Real caviar—the expensive stuff—comes from sturgeon eggs. If the eggs did not come from the sturgeon fish, it can’t indeed be called caviar; and you shouldn’t pay the premium for either. We’re going to take a quick look at the different types of caviar (the real stuff).
Caviar can come from many different countries. The country of origin isn’t what determines if it is caviar or not. Remember, it is the fish. Some of the best caviars come from Russia, Iran, and Italy.
Wild vs. Farmed
Caviar can come from wild-caught sturgeon. They can also come from farmed sturgeon. Italy is known for their quality, caviar produce from farmed sturgeon.
Wild caught caviar is harvested from fishers who catch sturgeon during migration. When the wild sturgeons migrate to lay their eggs, they are captured, and the eggs are collected. The eggs are extracted from the ovaries and then washed with running cold water. The sturgeon is killed, and the meat is usually kept.
Farmed caviar is harvested from farmed sturgeons. Some attempts are made to collect the eggs from sturgeon without killing it.
The Different Types of Real Caviar
Real caviar is sturgeon eggs, cured in salt. The different types of caviar here will only cover true caviar. The different types are also categorized by the kind of sturgeon it comes from. For example, the Osetra caviar below comes from the Osetra sturgeon.
Osetra is Russian caviar. The eggs come from mature sturgeon that can be as old as 50 years. The roe is about medium size. They are usually a golden-brown color. Although a darker brown is not uncommon.
This type of caviar comes from a smaller variety of sturgeons, Sevruga. They produce smaller eggs, but they are cheaper the other types. The reason they are more affordable is that they produce much faster.
One of the most prized of all caviar. The eggs are harvested from the biggest sturgeons, Beluga. That results in eggs that are much bigger and much juicier. The eggs are usually a dark color—almost black. These can be hard to find, so they fetch a high price.
Almas caviar is the most prized of caviar. They are very rare, and they are costly. They cost even more than the Beluga type. The eggs are harvest from albino sturgeons. If you were guessing the eggs are white, then you are correct. The roe is white, very smooth and it has a vibrant and creamy taste. Even in ancient times, this rare delicacy was affordable to the noble elites only.
Where to Buy Caviar Online
To buy caviar locally, you will have to shop around and look for a specialty/gourmet foods store. You can also check your local grocery store and see if they happen to have it. Finding quality caviar locally can be difficult and often, much costlier.
The best way to buy caviar is online. Some reliable online stores specialize in this stuff. They have a reputation for selling quality and authentic caviar. They are often slightly more affordable compared to buying locally too. It’s also quite convenient, and you don’t have to run around town trying to find it.
If the eggs come from a different fish such as carp, salmon, trout, or any other fish for that matter, it is not real caviar, and it shouldn’t be labeled as such. Authentic caviar has to come from the sturgeon fish. It can be marked as caviar substitute, but you shouldn’t pay the same premium for it. The label as also use the term caviar if it has the name of the fish on it. For example, “salmon caviar.” There is nothing wrong with substitutes, and if you don’t feel like paying the premium for real caviar, it is an option to consider. However, if you want real caviar, then you’ll have to look carefully to make sure you are getting what you’re paying for. There are many different types of caviar, and that includes authentic, and substitutes. Be mindful of where you buy it from, as well as the label.