This article will show you the long, complicated and dirty way of the caviar to you. Do you like caviar? A lot of fishes are killed for this!
Caviar is processed, salted, non-fertilized roe marketed as a luxury food, for right people. According to the F.A.O., caviar is a product made from salt-cured fish-eggs of the Acipenseridae family. The roe can be “fresh” (non-pasteurized) or pasteurized, with pasteurization reducing its culinary and economic value.
Normally the term caviar refers only to roe from wild sturgeon in the Caspian and Black Seas (Beluga, Ossetra and Sevruga caviars). Depending on the country, caviar may also be used to describe the roe of other fish such as salmon, steelhead, trout, lumpfish, whitefish, and other kinds of sturgeon.
Based on flavor, size, consistency and colour, prices for caviar range as high as $7,000-$18,000 per kg. Caviar is marketed worldwide as a delicacy and is eaten as a garnish or a spread in famous restaurants.
So many of the fish were harvested for the caviar that by 1906, a ban was placed on commercial sturgeon fishing. The 1906 ban was not enough to counter the depopulation of sturgeon that had already taken place, however, and the numbers continued to dwindle. In the 1960s, the price rose sharply due to low supply. Soon more drastic steps had to be taken, as even the Caspian, home to at least 90% of the world’s population of sturgeon, began to see a serious drop in numbers of fish. This is a big problem!
It is really horrible tokille these beautiful fishes. The four main types of caviar are Beluga, Sterlet, Ossetra, and Sevruga. The rarest and costliest is from beluga sturgeon that swim in the Caspian Sea, which is bordered by Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. Wild caviar production has now survived only in Azerbaijan and Iran as Russia maintains a self-imposed ban on caviar trade from wild sturgeon. Beluga caviar is prized for its very soft, very large (pea-size) eggs. It can range in color from pale silver-gray to black. It is followed by the small golden sterlet caviar which is rare and was once reserved for Russian czars, Iranian shahs and Austrian emperors. Next in quality is the medium-sized, gray to brownish osetra (ossetra), and the last in the quality ranking is smaller, gray sevruga caviar which it is cheaper and you can afford it.
Due to the extremely high cost of sturgeon caviar, cheaper alternatives have been developed from the roe of whitefish and the North Atlantic salmon. In the wake of overfishing, the harvest and sale of black caviar was banned in Russia in 2007 but resumed in 2010, limited to 150 kg (330 lbs).
Commercial caviar production historically involved stunning the fish and extracting the ovaries, which it is really awful. Another way is extracting the caviar surgically which allows the females to continue producing roe but this is illegal in some countries. Other farmers use a process called “stripping”, which extracts the caviar from the fish without surgical intervention. This is the most humane approach towards fish that is presently available but not all farmers use it due to the lack of knowledge in this field.
Given its high price in the West, caviar is associated with luxury and wealth. In Russia and other Eastern European cultures, though still expensive, caviar is commonly served at holiday feasts, weddings, and other festive occasions. In Russia, the concept generally includes both sturgeon roe (black caviar) and salmon roe (red caviar).
Sturgeon-derived caviar is not eaten by some Kosher-observant Jews, because sturgeon possess ganoid scales instead of the usual ctenoid and cycloid scales (see Kosher animals). There is a discussion of its status in Halacha, since the scales will come off if soaked in lye; however, this does not apply to every roe-yielding fish species.
The Ja’fari school of jurisprudence that predominates in Twelver Shia Islam also stipulates that seafood must have fins and scales. Thus most observant Twelvers do not eat caviar despite the fact that majority Twelver Iran is a primary center of the sturgeon-fishing industry and the world’s largest exporter of caviar.
And finally the long way of the caviar ends on a luxury table where a rich couple celebrates their 15th anniversary.
Information on this article according to Wikipedia.