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Kids' Health Kids' Health

Caviar for You? 7/18/2013

Posted by on Jul. 18, 2013 at 9:41 AM
  • 10 Replies


I ask, because it's National Caviar Day!  Can you believe that this day has its own website?

http://www.nationalcaviarday.com/uploads/1/0/8/5/10858300/header_images/1374069750.jpg

JULY 18, 2013 – NATIONAL CAVIAR DAY

http://www.nationalcaviarday.com/

by on Jul. 18, 2013 at 9:41 AM
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TigerofMu
by Sonja on Jul. 18, 2013 at 9:47 AM


July 18 is National Caviar Day, time to honour this seafood delicacy


Caviar is the processed and salted roe of fish. Roe is the mass of eggs contained in the ovaries of a female fish or shellfish. While people use the word caviar to describe any fish egg, true caviar comes from the sturgeon, which lives in the Caspian or Black Sea and includes such species as beluga, sevruga and ossetra. The sturgeon and its different species are known to produce the finest varieties of caviar.

A female sturgeon’s roe supply isn’t as puny as you might think and can comprise up to 25 per cent of her body weight. Given that some mature sturgeons can weigh up to 300 pounds, each female can supply a substantial amount of caviar during her lifetime.

According  to the Caviar Guide, the term caviar comes from the Turkish word havyar, derived from the Iranian word khayah.

The smooth tiny eggs are usually black, though caviar comes in many shades, including red, gold and grey.

Caviar berries are rated on a variety of characteristics, including egg color, lucidity, maturity, size and uniformity. The caviar's fragrance and egg-shell hardness also contribute to it rating.

It may be hard to believe, but at one time, caviar was served in bars, sometimes for free like peanuts are today to encourage customers to drink more. That was during the caviar boom experienced in North America during the 19th century after sturgeon fish were discovered in U.S. rivers.

The supply was so rich that Canada and the U.S. became the major suppliers of caviar to Europe. By 1900, the U.S. was the largest producer in the world, generating over 600 tons a year.

Because so many fish were harvested for their caviar, a ban was imposed on commercial sturgeon fishing in 1906. By then, though, Americans had grown to love caviar. Cesar Ritz put it on his menu and caviar secured its place in high-end dining establishments that began popping up at this time.

The ban never countered the dwindling sturgeon population, though, and by the 1960s the price of caviar skyrocketed due to scarce supply. Today, there are limits and bans on fishing as well as exporting bans on caviar in an effort to conserve endangered fish supplies. Naturally, these restrictions raise the price of caviar even more.


TigerofMu
by Sonja on Jul. 18, 2013 at 9:47 AM


Caviar 101: How to celebrate National Caviar Day

  • iStock

July 18 is National Caviar Day, making this a good time to learn the basics of fine fish roes. The drama and culinary delight of caviar --known as black gold for its rarity and price point --bring an Old World elegance to any meal. Here is all you need to know to bring caviar into your home, whether your budget is copper or gold.

To carry the name, Champagne must come from a specific region of France. To earn its name, caviar must come from one of three sturgeon breeds (there are 27 worldwide) from the Caspian Sea. There are great sparkling wines that are not "Champagne," and there are great fish roes that are not "caviar," but provide an enjoyable facsimile. Roe is the mass of eggs contained in the ovaries of a female fish or shellfish.

Sturgeon caviars share certain flavor characteristics across the breeds (varietals); a taste of the sea similar to the juice of a perfectly fresh oyster, a taste of brine, and occasionally a metallic finish. Varietal flavors differ fish by fish and tin by tin. Each fish's diet, environment, maturity and time of harvest affect the flavor and texture of the eggs. How quickly the eggs are processed, how much salt is used, and how they are cured affect the product. Iranians, for example, use brine, while Russians stir salt in directly.

Properly prepared caviar should have "enough salt so the casing can be felt on (your) tongue but with a gentle press will burst and flood your mouth with the flavor of the sea," says restaurateur Nick Peyton.

True Caviars are imported, and can be wild or farmed. They are named for their Sturgeon:

  • 1Beluga

    The largest freshwater fish on earth produces the largest caviar: ball-bearing-sized eggs from dark gray to black. It is currently illegal in the U.S. The Beluga is in danger of extinction.

  • 2Osetra

    The "Russian" Sturgeon's eggs are the size of BBs, and all the colors of camouflage, from brownish gray to dark olive. Flavors range from creamy, almost custardy, to nutty. The eggs have a salty richness and a taste of the sea. Cost: about $225 per ounce.

  • 3Sevruga

    The "Persian" Sturgeon produces small "pinhead" black or dark gray eggs. Some connoisseurs prefer Sevruga to Beluga for the more intense flavors. It is currently in short supply in the U.S.  Cost: about $225 per ounce.

  • 4"Osetra"

    White Sturgeon (aka Transmontanus) produces America's "Osetra." Similar to imported, but rounder and creamier. California Osetra is typically "graded" by size and color, more for appearance than flavor. Cost: about $100 per ounce.

  • 5Hackleback Sturgeon

    Black, tiny, glistening, pin-head beads that are smooth and custardy, with a slight nuttiness and pleasant salt flavor. It is often a favorite for those new to caviar. Cost: about $35 per ounce.

  • 6Paddlefish (aka Spoonbill) Sturgeon

    Sometimes called "American-style Sevruga",  they are gray to olive green color, small beads. It has a sharper flavor than Hackleback, favoring salt and sea to cream and egg. Cost: about $35 per ounce.

  • 7Serving and Enjoying Caviar

    Mother of pearl is caviar's vehicle of choice. Silver shouldn't be used, as it passes on a metallic taint, but stainless steel, horn, wood, and even plastic will do.

    Accouterments appear abundantly around caviar, perhaps to distract from the minutia of the main dish. But to appreciate caviar's distinct flavors, it should stand alone. A spoonful placed on your tongue and crushed against the roof of your mouth should deliver a firm pop and a delightful burst of flavors. Mushy or gooey texture indicate problems in processing or age.

batjmom
by Sarah on Jul. 20, 2013 at 7:11 AM
1 mom liked this
Ick
No thanks
TigerofMu
by Sonja on Jul. 21, 2013 at 10:37 AM
I'm guessing you're not a big fan! ;)
Quoting batjmom:

Ick
No thanks
TerriC
by on Jul. 22, 2013 at 3:19 PM

I have never had caviar....

fivegirls333
by on Jul. 22, 2013 at 7:59 PM
1 mom liked this

i am not a caviar or a pate' girl...blech!

AimeeE
by Member on Aug. 14, 2013 at 8:19 PM
1 mom liked this

Yum!!!

karisma22
by on Aug. 15, 2013 at 12:58 AM
1 mom liked this

I've never tried caviar.  A year ago I never would have even considered trying it.  However, my daughter got me to try sushi and some of the items have salmon roe included on them.  It is actually very tasty.  If given the chance I would try caviar.

TigerofMu
by Sonja on Aug. 15, 2013 at 11:25 AM

I love sushi :).

Quoting karisma22:

I've never tried caviar.  A year ago I never would have even considered trying it.  However, my daughter got me to try sushi and some of the items have salmon roe included on them.  It is actually very tasty.  If given the chance I would try caviar.


ScrChk23
by on Aug. 15, 2013 at 3:00 PM
1 mom liked this

No!!!

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