The roe of sturgeons from the Black and Caspian seas is traditionally referred to as caviar. However, due to overfishing and mismanagement, production has shifted to sturgeon farms worldwide. There is virtually no wild sturgeon caviar available for sale commercially.
The sturgeons are very sensitive creatures and need a large area to grow. If they're not happy, they won't eat. They also don't produce roe. Good products require good fish.
The rapid production of roe, which used to be the main factor that led to the decline of the prized sturgeon caviar known as the Sevruga, has been replaced by Siberian sturgeons. These are easier to farm than the other varieties. Because of the advancements in aquaculture, the quality of these products has improved. Some of these exceed the best Russian caviars of the past.
Types of Caviar
Getting into the world of caviar can be a daunting experience for new customers. Understanding the various varieties and their differences can be challenging, especially if you must become more familiar with the sturgeon species. To help ease the transition, our guide will teach you everything you need to know about the different caviar types.
The largest sturgeon, Beluga, can grow to 6 meters long. During the early 20th century, it was one of the most common sturgeon species in the world, but by 2005, it had only contributed a tiny portion of the total catch. Due to the alarming decline of this population, the US government banned the import and sale of this fish. Today, there are several substitutes for Beluga caviar. One of these is our Kaluga Fusion Caviar, which has a similar creamy and steely-gray exterior and has the same characteristics as the much-revered sturgeon.
Kaluga Hybrid Caviar
The creamy and balanced flavor of the Kaluga sturgeon caviar is attributed to its unique hybrid structure. Its large pearls are also known for their deep gray color. This type of sturgeon is considered to be the closest relative of Beluga caviar. Because of its critically endangered status, farmed and sustainable sources are preferred for this product.
Compared to the Beluga sturgeon, the Osetra caviar is considered one of the world's most sought-after types of fish. It has a similar nutty taste and is commonly used as a base for other types of food. There are wide varieties of Osetra caviar that you can try, but the grains can vary in color.
Compared to the Osetra or Beluga sturgeons, the caviar roe from the sturgeon known as the Sevruga Sturgeon is smaller. But it's still very flavorful and has a rich and salty flavor. Its small grains are also slightly larger than mustard seeds, creating a smooth and creamy after-taste.
The Siberian sturgeon's caviar is made from dark medium-sized pearls and has a creamy taste. This fish is much easier to raise and can grow much faster than its bigger counterparts. It can live up to 60 years old. It is one of the smaller sturgeons, weighing less than 100 pounds.
The American Ossetra sturgeon caviar is similar to the prized Russian Osetra. Its creamy and robust taste is complemented by its moderate size pearls. The American Ossetra can live to around 80 and weigh 400 pounds. Due to the rising popularity of farm-produced Osetra caviars, top-quality facilities are being established to ensure that the final product is produced according to the right conditions.
The delicate beads of Sterlet sturgeon caviar are used to describe the taste of this delicacy. Although it's said to taste similar to the expensive and prized Sevruga caviar, its size and color are different. An adult Sterlet can grow to around 20 pounds. It can live for up to 25 years.
The small eggs are commonly found in your local restaurant's sushi bar. The larger and finer version of the masago is called the Tobiko, also known as flying-fish roe. It is a type that's considered finer than the capelin or the smelt roe. On the other hand, lumpfish is a domestic product that's usually heavily dyed and is only suitable for garnishes.
Buying Caviar - What to Look for?
When buying caviar, it's important to trust the source. You should be able to know the fish's environment and how they live, as well as the use of certain chemicals and antibiotics.
The international trade in sturgeon has been regulated since 1998. This agreement requires a chain of custody and a label that clearly states the species, harvest year, and country of origin. Since the container you're buying may have been re-packaged, you should ask the seller for CITES documentation. You should rethink your purchase if they don't have it.
An unused tin of caviar can be kept in its original container for up to four weeks. The best way to store it is in the refrigerator's bottom drawer. It should be laid over ice and eaten within two days.
How to Serve & Enjoy Caviar
Great caviar is usually served and unsophisticated. You can serve at least one ounce per person if you have the budget. To serve it, set it in its tin and top it with blinis or slices of buttered bread. The type of caviar you should use should be "malossol," which means "low salt." While other fish roes can be flavorful when blended with other ingredients, great caviar should only have salt and roe.
It is generally believed that caviar should be served with something other than a metal spoon. The only metal you should avoid when serving is silver, as it can cause a metallic taste and tarnish the dish's surface. The use of mother-of-pearl spoons dates back to the 19th century.
Pairing Wine with Caviar
Although Champagne is an obvious choice for pairing caviar, other types of sparkling wine are also good options. Blanc de noirs are known for their highlighted saltiness and higher acid. Some people, however, feel that its bubbles can distract from the delicate texture of the caviar. A crisp Chablis or a mineral-rich blend known as Puligny-Montrachet would be ideal.
What Is The Best Caviar To Try First For Beginners?
If you're planning on spending a lot of money on caviar, choose from Royal Beluga, Osetra, Shassetra, and Sevruga. Siberian sturgeon roe, smaller eggs, has a stronger flavor and is often cheaper than their rivals. It is a good option for those looking for a first-class experience.
What Is The Mildest Caviar?
The Osetra is a medium-sized Russian sturgeon characterized by its brown or seaweed green color. It is often the mildest of the caviars, and its flavor ranges from delicate to sweet.
Do You Chew Or Swallow Caviar?
You should avoid chewing the caviar as it will lose a lot of flavors. Using your tongue, you can also taste the fat and beads of the fish eggs. The expensive item should be enjoyed and not scarfed down.
Why Can't You Use A Metal Spoon With Caviar?
If you use a metallic spoon, your caviar will taste bitter. The caviar will oxidize if exposed to certain metals, such as silver. It could cause the flavor to lose its appeal and become metallic.