Back in the days when the wild sturgeon were in plentiful supply, caviar wasn't just a delicacy for the Russian Czars; in fact, if you lived in New York State, you’d expect to be given a taste of salted Hudson River sturgeon caviar on the house along with your nickel glass of beer! Today’s equivalent of complimentary salted nuts on the bar may seem like a pale shadow of its predecessor but the desired effect is the same – the bar staff keep you thirsty and you stay a little longer at the bar!
Nowadays, caviar is considered a luxury food item which only the very affluent can afford, but with the introduction of farmed sturgeon aimed at preserving wild sturgeon fish stocks and increasing supply, the choice of caviar on the market has grown extensively and is now within reach of many thousands more consumers.
For the newcomer to the wonderful world of caviar, it may be daunting not knowing where to start, not understanding the basic differences between caviar varieties and not knowing how to get the most from your caviar dining experience. With this in mind, we've compiled a short guide to some of the key sturgeon species and other caviar terminology to help you feel more at home.
Beluga Sturgeon Caviar:
Beluga is the largest of the sturgeon and can grow up to 6m in length. At the beginning of the 20th Century it represented 40% of all sturgeon catch but by 2005 it accounted for a mere 1%. As awareness of its endangered state became clear the US introduced a ban of the import and sale of Beluga caviar and nowadays there are several substitute sturgeon caviars available, such as our Kaluga Fusion Caviar which possess similar qualities to the much-revered Beluga with its large steely-grey sturdy grains.
Osetra Sturgeon Caviar:
The Osetra sturgeon is smaller than the Beluga and it's caviar is considered by many caviar connoisseurs to be one of the most flavorful and sought-after caviars on the market. There are many choices of Osetra caviar available to try but they are share a similar nutty, buttery taste, although the grains can vary in color from black to gold to almost translucent depending on the variety.
Sevruga Sturgeon Caviar:
As a smaller sturgeon, the caviar roe from the Sevruga Sturgeon is significantly smaller than the Beluga or the Osetra, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in full flavor. Crisp and fruity small grains, only slightly larger than a mustard seed, possess a rich, salty flavor and a smooth buttery after-taste.
If you want to find out more about how to maximise the pleasure you get from your chosen caviar, please head over to our recent blog posts The Art of Serving Caviar and Caviar and Champagne.
If you're a newcomer to the gourmet world of caviar and are looking to buy caviar for the first time, take your time to read about the different varieties of sturgeon caviar and salmon roe we currently stock, both in terms of taste profile and cost.
If you're aspiring to find the best caviar for you, why not start looking today because we have an outstanding range of true sturgeon caviars? Click on the following link to see our full range of premium caviars and how to order caviar online.