When you think about only the finest foods that the wealthiest can buy, what do you think of first? In many cases, you’ll probably think of caviar. Caviar is – technically – a delicacy of fish eggs, and for the longest time, it is thought to have been one of the most delicious and most sought-after cuisines on the planet. But what is it about caviar that makes it so valuable, and such a hot property all over the globe?
If you’ve never tried caviar before, here are a few facts and figures which might just surprise you. Even if you’re already enamoured with the dish, there are still bound to be a few facts about caviar you might not be aware of. Tuck into our complete fact file!
Caviar is a word which has a bit of a disputed origin. For the longest time, the delicacy’s name was thought to derive from Russian, specifically the word ikra. However, it’s actually derived from Turkish via Peruvian, through the word havyar. Ultimately, it means egg!
Caviar has been a part of the cuisine landscape for longer than anyone can remember. In fact, historic records show that we were first consuming the dish as far back as the 13th century, and it’s thought to have been enjoyed around Mongolia and the far east.
In fact, most of the caviar the world produces stems from the east. You’ll find that the biggest caviar producer is the Caspian Sea. This, of course, borders several eastern territories such as Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and is accessible via Russia.
Believe it or not, caviar was once used to help treat people who were suffering from depression! It is hugely rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D. In fact, it’s said that eating a single tablespoon of caviar is likely to give you around a gram of omega-3, crucial fatty acids for your heart.
Caviar is, of course, well-known for being extremely expensive, depending on the type you invest in. For example, Beluga caviar is thought to be the most expensive – meaning you can expect to pay up to $30,000 for a single kilo!
Not so fast, however – as it’s thought gold laced caviar beats Beluga to the punch in a massive way – you can expect to pay over $113,000 per kilo!
Caviar, much like wine, needs to be consumed a certain way for the full effect. Did you know that it’s considered bad taste to east caviar with silverware? This is because connoisseurs state that metal interacts with the flavour. Believe it or not, you’re supposed to serve caviar in crystalware, and spoon it out with glass or wooden spoons.
There’s a real knack to making caviar, and believe it or not, it can take up to 15 years for you to complete an apprenticeship in the art. Those who qualify become Ikrjanschik, masters in caviar.
Anyone who knows what they are looking for in the best quality caviar will likely look for a number of specific attributes. Specifically, caviar tasters and lovers will look for texture, taste, and species. However, did you know that some people even know the quality of caviar from its sound? Strange but true.
You’ll likely find that the best, most sought-after and tastiest caviar comes from the sturgeon. Specifically, Beluga, Stellate and Russian sturgeon produce caviar that is often the most consumed.
There are restrictions in place when it comes to the harvesting of Beluga caviar. This is because there have long been concerns over effects on the environment when it comes to the way eggs are harvested. However, practices have changed hugely over the years, and it’s now considered more environmentally friendly than ever to harvest caviar.
Reserve caviar is a name that applies to the most sought-after caviar on the planet. This dates all the way back to the Middle Ages, when the best caviar was reserved for kings and queens.
Caviar tends to stay fresh for around a month, and that’s thanks to the fact it’s cured. You’ll find that the biggest consumers of the delicacy reside in Europe, Japan, and the US.
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about caviar that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!