Only the unfertilized eggs of the Sturgeon fish, and only after it has been salted, is considered to be Caviar.
Caviar from Beluga Sturgeon, the largest and only carnivorous Sturgeon, is by far the most expensive.
Caviar generally conveys a sense of luxury and exclusivity. The thought of it more often than not brings up the association of something that is very rare and expensive. For the cynics among us, however, caviar might merely be considered fish eggs that really have no business being so ridiculously expensive.
But there truly is a lot more to caviar than meets the eye. Caviar is made from fish roe, the unfertilized eggs of fish and other marine animals. Nutritious fish roe can actually be harvested from any number of different fish, and like all fish and fish products, roe is rich in vital nutrients and has therefore been rightly considered a healthy food for humans for a very long time.
But Caviar is not simply fish eggs. In fact, the unfertilized eggs of any fish by itself simply isn’t considered to be caviar. Only the unfertilized eggs of the Sturgeon fish, and only after it has been salted, is considered to be Caviar. Sturgeon, for its part, is a common name for more than 20 different species of large fish of which the most famous is the Beluga Sturgeon, also considered to produce the best caviar.
Like Salmon, Sturgeon hatch in freshwater but spend most of their lives in saltwater. The Beluga Sturgeon should not be confused with the Beluga Whale, however. Whales are found in all the world’s oceans major oceans, while Beluga Sturgeon are found almost exclusively in the Caspian Sea, the world’s largest saltwater lake.
Caviar can come from any number of Sturgeon. But caviar from Beluga Sturgeon, the largest and only carnivorous Sturgeon, is by far the most expensive. And why is this? Well, there are two main reasons: 1) the fact that overfishing has brought the Beluga near the point of extinction and 2) the fact that they have a very slow reproduction cycle, which means that obtaining the roe can be quite the waiting game. Beluga caviar is actually currently banned in the United States because of concerns regarding the species becoming extinct.
Caviar is also unique in terms of the utensils it must be eaten with. While silver spoons are appropriate for basically any other fine dining experience, they are a big no-no when it comes to caviar. This is because like it absorbs salt, caviar also absorbs silver, which can negatively impact its taste. This is why it is highly recommended that you eat caviar with a Mother-of-Pearl spoon, which is nonreactive, allowing the caviar’s true taste to come through perfectly.
I hope the characteristics of caviar that I have highlighted today will lead you to a renewed appreciation for this nutritious, delicious and luxurious treat.
Paul Russell is co-founder of Luxury Academy London, a multi-national training company with offices in London, Mumbai and Visakhapatnam. Luxury Academy London specialise exclusively in the luxury industry and deliver training in leadership, communication and business etiquette training for companies and private clients across the globe.
Prior to founding Luxury Academy London, Paul worked in senior leadership roles within luxury hospitality. A dynamic trainer and seminar leader, Paul has designed and taught courses, workshops and seminars worldwide on a wide variety of soft skills.