What Is Caviar?

The luxurious and salty treat of caviar

Bowls of caviar and roe on crushed ice
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Caviar is fish roe or eggs, sieved to remove fatty tissues and membrane, and lightly salted with non-iodized salt. This is an old preserving and curing method that is still effective today. Certain types of fish roe are commonly used in Japanese sushi. Caviar is also seen as a delicacy due to the rarity and expense of certain types. Beluga caviar made from the Beluga sturgeon used to sell for almost ten thousand dollars a pound but the fish was listed as critically endangered very little beluga caviar can be sold legally. One of the reasons Beluga Sturgeon are so rare is because it can take them over twenty years to reach maturity. 

Is All Fish Roe Edible?

Of course, all female fish lay eggs to reproduce, so they all have roe. However, not all fish roe is suitable for human consumption. Because of this not all row is considered to be caviar. By most definitions and to a purist, true caviar comes from the sturgeon and the sturgeon alone.

What Fish Make Caviar?

The sturgeon is a saltwater anadromous fish (meaning it moves to freshwater to spawn) which makes its home in the Black and Caspian Seas between Europe and Asia, and also the Pacific Northwest and Southern Atlantic coasts of the United States.

The sturgeon can grow to over 3,000 pounds, but usually, averages about 60 pounds. The flesh of the fish, as well as its prized eggs, is quite delicious.

The most prized caviar comes from the beluga, osetra, and sevruga varieties of sturgeon. Nowadays you will also find caviar from other fish varieties, including salmon, lumpfish, and tuna, as well as in different forms. Beluga caviar is among the largest of all the caviar. 

How Popular Is Caviar?

Caviar is seen by many to be a sign of wealth and a true delicacy not everyone agrees on the flavor. Some find it to be overly salty in flavor. Like many things that are considered delicacies, snails or raw oysters come to mind, some people love them while other's may find it a little gross. Usually, people who are not fans of seafood will not enjoy caviar.

Why a Caviar Spoon Is Used 

It's a widely held belief that metal spoons cannot be used to serve caviar because they will leave a bad taste. As caviar is stored in metal tins this is not entirely true. Silver can react to caviar and leave a poor taste though, as this is a commonly used metal in silverware it's easy to see where the belief came from. Caviar spoons are usually made of some other material usually pearl or bone. They are usually about three to five inches long with an oar like shape. Some caviar spoons can be quite ornate.