Back in the days when the sturgeon were in plentiful supply, caviar wasn't just a delicacy for the Russian Czars; in fact, many years ago, 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 – they 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 fish stock 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 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 River Kaluga Caviar, which possess similar qualities to the much-revered Beluga with its large steely-grey sturdy grains.
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.
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