Thursday, December 14

What is Caviar?

James Hadley Chase-he was my general knowledge inspiration when I was in college.

All those 'must see' places all over the world, some rare foods and drinks, habits of elites are some of the features in his books.

He used to mention 'Caviar' in his books when writing about the specialty restaurants.

I longed to taste it without knowing what it is.

Today only I learnt what is caviar!

Caviar is an expensive delicacy consisting of the unfertilized eggs (roe) of sturgeon brined with a salt solution. It is commercially marketed throughout the world as a delicacy and is eaten principally as a garnish or spread, as with hors d'œuvres.

The name "caviar" comes from the Persian word (Khāg-āvar) which means "the roe-generator". This name in Persian means the sturgeon and its product, the roe. Caviar is more than just fish eggs.

It's a delicacy associated with luxury and fine dining. Because it is rare and difficult to obtain, caviar can be rather pricey. Caviar is extracted from the ovaries of the sturgeon, or the eggs that have yet to be laid. Once the eggs are extracted, they undergo a gentle cleansing process during which the skin is removed without breaking the egg itself; this delicate process is reflected in the price.

In the early 19th century, the United States was actually the world's leading producer of caviar, mainly due to the abundance of lake sturgeon in the Northeast and West. Caviar was so plentiful and inexpensive at one point that saloons served it to create thirsty customers.

It was only later when imported supplies from Iran and Russia became limited that caviar became a luxury item.

Today, the best caviar comes from sturgeon that is fished from the Caspian Sea by Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia. Some of the highest prices are paid for Beluga, Ossetra, and Sevruga varieties.


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