What's the proper way to say "1 unit of caviar"? Caviar is an uncountable noun even though technically it's countable unlike water, so because of that I am not sure if you can refer to "1 unit of caviar" idiomatically. Is it the case? I thought about "1 egg of caviar", "1 unit of caviar", but they sound really weird and unidiomatic. How would you say it?

For example:

He took 1 unit of caviar and put it on top of a rice ball just to show him he was a frugal chef.

  • by "1 unit" do you want to mean exactly 1 egg? or just a small amount of caviar? – katatahito Jul 8 '19 at 1:21
  • 1
    I mean exactly 1 egg – blackbird Jul 8 '19 at 1:22

Reading this caviar website it seems that beads or pearls would be an appropriate way to refer to a caviar egg.

He took one caviar pearl and put it on top of a rice ball just to show him he was a frugal chef.


Caviar comes in tin cans, so we usually say one tin or one can of caviar, just like we say one can of tuna.

If you use ctrl+F on this page, you'll see people using both tin and can.

If you are looking for the word for individual eggs, the most conversational thing to say would be just that: one caviar egg.

Another answer cites the word pearl found on a culinary blog. This sounds like restaurantese to me: the writer chose a beautiful, spherical, and nautical object to highlight caviar's luxurious image. Ditto for bead. I would choose one of these words if you are writing with the intent of making the caviar sound delicious, e.g. promotional copy or a restaurant menu.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.