karekin II

Public Radio of Armenia
Jan 1 2018
00:01, 01 Jan 2018


Dear Faithful in the Homeland and the Diaspora,

On this festive day of New Year, we extend Our Pontifical love and blessings to you, dear faithful people of Armenia and the Diaspora. At this moment our hearts are full of expectations, prayers to God, and God’s graces. Our wish is that our achievements and joys be multiplied this year, we overcome all concerns, our Homeland be strengthened, our families be strong, and our people worldwide live safe and protected. With such devoted feelings we step into a New Year, also reflecting on the passing year.

In 2017 our people made every effort to overcome their problems, in order to secure prosperity and progress for our country. Employees, intellectuals, businessman, statesman, and everyone in their own field; made every effort to contribute to the progress of our people. The borders of our Homeland were courageously protected by the brave soldiers of our Army, the guarantee of our people’s peaceful and creative life. Our spiritual church life also benefited from the good service of the clergyman, the faithful progress of our nation’s children and church-devoted undertakings. With the Lord’s mercy, our difficulties did not overpower us, and we were more hopeful with achievements. Love towards our country, nation, and children, and our desire and vision to create a bright future, granted our people the strength and zeal to act.

In 2018 we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia and the Heroic Battles of May. During this last century, our people have passed a great way to the incensement of national life. Those decades, with many difficulties, have been years of state-building, patriotism, development in the areas of science, education, and our culture, organization of a national life in the Diaspora and worldwide, and progress and revival.

Dear faithful, let us welcome the year 2018, by stressing the importance of our people’s achievements, let us also welcome the new year with zeal; to make more and more efforts for the sake of the development and strengthening of our Homeland and fulfillment of our national aspirations. As a faithful nation of Christ and as a nation with a state, let us with responsibility, love for each other, and seeking God’s blessings for our deeds; continue serving for the progress of our state, national, and spiritual life. At this New Year’s Eve, the Apostle’s commandment is sounded anew: “Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.” (Colossians 4:5). Let us value the time of our life through implementing the dreams of our spirit, for the glory of our Homeland and happiness of our people.

Dear beloved let us share the joy of New Year with each other, and be strengthened with hope and optimism. Let’s help the poor, lonely, and vulnerable people. Let’s help and support the Armenian army. Let our army be strong, and our people firm with faith. We pray for peace in the world. We wish peace and prosperity to our country, new achievements to our national authorities and our people of Armenia, Artsakh, and the Diaspora. May the abundant grace of our Savior shed joy, happiness, and a myriad of benefits in your life. We wish you a good and blessed year.

Happy New Year!

Italy to assume OSCE Chairmanship, particular attention will be paid to Karabakh conflict, Armenia
Jan 1 2017
Italy to assume OSCE Chairmanship, particular attention will be paid to Karabakh conflict Italy to assume OSCE Chairmanship, particular attention will be paid to Karabakh conflict

11:06, 01.01.2018

As of Monday, January 1, 2018, Italy will assume Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), reported RIA Novosti news agency of Russia.    

In July 2016, this decision was unanimously approved by the 57 OSCE members. At that time, then FM of Italy, Paolo Gentiloni, had noted that the priority issue of the Italian chairmanship will be the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.

He had added that special attention will be paid to frozen conflicts—including the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) conflict—within the OSCE expanse, as well as to the migrant and refugee crisis, and the strengthening of cooperation between southern Mediterranean countries.

Shortage of teachers and doctors in Armenia’s regions, Armenia
Jan 1 2017
Shortage of teachers and doctors in Armenia's regions Shortage of teachers and doctors in Armenia's regions

14:04, 01.01.2018

YEREVAN. – The most demanded jobs in Armenia’s regions in 2017 were a doctor and a teacher.

During the last year there were vacancies for doctors and teachers in the regions, representative of Armenia’s employment agency Tsoghik Bezhanyan told Armenian However, in Yerevan, vacant seats were not highly paid. According to her, the jobs of a doctor, a teacher (in the regions), an IT specialist, an engineer, an architect and an accountant were in demand in the labor market.

