Beluga Caviar is a magical dish from the ocean associated with luxury. It’s especially popular in the high class and elite circles. Who wouldn’t want a taste of this amazing delicacy.
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Even though it has not been experienced by many people, it is still a coveted delicacy sure to tantalize your taste buds. It is one of the most expensive foods in the world but immediately you have a mouth watering bite you will be sure to understand why.
It’s widely believed that the Russian Beluga Sturgeon produces the world’s best caviar.
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of this delightful delicacy.
What is Beluga Caviar?
Beluga caviar is a type of caviar made from the roe or egg of the beluga sturgeon, which is known for its large size and distinctive flavor. It is considered the most expensive and luxurious type of caviar in the world. It originates from the Caspian Sea.
Of all the sturgeons, this is the largest species and also happens to be the only Carnivorous one. Belugas hatch in freshwater and spend most of their adult life in water. When it comes time to spawn, the Beluga travels up the river to lay eggs. The life span of the sturgeon can exceed 110 years but they don’t start producing eggs until they are around 20 years when they are fully mature. Their colors range from light gray to black.
As one of the largest species of fish, the roe from Beluga Sturgeon is large and highly desired by connoisseurs around the world.
The taste of Beluga Caviar
You may wonder how the insides of a fish have become such a coveted delicacy. Well, it really must be in the taste. The best way to describe the taste of beluga caviar is that it is creamy, buttery with a slight nutty and salty taste. It melts in your mouth leaving a light, pleasant aftertaste.
Although these are not the only sensations you may encounter when sampling beluga caviar, you can expect a similar profile. Beluga Caviar is rich in calories, a good source of protein and Vitamin A, B, B12, B6 and D. Caviar is usually eaten in quite small quantities and it can be a topper for toast point, crackers or even potato chips.
For nutritional information, please check this comprehensive analysis of the nutritional value of Beluga Caviar.
Brief history of Beluga Caviar
Caviar has an interesting history. It was once served to royalty such as British Kings. It didn’t take long before word spread about this sumptuous delicacy. It spread to Russia then all over Europe, and many cultures appreciated the delicacy as a luxurious treat.
A German started the first caviar business in America on the Delaware River. The abundance of Sturgeon led to people from the West Coast joining in the business. By the 19th century, the United States was producing 90% of the world’s caviar.
Due to its abundance in the United States, it was sold for pennies. In the 20th century, Beluga made its way onto the endangered species list due to being overfished.
Where to find and buy Beluga Caviar in the United States
Ambitious farmers have taken on the challenge of raising sturgeon due to restrictions put in place. It is time consuming and expensive as the female takes many years to produce eggs. There are several farms in the United States such as Marshallberg farm that produce Beluga Caviar. According to the New York Times, after 17 years of trying, Marky’s, a caviar producer, importer and dealer in Florida, brought forth a crop of beluga from its Sturgeon Aquafarms in northern Florida.
The importation, distribution and sale of purebred beluga in the United States has been banned by the Fish & Wildlife Service since 2005, but the Marky’s caviar has been granted an exception to the ruling. You can find Beluga Caviar sold online in stores like gourmet food stores, Caspian Caviar online, Browne, Trading Company etc.
US ban on Beluga Caviar: Is it still banned?
In 2005, the United States banned the sale and import of Beluga Caviar through the Department of Fish and Wildlife Service. The department believed that was the ultimate key to the survival of this fish. To this day, the import of Beluga Caviar is still banned. Farmers though have taken on the challenge of raising beluga sturgeon in the farms and thereafter can sell it. Beluga Caviar can be sold both online and in selected stores.
Beluga Caviar price in US
The price of Beluga Caviar in the United States varies between $5,000 – $10,000 per kilo depending on where you purchase it . The purchases can be done online or through selected stores
Beluga Caviar alternatives
There are other alternatives to the sumptuous Beluga Caviar. These include
- Ossetra Caviar
- Sevruga Caviar
- Hackleback Caviar
- Kaluga Caviar
- Sterlet Caviar
Where does beluga caviar come from
It is derived from the Beluga Sturgeon which originates from the Caspian Sea. It is raised in farms in the United States. Of all the sturgeons, this is the largest species and also happens to be the only Carnivorous one.
Is beluga caviar illegal in the USA?
Yes. It is illegal to import Beluga Caviar but farmers can raise the fish and sell it.
Is beluga sturgeon still endangered?
Yes. Beluga Sturgeon is still an endangered species in the United States as they are still highly vulnerable to extinction.