The history of caviar
What is caviar? Its origin
The history of this delicious delicacy dates back more than a thousand years, because although sturgeons are known by the marine peoples of antiquity, the concept of caviar appears in writings from the ninth century. It is known that the Persians were the first to consume sturgeon roe, which is where the food in question comes from.
The Persian people were convinced that caviar increased both their physical endurance and strength, two indispensable qualities in which warfare was the order of the day. Until this civilization, only the flesh of the sturgeon was eaten, but not its roe.
Historically, this food has been typical of the higher classes of society, with a particular presence on Russian tables where it began to be consumed as a substitute for meat on those days of fasting or abstinence. However, this has not always been the case and in the 19th century one of the most curious anecdotes of this livelihood occurred.
While Russia continued with its idolatry towards caviar to make its presence felt on the most select tables, the United States became the world’s leading producer, thanks to its multiple catches in the Delawere River. As a consequence, its price plummeted in the American power, and its consumption skyrocketed, particularly among the less affluent classes.
Another of the historical anecdotes of this delicacy occurred at the court of Louis XIV, who received a sample as a gift from the ambassador of Peter the Great, Tsar Russia. It is said that he soon spit it out as soon as he put it in his mouth.
Caviar would not make its stellar appearance in France until the 1920s, when our neighbors were perplexed by its incredible flavor. It is worth noting that its reception caused even more furor due to the historical context, since after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, everything that had to do with Russia caused great expectation.
However, they are still the exceptions that confirm the rule, a universal rule based on supply and demand and the risk of sturgeon extinction. These conditions raise a price that has reached 34,500€ per kilogram, the highest figure reached to date, which was recognized with a Guinness World Record.
In Spherika we manage a price of 27.5€ per bottle, which contain 20 grams. Our caviar convinces with its mild flavor and almost sweet aroma, as well as its fine, creamy, hard-shelled consistency. Ideal for making hundreds of recipes like the ones on our website, our sturgeon caviar is produced according to the strict guidelines of sustainable farming of the organization “Friends of the Sea”, to safeguard the survival of sturgeons.
Its origin dates back to prehistoric times, as historians have evidence of its existence more than 250 million years ago. Sturgeon inhabit cold or temperate waters, mostly in the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea.
However, due to the very high demand for their roe and the poaching of sturgeons, they began to be sustainably bred in captivity through aquaculture. They are considered to be the fish with the longest longevity, reaching 100 years of age.
About 25 species of sturgeon are known, but not all of them are capable of producing the caviar that illuminates our most exquisite recipes.
Why is the price of caviar so high?
One of the main reasons is directly related to the life span of the animal in question. Of its hundred years of life expectancy, it is important to focus on the period between the first 8 and 20 years, the time between which the female sturgeon reaches the maturity necessary to produce eggs.
It is at this point in the process that the presence of human beings becomes indispensable: the sturgeon caviar roe must be extracted by hand. It is a very delicate process as it is a very sensitive and fragile product, which must be protected from contamination.
Of course, this whole process is reflected in the final price of the product, as well as the enormous investment in technology and maintenance of fish farms where they are raised in a sustainable and respectful way with the species.
Advances in science have made salmon farming more sustainable and economical than ever, although cheaper alternatives, such as salmon roe, are always an option.
Caviar has a flavor that lingers on the palate and visually they are no less striking. The colors of the eggs, which range in size from 2 to 3 millimeters, can vary from bluish black to silvery gray, dark brown and even gold.
To top it all off, the high nutritional value and its benefits for the body are the crowning glory of sturgeon caviar. Strengthens the nervous system and helps the brain function, improving memory and the ability to concentrate.
It also contributes to the eyesight, to the work of the cardiovascular system, reduces the chances of the appearance of cholesterol… and provides a great variety of vitamins from A to E, as well as calcium, iron and proteins essential in a rich and balanced diet.
In short, a food with a more than understandable price and that will delight you and your loved ones.