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Caviar: Its history and why it’s so special

by Altaf Shaikh
Caviar: Its history and why it’s so special

In This Article We Know about Caviar: Its history and why it’s so special

Caviar is one of the most luxurious foods in human history and to this day, in an era where you can Buy online Caviar UK, it is a symbol of the glory of every individual who can enjoy it. In ancient times this fish was exported to Greece from the territory of present-day Crimea. This made sense since the inhabitants of this Black Sea peninsula had been fishing for about 40,000 years and caviar was easy to find in places where fish was processed.

But during the dark medieval centuries caviar began to disappear from tables. It was the Russian fishermen who rediscovered it in the 12th century and from then on this phenomenal food has continued to decorate dishes at festivities and for the pleasure of the palate.

However, this product acquired its current rank of excellence in the 16th century when Pope Julius II introduced it to royal ceremonies in Europe. By the 17th century, the consumption of sturgeon roe was associated with luxury, although it was not always the case: Louis XV of France spat out the caviar that Peter the Great had given him.

Today, with sturgeon on the verge of extinction, caviar has the status of an expensive and rare delicacy.

The most popular caviar is called “black caviar” (in Russian “chórnaya ikrá”), extracted from three types of sturgeon: osetr (acipenser oxyrhynchus), beluga (huso huso), and sevriuga or starfish (acipenser stellatus).

Also accepted is the “red” caviar that comes from salmon-type fish: sockeye salmon (oncorhynchus nerka), salmon trout (salmo trutta), humpbacked salmon, pink salmon (oncorhynchus), keta salmon or “dog salmon” (oncorhynchus keta), cyclopter (cyclopterus lumpus), and tuna (thunnus).

Even the cheapest caviars such as herring caviar (clupea harengus), or fish such as whitefish (coregonus), Alaska pollock (theragra chalcogramma), brama (Abramis), and even small pike or “jack -fish “(esox). Caviar from land snails such as helix pomatia is also consumed.

The caviar is extracted mainly in spring when the fish of the Caspian and Azov go to the rivers that flow into these seas. The fish, once caught, are stunned with sedative injections (previously they were killed) and caviar is removed. The incision is then sewn up and the fish is returned to the water.

However, a true caviar is not only the extracted roe. These are separated into three categories: from the mature, well-developed and defined roe, the granulated caviar (“zernistaya ikrá”, premium class) will be prepared. The moderately ripe roe, easily detachable from the ovary but still quite sticky, are processed as a fresh-pressed puree (“payusnaya ikrá”). Finally, the very young roe removed together with the ovary itself will become the cheap “ovary caviar” (yastychnaya ikrá).

Once classified, the caviar undergoes a salting process for at least ten days. The salting technology is fundamentally Russian, something that even the Japanese imported; that is why in Japanese caviar is ikura, an obvious derivative of the Russian word “ikrá”. However, it must be clarified that caviar was not something new for that country and its long fishing tradition.
Caviar is an excellent side dish. Its perfect geometric shape allows both to decorate it and to use it as decoration.

As for its conservation, it is not recommended to buy canned packaging as the metal can give it an unpleasant taste. It is best bought in glass jars or by weight and at home it can be preserved by placing it on a plate over ice. This will preserve the best qualities of the product until it is consumed: caviar is too expensive to throw away.

It is also just as good on canapes; its perfect amalgam is white bread and butter. Some prefer to eat it with a soft cheesecake, a method known to enhance the flavor of caviar. Red caviar is frequently served with traditional Russian crepes. As for the drink, the roe is great with cava, although the Russians eat it with cold vodka.

Whichever way it is served, there is no doubt that caviar is one of the most luxurious foods in the world.

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