Which of these 9 interesting facts about Caviar did you know?
The mere fact that Sturgeons, the fish species from which caviar is derived predates history records means the story of caviar is layered with countless facts and fiction. Caviar has been called “the ultimate edible” a term coined by internationally recognized French chef Jacques Pépin. Today, there are a lot of different fish roe that are wearing the caviar label that does not fit into Pépin’s definition or meet authentic “caviar” standards. If this information has pique your interest or you have ever wondered about these decadent fish eggs beyond the fact that they pair well with potato blinis, you may enjoy the following interesting facts about caviar.
1. The term caviar did not originate; as is popularly believed; from the Russian word “Ikra”. Etymologically, it is rooted in the Turkish (Persian) word “havyar” which is derived from “khavyar” the Persian word for egg.
2. Consumption of caviar began with the Persians who regularly believed the eggs of the sturgeon fish could imbue them with physical strength and endurance. This belief, no doubt, fueled the enduring interest and appeal for this delicacy. Records indicate that during the 4th century, the presentation and eating of sturgeon eggs at banquets occurred with tremendous fanfare.
3. During the period known as the “dark ages” the pageantry and luxury of caviar dining literally disappeared. Ironically, it reemerged as part of the diet for Russian fishermen and peasants who began eating it for its high protein content.
4. Caviar is a nutritionally dense cuisine that was once used as a treatment for depression. It is in fact rich in calcium, phosphorus, protein, selenium, iron, magnesium, and Vitamins A, C, D, B6, B12 and B2. It also contains essential amino acids such as lysine, isoleucine and methionine as well as argine and histidine. According to nutritional data, just one tablespoon of this luxury food contains as much as a gram of Omega-3 fatty acids that is beneficial in maintaining heart health.
5. As a delicacy consumed by royals and aristocrats, caviar consumption precedes other gourmet products as a preferred luxury item such as oysters, truffles and champagne.
6. As a delicacy consumed by royals and aristocrats, caviar precedes other gourmet foods such as oysters, truffles and Champagne.
7. Caviar’s reputation as one of the most expensive delicacies in the world today is legendary. The highest price garnered for the famous and rare Beluga caviar can be between $28,000 and $30,000 for a kilo or little over two pounds. However, the most expensive caviar on the market today is the extravagant “gold laced caviar” valued at $113,630 per kilo for these exquisitely prepared fish eggs.
8. Good quality caviar is distinguishable by species, color, taste, texture and even sound. For instance; authentic caviar comes from the Acipenseridae family of the sturgeon. Quality caviar ranges in color from golden yellow to dark gray, brown or black. Caviar eggs should never be mushy or have a fishy aroma. Though delicate, the roe should be mostly intact and pop on the tongue to release a flavor profile that can be sweet, buttery and nutty. When gently rubbed together, crisp, fresh high quality caviar high makes what is often described as a “purring” sound.
9. Due to environmental concerns and the depletion of the sturgeon population, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES); an international agreement between governments has placed severe restrictions on the harvesting of Beluga and other sturgeon eggs for the production of caviar. As a result, nearly all caviar produced for consumption today is farmed under humane and environmentally healthier conditions than their natural habitat. The CITES provides general oversight of these farming operations and regulate “best practices” through a specialized coding system. The CITES code is affixed to the bottom caviar tins to help consumers to recognize authentic caviar products.
Find out more interesting facts about caviar or to buy caviar online visit our Caviar Lover online resource for the best quality gourmet products such as the freshest domestic and imported caviar, fish roe, foie gras, truffles, other specialty foods, gourmet accessories and gift baskets. If you are looking for different ways to enjoy caviar, find recipes and tips on how to eat caviar at Caviar Lover Facebook page.