According to the information provided by State Employment Agency, 8,400 people found jobs in Armenia from January to November 2017.

Sports: Jose Mourinho reacts to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s latest Man United performance

The Sport Review
Jan 1 2017

The Armenia international’s future has been a source of relentless debate over the past couple of months after the attacking midfielder fell down the pecking order at Old Trafford.

The 28-year-old started his second Premier League game since a 1-0 loss to defending champions Chelsea on 5 November.

Mkhitaryan featured for a mere 45 minutes in a 2-2 draw with Burnley at Old Trafford on Boxing Day, while the Armenian playmaker lasted 65 minutes in a goalless draw with Southampton in their last home clash in 2017.

The former Borussia Dortmund midfielder has been linked with a potential return to the Bundesliga outfit in recent weeks, while Serie A giants Inter Milan have also been touted with an interest in the Armenian.

Asked about Mkhitaryan’s performances ahead of Manchester United’s dour goalless draw with the Saints, Mourinho replied: “He’s come on well with a good attitude, good dynamic and good enthusiasm.

“He gave something to the team in that second half [against Burnley last week] and so with Anthony Martial injured and Marcus Rashford playing 90 minutes of that match, it’s normal that I have to play other players when I can and have solutions in the squad to make that rotation.”

Manchester United brought in Mkhitaryan in a £30m deal from Dortmund in the 2016 summer transfer window after the attacking midfielder became the third signing of the Mourinho era.

The Red Devils are in third place in the Premier League table after Chelsea hoisted themselves above Mourinho’s side.

By The Sport Review staff

Kim Kardashian Named Fifth Most Popular Celebrity Of 2017

Eurasia Review
Jan 1 2018
Kim Kardashian Named Fifth Most Popular Celebrity Of 2017

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian who has Armenian roots is named the fifth most popular celebrity in 2017, according to

As in past years, the platform is recapping the most popular actors, most popular actresses, and the most popular music stars on JJ from January-December, and provides one final list of the most popular celebrities (which includes entertainers, actors, actresses, reality stars, and more).

All of the rankings posted in the recaps are based on statistics grabbed from reader interaction via pageviews, comments, and more.

According to popularity, Kardashian lags behind Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomes, at the same time outperforming all her sister and half-sisters, Rihanna, Brad Pitt, Beyonce and a host of others.

