- Food and Cooking»
- World Cuisines»
- Central, Northern & Eastern European Cuisine
Incredible, Edible, Caviar
Incredible, Edible Caviar!
From Beluga to Sevruga, culinary critics and consumers alike are drawn to this romantic delicacy from the Caspian Sea. Expensive and extraordinary, this elixir of eggs is mainly harvested from the hardy sturgeon, one of the world’s oldest fish. The sturgeon provides what is the most commonly known type of caviar, - Beluga, from its roe (eggs which are still inside the ovarian sac), as well as the three other major sorts of Sterlet, Osetra and Sevruga, all of which are named after the particular type of sturgeon that they are collected from.
Often perceived as a food for the affluent and famous, caviar has become affordable and far more available for everyone, due to the emergence of modern caviar farms. This luxury was originally particularly expensive due to the fact that it had to be harvested from wild sturgeon in the Caspian Sea of Russia. The manpower and fuel costs alone being enough to make it classically expensive, the inevitable depletion of sturgeon stocks eventually drove the price beyond believable. Fish farms producing caviar have sprung up in America, Canada, Iran and even Israel and now supply the majority of the world’s sturgeon roe. The internet has also assisted in enabling caviar to be accessible to the masses, and can be found and ordered online for as little as $100 an ounce. Shipping costs are a bit expensive, as the dish has to be kept refrigerated, but the quality is good and the reward worthwhile!
The quality of caviar is determined by several factors which should be kept in mind if you’re planning on having a champagne and caviar party. Colour is indeed important, but rather than darkness indicating its excellence, generally the lighter the grains the better the quality. Egg size, lucidity and maturity are also class indicators. Caviar should be served in the can on a bed of crushed ice, accompanied by some toast or blini, a small Russian type pancake made from buckwheat. The most popular beverage to wash down caviar is of course champagne, though in Russia, the home of caviar, it is taken with chilled vodka so as not to disturb the caviar’s flavour. So what are you waiting for, call some friends, pop that bubbly or chill that Stoli and get cool with some caviar!