Eating caviar goes back about 2,000 year ago. Fish roe was exported to Greece in ancient times from the territory of today’s Crimea. This makes sense since caviar is usually found whenever any fish is cut open and made ready for eating. During the Middle Ages caviar disappeared from dinner tables. Russian fishermen re-discovered it in the 12th century. Caviar didn’t get its status until the 16th century when Pope Julius II brought it to royal ceremonies in Europe. Today with sturgeon facing extinction caviar will remain a delicacy and very expensive. The most prized is “Black Caviar” from Russia. However, “Red Caviar” is also quite popular. You should hold it in the refrigerator for 4 weeks before opening.
It comes from salmon and tuna. There is non-fish caviar from snails! Malasol is not a type of caviar but a Russian term meaning “lightly salted.” It has had minimal salt added during processing. It has a more delicate truer flavour. A mature female sturgeon can produce 20% of its weight in caviar. Caviar is referred to as “roe”, “grains” and “berries.” There’s a numeric grading system for Beluga Caviar. 000 indicates the lightest colour and 00 is medium and 0 is the darkest. The eggs will break down if they are frozen and spoil at temperatures above 45 F. Some caviar is sold frozen and is really meant to be a garnish. The Beluga Fish can weigh up to 1,800 pounds and be up to 30 feet and live to 100 years old. Beluga Caviar has the largest grains of all. The egg colour ranges from very black to dark grey.
Do not use metal when serving caviar or it will give it a funny taste. The harvest and sale of black caviar is banned in Russia until 2017. Only imported is available in Russian shops. Did you know that all the sturgeon in Britain waters is the property of the Queen? So she has the monopoly on the caviar! America and Canada dominate the caviar industry. A 14 ounce jar of Classic Grey Sevruga Caviar from Russia will cost you $2,520! The eggs from two species of ants in Mexico are sold as insect caviar. As the eggs are rare they are sold for around $40 a pound U.S. Caviar should be drank with champagne! You can buy pasteurized or non-pasteurized versions. The pasteurized items are safer and will keep longer after opening.