Armenak Alajajian Basket Player, Coach, 86: Star Athlete was unknown in Canada

The Globe and Mail (Canada)
January 1, 2018 Monday
Ethnic Armenian immigrated to Toronto and first worked in a parking lot, but was honoured in the former Soviet Union and Armenia
TOM HAWTHORN, Special to The Globe and Mail
While playing for the Soviet Union in the gold-medal basketball game at the 1964 Olympics, point guard Armenak Alajajian contested a loose ball, only to have a much larger American land on his back. At just that instant, a photographer caught the Soviet player being bowled over.
That image graced the sports pages of dozens, if not hundreds, of newspapers in North America, preserving a memorable if inelegant play involving one of the era's best players.
The Americans won the gold medal in the match, while Mr. Alajajian and his teammates settled for silver. For a decade, the ethnic Armenian point guard was a standout athlete for two of the better basketball teams in the world – the Soviet Union national team and CSKA, the Red Army team based in Moscow. A brooding, beetle-browed figure of intensity on the basketball court, Mr. Alajajian's great playmaking, including daring, no-look, behind-the-back passes at the Olympics, demonstrated less a flair for showmanship than a calculated deception to get a teammate in the open for a clear shot.
After winning European championships as both an athlete and a coach, Mr. Alajajian followed family members by immigrating to Canada, where he could only find work in Toronto as a parking-lot attendant. He was given entrée to the diamond and jewellery business after a fellow Armenian was startled to recognize so famous an athlete in so humble a position. At 44, he also became basketball coach of the Hawks at Humber College, where he registered in an English program to better communicate with his players.
Mr. Alajajian, who died at 86, played and coached amateur basketball in Toronto for two decades. The diamond merchant was known in the Armenian-Canadian community for his philanthropy. He was inducted into the Armenian General Benevolent Union Sports Hall of Fame in Toronto last year.
While his athletic prowess was little known in his adopted land, where he became a citizen, the athlete was honoured both in the former Soviet Union, where a high school in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, bears his name, and in the independent nation of Armenia, a former Soviet republic, where a postage stamp containing his likeness dribbling a ball was issued to commemorate the 2000 Olympics.
Mr. Alajajian was born on Dec. 25, 1930, at Alexandria, Egypt, where his family settled in the aftermath of the Armenian genocide. According to a niece, his mother had been found by the Red Cross wandering the Anatolian countryside and was sent to an orphanage in Greece.
In high school, Mr. Alajajian played tennis, table tennis, soccer and racquetball, while also competing in track and field, though it was on the basketball court where he showed the greatest promise.
After the Second World War, his family heeded a call for repatriation, a movement known as nergaght, a "gathering in" of diaspora Armenians to a homeland, even if it was ruled by the Soviets and not the one from which they had fled. Later, disillusion would set in and many left again for foreign lands.
As a teenager in 1948, he enrolled at Yerevan State University in the Armenian capital, becoming captain of the basketball team. After graduation in 1951, he qualified for the club team SKIF Yerevan, which won the Soviet championship in Odessa that year thanks to his 43 points against Kiev.
After two seasons with Burevestnik Almaty in Kazakhstan, the point guard joined the Soviet Red Army, playing for its CSKA (Central Sports Club of the Army) team in Moscow. His determined play earned him a spot on the roster of the Soviet national team for nine seasons.
His club team won nine Soviet championships during his stint, while also winning four European championships. He wore No. 6 and was known as Alachachian, or Alachachyan, or Alatchatchan from the transliteration of his name from Russian.
Mr. Alajajian made his Olympic debut at Tokyo in 1964, scoring five points against Canada in a preliminary game. In the final against the United States, he sank three of eight shots, many of those coming from a distance in an era before the threepoint shot. The United States maintained an undefeated record in Olympic play by prevailing over the Soviets, 73-59, in a chippy, physical game typical of such Cold War showdowns.
Afterwards, Mr. Alajajian, who spoke some English, told reporters the American victory was deserved, as they had "played a better game, with better rebounding, better shooting."
"We played good, very good, for the first eight minutes," he said. "But the Americans played good for 40 minutes. If we play bad for three or four minutes, that's all they need. They rebound well, they come up with the ball and get to take lots of shots."
The point guard acknowledged the physical play in the final. "Basketball is not tennis," he shrugged.
The Soviet Union recognized the Olympic silver medals by naming him and his teammates to the Orden znak pocheta (Order of the Badge of Honour).
Mr. Alajajian's stellar play, not to mention his command of English, at least as compared with the rest of the Soviet entourage, provided an opportunity for him to travel the world for exhibitions and competitions. He even got to tour the 1965 World's Fair in New York.
After retiring as a player in 1967, he became coach of CSKA, a position he would hold for five years, winning three Soviet titles, as well as the Cup of Europe twice. His coaching record with CSKA was an impressive 130-40.
A student of the game, Mr. Alajajian wrote basketball features for the newspaper Sovetskii Sport and the magazine Sportivnye igry (Sporting Games). He also wrote two books – a memoir, Notes of a Basketball Player (1965), and a coaching treatise, Not Only About Basketball (1970).
In Toronto, he served as head coach of the senior Armenian General Benevolent Union team. The group also benefited from his charitable giving, as did the Holy Trinity Armenian Church, where his funeral service ultimately was held.
Mr. Alajajian died at Scarborough General Hospital in Toronto on Dec. 4 from complications after breaking his hip in a fall. He leaves behind his son, Arthur Alajajian; daughter, Karina Alajajian; four grandchildren; and sisters, Rose Whitehorn and France Kandaharian. He was divorced.
The American player who landed on Mr. Alajajian's back at the 1964 Olympics was Lucious (Luke) Brown Jackson, a 6-foot-9 power forward, who stood 14 inches taller and weighed 40 pounds more than the point guard he crushed. Mr. Jackson later played professionally in the National Basketball Association, winning a championship with Wilt Chamberlain and the Philadelphia 76ers in 1967.
Despite the passage of more than a half-century, Mr. Jackson, now 76, remembered his opponent.
"He and I were going for a rebound, or a loose ball. It was a battle," he said when reached recently at his home in Beaumont, Tex. He recalled Mr. Alajajian as a pesky rival. "He was a good player. He could shoot the ball."
The accolade did not quite match the greatest praise the athlete ever received, which came courtesy of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, who once said of the speedy guard: "He blasts like a rocket!"

