Caviar is the name of the fish eggs from a certain type of fish called the sturgeon.
It is a very valuable substance, and costliest one is obtained from the Iranian Caviar.
Iranian caviar has had quite a part in the Persian cuisine since ancient times. Fishing for sturgeon is a traditional activity.
One of the reasons behind the superiority of Persian Caviar in the world is the unique ancestral fishing method. Near 90% of the world’s production of Caviar is done in the Caspian Sea.
After fishing them, the sturgeons are taken to fisheries in order to be washed with water. Afterwards the eggs are extracted of the fish, they have to be examined in order to see if they are of value.
Factors to look to in the examination are the size, color, and the firmness of the eggs. The eggs are split into two categories of Regular and Imperial Caviar. This delicacy is usually consumed as a garnish besides the dish.
Did you know?
- The Salmon Roe which is used as an ingredient in sushi is not Caviar. Caviar is the name only given to unfertilized fish eggs (strictly from sturgeon family).
- Caviar’s judging factors include taste, texture, maturity and color. The Caviar of the higher quality possesses old age, light color and large size.
- Caviar has been considered an extravagant delicacy since old times, the times of Greek and roman tsars.
The extracted eggs are cleansed with water in order to wash way any contamination. After that a tiny amount of sea salt is added to the eggs.
This improves the flavor and helps a great deal with the conservancy.
After being examined and put into containers, the Caviar is prepared for usage and export.
Since Caviar is an extraordinarily perishable substance, the eggs need to be extracted from the sturgeon less than 3 hours. After that it should definitely be refrigerated or otherwise it will go bad.
Sturgeon Fish Family
Sturgeon may refer to “primitive fish”, and addresses 25 different types of fish. Some of the more well-known kinds are Starlet, Kaluga, and Beluga.
These fish don’t have any scales and are mostly very large and long in size. Also, apart from the caviars they are used for their own flesh which is another rare and valuable substance.
Persian Caviar, the most luxury and expensive caviar
The sturgeon is famous for its slow maturation.
This growth is usually finished very late in their life. Nowadays, they have been announced to be in danger of extinction, perhaps more than any of the fish species.
They have been hunted massively since they are one of the most valuable fish in the world, and because of that their numbers have dropped drastically.
Iranian Beluga Caviar
This type is known as the world’s most expensive Caviar and is retrieved from the Persian Beluga.
The “Almas” is procured from the eggs of a very rare albino sturgeon of a very old age (possibly 70-100 years).
This rare specimen has taken residence at the southern regions of the Caspian Sea, and the reason behind that is the lack of pollution in those waters.
Belugas are the largest members of the sturgeon family. Due to its size, the eggs of this fish are similarly big and thus are called “Elephant-fish”.
The color of these Caviar extents from a deep color of steel to a light grey-white color. The lightest color is the most desirable one there is.
- 0 (darkest color),
- 00 (medium toned),
- 000 (lightest color) (Also is the most expensive and is called the Royal Caviar)
Iranian Karaburun Caviar
The Karaburun is the name of a specific sturgeon native to the southern region of the Caspian Sea. This kind of sturgeon is one of the only wild sturgeon species left in the world that does not face the dangers of extinction.
We owe this to the Iranian Ministry of Fisheries and their tireless efforts in the process of saving this fish. This special sort of Caviar tastes like a fusion of salty and buttered flavors.
Iranian Ossetra Caviar
Thought of as one of the world’s most tasteful and perfect Caviars, the Ossetra/Asetra is mostly collected in Iran.
This Caviar is very nutty and creamy in taste, and its color has a variety ranging from black to medium and light gold.
A few years after the first decade, this fish reaches full maturity and its lifespan can reach near 80 years. Professionals have stated that the taste of its eggs differ due to what the fish feeds on.
This regimen can depend on the weather and time.
Iranian Seyruga Caviar
The reproduction cycle of this fish is very quick so it develops more eggs in comparison to the other ones.
This fish matures by its 7th year and is the smallest of the sturgeon family in the Caspian Sea. The price is this Caviar is comparatively cheaper.
The Term Caviar
As stated above, though Caviar means fish eggs, it strictly refers to the sturgeon family. Eggs received from other kinds of fish are considered Caviar Substitutes.
Some of them are:
- Eggplant caviar (made from eggplant or aubergine)
- Texas caviar (made from black-eyed peas)
- Eggs from other fish such as (Salmon, steelhead, trout, lumpfish, whitefish)
- Cheaper alternatives made from mashed and smoked cod roe
- Kosher and Vegan caviar made of seaweeds such as Laminaria hyperborean
- And other non-original substitutes…