Where to look for caviar substitutes
there a possibility for caviar substitutes?
Ask anyone who has read a book or two and chances are, he
knows the word caviar. The problem is, while almost everyone knows the
word caviar, only a few people really know what it is and where it comes
from. Most people even commit the mistake of believing that caviar comes
from the eggs of a salmon.
Caviar is an hors’ d’oeuvre, or a snack served before the main dish. It
comes from the eggs of a sturgeon, a large fish that is found in both in
northern rivers and coastal waters. Sturgeons are very important sources
of caviar. Caviar is made by taking eggs which comprises up to 10
percent of a female sturgeon’s body weight. The eggs are then salted and
drained, packed and aged.
About the sturgeon
Sturgeons actually live in the sea but they go back in Asian temperate
regions after winter just to lay eggs. Sturgeons are important sources
of caviar but this kind of fish has become a rare species that catching
it is now prohibited. The mad rush for the Sturgeon‘s caviar has placed
this species to an extinction level that the United Nations has banned
its capture effective January 2006..
While the word caviar comes form the Italian word “caviale” but today’s
caviar is definitely Russian. Despite the prohibition of fishing
sturgeons, the said country boasts of an annual caviar production of
1800 tons. In the United States, Sturgeons used to be eaten only by the
Indians and the Americans have earlier developed a dislike for the fish
that they used it to feed the slaves.
The American caviar industry was born, thanks to Henry Schact, an
immigrant from Germany who started the business of catching Sturgeons.
The United States became the world’s top caviar producer in the 19th
century, producing almost 90 percent of the world’s caviar or roughly an
annual caviar production of 600 tons nearing the end of the century.
Caviar comes in three variations or types, depending on the species of
sturgeon from which they are sourced from, its size and color. But now
that fishing for sturgeons have been banned or prohibited, caviar eaters
are finding caviar substitutes sources of this hors d’ oeuvres.
Caviar eaters believe that genuine caviar only comes from the sturgeon
species like Osetra Sturgeon, Sevruga Sturgeon or Beluga Sturgeon. Of
the 50 types of Sturgeons, the Beluga Sturgeon is believed to the rarest
and the largest source of caviar, and can weigh to more than 2500 pounds.
The caviar produced from the Beluga Sturgeon is colored blue-gray tat
tastes delicate and mild. The Osetra Sturgeon produces eggs that are
golden yellow and has a nutty taste while the Sevruga Sturgeon produces
eggs that are darkly colored and tastes strongly.
Fishes which are used for the
Although purists stand by their preference for Sturgeon caviar, the
rarity of this species has forced other caviar eaters to look for
caviar substitutes like the American caviar which is sourced from
the eggs of the salmon. Although not as pure, the caviar coming from
other sources of caviar like the Salmon, Trout, Paddlefish, and Golden
White Fish also tastes as delicious as the caviar sourced from the
Caviar has become a bountiful food in the United States that it was even
served in bars to go with alcoholic drinks. Caviar was so common in
America in the 19th century that it was so cheap and was even served for
free by big establishments like the Waldorf Astoria. While the caviar
sturgeon industry in the United States suffered a setback due to the
extinction of the fish species, the Americans have developed caviar from
other fish species. Many have developed a taste for the American caviar
that it now competes with the Russian caviar in terms of quality and
The quality of caviar is usually known through its color and not by its
shape or size. The Grade 1 caviar which is in demand world-wide, has a
very light color is classified as 000. The Grade 2 caviar has a medium
color tone and is classified as 00 while the caviar with the darkest
color is classified as 0.
While caviar experts consider the Sturgeon caviar as the best caviar in
the world, the extinction of the fish from where such caviar is sourced
from should not stop caviar producers from looking at other fish species
which also produces the eggs from which caviar is made.
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