Sports: Is Mourinho to blame for Mkhitaryan’s woes?

The Independent - UK
January 1, 2018 Monday
Is Mourinho to blame for Mkhitaryan's woes?
Henrikh Mkhitaryan stared after the ball, his eyes narrowing as it
bounced. Manchester United had been on a breathless counter-attack,
Marcus Rashford's legs in fast-twitch mode as he dribbled at two
remaining Southampton defenders. He had sprayed a pass left to
Mkhitaryan before sprinting to the penalty area, urging for a return
which never arrived.
What followed instead was a wild cross, landing 30 yards from its
target. Mkhitaryan briefly stood still on the Old Trafford pitch and
watched the ball run away towards a tower of supporters groaning and
cursing. He seemed to analyse, before jutting his tongue into his
cheek a little rebelliously and turning away. We can't know what
Mkhitaryan was thinking at that moment, 20 minutes into Saturday's
goalless draw, but it looked like the face of a man who was thoroughly
fed up.
The Armenian has been a peripheral figure this season and looks likely
to depart in January, perhaps returning to Borussia Dortmund, only 18
months after he was announced as one of Jose Mourinho's first
statement signings. Which raises a question - how has it come to this?
Mkhitaryan arrived at Old Trafford in the summer of 2016 for £30m - a
sizable sum before PSG's Neymar apocalypse. At 27 he was at the height
of his powers, the reigning Bundesliga players' player of the year
switching to the Premier League. At his unveiling Mourinho hailed a
versatile goalscorer with the ability to create chances and goals,
blessed with athleticism and intelligence - in short, the complete
supporting forward.
He has shown glimpses of that brilliance in the intervening season and
a half, enough to know that the player who starred in Shakhtar
Donetsk's irresistible title-winning team and ripped through defences
in Germany has not simply evaporated away.
But he is also thoughtful and astute, a polyglot who studied economics
and law; he has spoken of the importance of his father and idol,
Hamlet, a successful striker whose death at 33 had a profound impact
on the seven-year-old Henrikh. Mkhitaryan gives the impression of
holding a talent to be nurtured, to be coaxed rather than demanded. It
is clear he has it within him to play at United's level; what is less
clear is whether Mourinho has it within himself to rouse it.
In the days after Mourinho's second Chelsea reign ended in the sack,
Jon Obi Mikel gave a revealing interview. He was asked how the new
manager, Guus Hiddink, had positively impacted the squad. "It's the
way he communicates with the players," the midfielder responded.
"Maybe that's what the players felt they didn't get from the previous
manager. Sometimes players - not just because they're not playing -
you need to communicate with them. You need to speak to them and don't
just ignore them because players like to be communicated to."
Mikel conjures an image of an unapproachable manager, a far cry from
the story Frank Lampard tells of the day Mourinho told him in the
shower that he was the best midfielder in the world and he believed
it. That was 2005, and somewhere along the way Mourinho changed. It is
hard to pinpoint an exact moment, but his return to English football
has felt altogether different; the manager who emotionally embraced a
crying Marco Materazzi on his departure from Inter seems some distance
away now - would any player shed tears for this Mourinho?
Perhaps Mkhitaryan is to blame for his own struggles. Perhaps he
failed to adapt - but it was Mourinho who said his new signing was a
perfect fit for the Premier League. Perhaps Mkhitaryan hasn't tried
hard enough - but this is a player with a reputation for an
exceptional work ethic, whose former manager Jürgen Klopp once said:
"There's a reason why the world's best chess players come from Armenia
like Mkhitaryan. They're thinkers, they're hard workers, they graft."
Managers have been letting players falls by the wayside for years and
this is nothing new for Mourinho, who has experienced relationship
breakdowns far more damaging than this one. But it does not reflect
well that one of his marquee signings is already on the verge of
departing in failure, the Old Trafford groan ringing in his ears,
looking forlorn and fed up.

