True fresh caviar is a culinary delight, firm yet yielding, lightly salted, with overtones of hazelnut and other nuts.
There are many foods that masquerade as caviar online today. Eggs from fish like salmon and whitefish are often marketed as “caviar”, but they pale in comparison with the real thing. Authentic caviar comes from only one type of fish – the sturgeon. Only sturgeon roe is legally allowed to be labelled as simply caviar, and all the pretenders are required to include the name of the fish whose roe is actually being sold.
Of course, there are many types of authentic caviar, and understanding these, as well as the subtle flavour nuances and colour differences is necessary to ensure you are making the right purchase when you buy caviar online.
Because authentic caviar is only sourced from sturgeon, it is important to understand a bit more about this fish. Sturgeon share some similarities with salmon – most species spend the majority of their lives in salt water, but migrate to fresh water to spawn. However, unlike salmon, sturgeon can live for up to 100 years, and can spawn more than once in a lifetime.
Sturgeons are found only in the Northern Hemisphere. There are 27 species within sturgeon family throughout the world, although those that dwell in the Caspian Sea (beluga) and Black Sea are perhaps the best known. It is actually this area that gave rise to caviar – the word comes to us from the Persian language, khav-yar, which meant “cake of strength”.
While sturgeons can spawn more than once in their lifetime, up to once per year, that does not always occur. First, sturgeons are “late spawning”, meaning they do not spawn eggs until they are at least 15 to 20 years old. They also require specific conditions in order to spawn. These include:
All of these factors are affected by pollution, changes to the environment by human activities, and numerous other factors.
Originally, several different species of sturgeon could be found in Asia, Europe, and even around North America. The European sturgeon species eventually went extinct due to overfishing and harvesting of the roe.
Atlantic and Pacific sturgeon were so heavily fished along American shores that their numbers were depleted in the early 1900s, and all commercial and sport fishing was banned. Even today, sport fishing is only allowed along the West Coast of North America.
A similar story can be said of the sturgeon in the Black Sea. Due to heavy demand for Sturgeon caviar, as well as for the flesh of the fish, the Black Sea sturgeon population declined significantly. Today, many species of sturgeon are protected by national and international law.
Despite these protections, caviar (and sturgeon flesh) is still in high demand around the world. This gourmet food is prized on every continent, but the dwindling supply, increasing difficulty in obtaining true roe, and stronger legal regulations have made satisfying that demand difficult until recent years, when modern fish farming techniques, combined with ingenuity and resourcefulness, have made it possible to offer delectable caviar of the highest quality without further endangering these magnificent creatures.
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Around the world, overfishing, pollution and roe harvesting have decimated sturgeon numbers. Only in the Pacific is commercial fishing of sturgeon allowed. However, the demand for caviar continues to rise. We sought an innovative solution that would allow you, our customers, to savour the delectable flavour of caviar, while protecting these species into the future.
The answer was fish farming – a means of raising sturgeon in a protected environment, ensuring the highest water quality and spawning grounds, while enabling the harvesting of roe. Of course, fish farms can vary significantly in quality, which is why we ensured that we only work with farmers who truly want to protect sturgeons and who use innovative, advanced techniques to ensure a healthy maturation process of the fish. The result is some of the richest, most delectable caviar available.
Caviar – the word alone conjures images of glistening, spherical black eggs packed into tins or piled atop serving ware or blinis. However, that image may or may not be true. Authentic caviar comes in a wide range of colours depending on the species of sturgeon in question, as well as the particular blend of caviar being served. For instance, our Imperial Gold Caviar includes roe from both the dauricus and schrenkii species of sturgeon, and is gold in colour, not black. Other caviars can be light or dark grey, or even golden brown.
Authentic caviar comes only from the sturgeon, but there are several species that yield delectable roe. Below, we will discuss some of the more important.
Perhaps the most famous sturgeon species in the world, and renowned for the quality of its roe, the beluga sturgeon (Huso Huso) is found in the Caspian Sea. This fish has been driven to the edge of extinction, and wild-harvested roe is no longer available. We have partnered with ingenious fish farmers dedicated to innovation, protection and care of beluga sturgeons in order to provide our customers with access to this culinary delight. Our beluga caviar is incredibly fresh and of incomparable quality.
The baerii sturgeon, or Siberian sturgeon, is an incredibly hearty, robust fish. It is also highly adaptable, which has allowed it to be farmed around the world. Our Baerii Classic Caviar is soft and creamy, with a lovely, muted nuttiness and can range from golden brown to dark grey in colour.
The Kaluga sturgeon is a massive crossbreed, and the schrenckii sturgeon is found in the waters of the River Amour. Our Dauricus/Scrhrenckii Caviar blends these two roes to create an exceptionally rich flavour that pairs perfectly with a glass of dry white wine.
The word “oscietra” is Russian for sturgeon, and applies to the gueldenstaedtii sturgeon. The roe from this species is comparable to beluga caviar in its richness and texture, and can range from golden brown to dark brown. Our Oscietra Gueldenstaedtii Caviar delivers a smooth, balanced flavour with tantalising hints of hazelnut.
The only sturgeon still allowed to be commercially harvested in the wild, the Acipenser transmonantus is a native of the Pacific Ocean, and is also called the white sturgeon. Transmonantus caviar offers a mild nutty flavour, and ranges from dark grey to light grey in colour. Note that the flavour is not as robust as baerii caviar.
In addition to the five aforementioned caviars, we also offer unique blends to tempt your palate, including the incomparable Imperial Gold Caviar and Baerii Royal Select.
When you buy caviar online at Kingdom Fine Foods you are guaranteed the best of the best.
There is some misunderstanding about the term “fresh” as applied to caviar. All caviar must be brined. Depending on the species in question, the brining process can take from one to several days. During this time, the flavours offered by the roe develop. However, it is important for caviar to be consumed soon after brining for optimum enjoyment.
We deliver the freshest caviar possible, thanks to our unique relationship with innovative fish farms, and delivery by FedEx.
At Kingdom Fine Foods, we offer the most delectable single-source caviar and blended caviar, delivered fresh to you. Whether you have years of experience with caviar, or you’re interested in sampling something new, you’ll discover a host of delightful choices awaiting you. We invite you to browse our offerings, or contact us if you have questions.
Order Caviar online today and receive it at your doorstep within 24 hours.