What is caviar and where it comes from?
It is generally believed that caviar is a synonym of luxury, elegance and sophistication but do you really know, what exactly caviar is? This delicacy is considered to be one of the most unusual and expensive additions to any dish. What is more, this is relevant for any event. Whether you are celebrating a wedding, a birthday, a graduation or just want to diversify your daily routine, caviar is more than suitable for that. Its uniqueness, texture, taste and rarity let us talk about it as a separate product.
Caviar is (also known as caviare; from Persian: رایواخ ,romanized: khâvyâr, lit. 'egg-bearing') a cured female sturgeon roe of the family Acipenseridae. In other words, it is a combination of unfertilized sturgeon eggs and salt, its taste can be described as buttery with nutty flavors, although this can vary from tin to tin. The taste of caviar tends to be similar to the ocean water because a good caviar is mild and fresh, there is no fish taste, only you and the ocean.
How much caviar can one fish give?
While sturgeon can be bred in a controlled environment, that doesn't mean farmers are able to make as much caviar as they want. It takes a female sturgeon 8 to 20 years to reach sexual maturity. Only at this point sturgeon produce caviar. But if we are talking about Beluga as the largest member of the whole family then this fish gives about 15% of caviar from the body weight. That means that during the whole life one can give up to 10 kilograms of caviar.
Which fish produces caviar?
Though there are 27 different species of sturgeon, they are highly endangered. Over the past decades, the problem of excessive fishing has arisen. In order to protect different species , it was forbidden to fish in particular places, and to extract caviar only from those fish that live on the special fish farms. That is why these days, all caviar sold comes from farming. The threat to the species is enormous so now the world community makes everything to protect four main sturgeon species:
- Beluga is regarded as the most prestigious and the finest caviar in the world, it has the largest eggs of silver-grey color;
- Osetra caviar is a bit smaller and its color can vary from grey to grey-brown but the taste is similar to Beluga caviar;
- Кaluga caviar is something really close to Beluga but with a slight saltier taste, the color varies from a dark grey to black;
- Sevruga сaviar has the smallest eggs but this but this does not prevent it from having such a rich creamy flavor.
Shades of caviar
Here it seems obvious that caviar should be black but there are some details about the color and its shades. Many consumers are very surprised and sometimes confused by the variety of the color of caviar. Although we call it black, the colors under this term actually range from black or brown to the most valuable gray or gold. All the colors of caviar like brown, gold and others may look like the color of some metal by doing so demonstrating its luxury and uniqueness.