Arseny Roginsky, a Champion of Historical Truth

The New York Times
January 1, 2018 Monday
Arseny Roginsky, a Champion of  Historical Truth
Arseny Roginsky, a founder and the longtime head of the Memorial
organization in Russia who died on Dec. 18, was no doubt familiar with
the admonition of the Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel that to forget a
holocaust is to kill twice. Mr. Roginsky's father died in prison, and
Mr. Roginsky himself spent four years in three different Soviet labor
camps in the 1980s for printing an underground journal whose goal was
''to rescue from oblivion all those historical facts and names that
are currently doomed to perish or disappear.''
That remained his mission to his dying day, briefly with the support
of the Russian state in the 1990s, then again in defiance of it as
Russia under Vladimir Putin set about creating a narrative of Russian
greatness in which historical facts could be a handicap. For Mr.
Roginsky, historical memory meant more than compiling records; it also
meant giving a name to the culprits -- the interrogators, the guards,
the state itself -- and sounding the alarm at violations of human
rights. In recent years, Memorial was targeted with searches, threats
of closing and identification as a ''foreign agent.''
It is not only in Russia, of course, that reckoning with a nefarious
past has been a struggle. Germany's Nazi past, America's Confederate
monuments, Turkey's refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide,
China's censoring talk about the Tiananmen massacre and many other
examples bear witness to the difficulty of confronting a troubling
The reasons are many. Those who lived through hell, as Russians of an
older generation did, may prefer to blot out the horrors they endured
or inflicted. Younger generations prefer to live for today. Political
leaders prefer to project a noble history, sometimes by turning
complicity in atrocities into claims of victimhood. In Russia, Mr.
Putin and many of his lieutenants came from the K.G.B. and resisted
fully confronting its repressive history. And they, like many of their
countrymen, prefer to portray Stalin not only as the architect of the
Gulag but also as the leader who built Russia's industrial might and
led it to victory in the Great Patriotic War, as World War II is known
in Russia.
The Russian state does not deny the Gulag. Memorials to victims exist
across Russia. The Butovo Poligon, or firing range, outside Moscow
where more than 20,000 political prisoners were shot and buried in
mass graves has been turned into a Russian Orthodox memorial site. In
October, President Putin opened a Kremlin-promoted monument to victims
of political repression in Moscow, the Wall of Sorrow.
To Mr. Roginsky, referring to ''victims of political repression'' was
not enough. The phrasing made it sound as if the repression descended
like a plague, he said in an interview with Masha Gessen in The New
Yorker, ''and then the repressions ended and we just keep on living.''
No, he said, ''these are victims of the state. This was state
Yet Mr. Roginsky was not among the dissidents who scoffed at the Wall
of Sorrow as a hypocritical project of the state. It would still be
there after the current powers were gone, he argued, and even if it
did not give the full story, future generations would know there was a
great evil in Russia's past. Confronting the past is essential for a
nation's future, he believed, but it is a task for generations.
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Inside the Unexpectedly Fascinating World of Petrossian Caviar

Jan 2018 / Feb 2018

Photo by Oddur Thorisson
Armen Petrossian in the company tasting room.
The inimitable, family-owned outfit runs one of the most iconoclastic cafes in all of Paris.

