For four decades now, food writers have been warning gourmets all over the world that sturgeons of the Caspian Sea are close to extinction. Russians and Iranians have been catching the stately sturgeon to obtain caviar that had become the luxury food of preference for the super rich. Champagne producers spend fortunes extolling pairings of champagne and caviar. Demand outstripped supply, forcing prices to soar.
There are 27 species of sturgeon of which sevruga, ossietra (oschetere), and beluga are most famous. Sevruga caviar is deeply flavoured, that of ossietra possesses a fine texture, and nutty flavour, and beluga is creamy and flavourful. However, caviar is still available for those who are willing to pay astronomical sums for a few grams.
The question is, where does all the caviar come from?
The answer is simple – sturgeon farms.
More than a decade ago, a French biologist started a sturgeon farm in Mont mon-Menestrel and hour’s drive from Bordeaux city on a tributary of the Dordogne River.
Here, the good biologist raises sturgeon fro a minimum of six years to harvest, and extracts the eggs which may amount to 1100 – 1200 grams, then sorts the mass into categories being fist, second and broken.
The retail price at Petrossian, and Prunier in Paris is 468.00 to 937.00 Euros for 125 grams ( Euro = 1.47 Canadian $) and there is no shortage of people buying.
Merchants claim the caviar of farmed sturgeon tastes as good if not better, than the wild from the Caspian Sea. Now, the U S A, Chile, China, Greece, Hungary, Italy, and Germany have jumped on the bandwagon.