"Go ahead, eat as much as you can." Armen Petrossian, the patriarch of the firm whose name is synonymous with one of the world’s most famously decadent foods, wasn’t kidding. Dressed in a bow tie and white lab coat, he had just pried open several kilo-size tins of caviar in the tasting room at Petrossian’s headquarters in an industrial park outside Paris. Osetra, sevruga, and beluga glistened golden brown to satiny black under the bright lights. I dug in, churning through a series of little wooden sticks, each mouthful of cured sturgeon roe a distinctive mix of salty and nutty, creamy and even fruity, as the eggs popped against my palate. “It’s not always the most beautiful color that’s the most delicious; it’s the taste and texture of the egg,” said Armen, keeping pace as he passed bite after bite under his gray handlebar mustache. But despite his insistence that I keep going, I eventually tapped out.

Learning I had a limit on caviar wasn’t the most surprising thing about that morning. It was the discovery that Petrossian isn’t, as I’d always imagined, part of some massive European luxury conglomerate. Rather, for nearly 100 years, it has essentially remained a mom-and-pop operation, ever since Armen’s father, Mouchegh, and uncle, Melkoum, fled the Armenian genocide to start a new life in France, in 1920. Back home, not far from the sturgeon-rich Caspian Sea, caviar wasn’t exactly an everyday dish—it was consumed mainly by elites—but in France, already the gastronomic capital of the world, it was virtually unknown. "It took them a good couple of years to convince people about it," says Alexandre Petrossian, Armen’s son and a managing director of the company in the U.S. His grandfather and great-uncle used some of the traditional foods they left behind—smoked salmon, pickled herring—to bring crowds through the door, eventually turning to the Ritz and the French luxury cruise line that built the S.S. Normandie to spread the word. Today, Petrossian’s teal-blue Left Bank épicerie is still at the original address, 18 boulevard de La Tour-Maubourg in the 7th arrondissement, where Armen’s wife, Cécile, presides over the 10 modest tables and the staff, many of whom have been with the family for decades.

I always drop by the shop when I’m in Paris. This spring, I met my friend, the photographer Oddur Thorisson, there for lunch, and we devoured piles of smoked salmon (from the Petrossian smokehouse in Angers, about 180 miles southwest of Paris), Russian potato salad, pâté en croûte, potato galette—and caviar, of course. We picked a bottle of Bollinger La Grande Année from the Champagne list and, eventually, added a few glasses of cold Petrossian vodka to the tab. Sometimes Cécile will pack up a picnic of caviar, blini, gravlax, and other accompagnements for the train ride to my house in Bordeaux. But just as often, at one of the Petrossian kiosks at Charles de Gaulle or LAX, I’ll just grab a 30-gram tin of osetra and a bag of chips to make flying coach a bit more glamorous. A little caviar does go a long way.

"The best caviar is served directly from tin to mouth," says Alexandre Petrossian. "Extras like eggs, capers, and crème fraîche just hide the flavor." Where to begin? His advice is simple: Don't be intimidated by names, and buy what tastes good to you. "One of my favorites right now is Kaluga Huso Hybrid from China," Petrossian says. "It’s not too strong, not too salty, with a balanced palate. Then you have the osetra, beautiful large eggs that are a little more nutty and a dark brown color with jade accents. I also like the Daurenki: Its very floral, large eggs are delicious." While beluga has a rep as the best, you’ll have to go to Paris to buy it. "It’s been banned in the U.S. since 2005," Petrossian says with a sigh.