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March 17, 2020

From our experience, most folks that haven't tried caviar could be a bit nervous at first. Understandably. This natural reaction reminded us about our childhood when caviar was first introduced to us by our father. It looked unusual, and as a child, it could have even been viewed as "gross". Little did we know that later on that we would be falling in love with the taste, texture, aroma, and the aesthetic look of the caviar. To the point that today, the eyes and senses can tell you whether this caviar is impressive or not. 

 

Whether you're a caviar enthusiast with limited caviar experiences or consider yourself a caviar connoisseur, here's your guide on how to best select the right type of caviar that matches your taste needs and desired outcome for your unique experience. By the time you're done reading this article, you're one step closer to becoming a caviar expert! 

"Good" caviar, like many other things in life, comes in different species, which in turn dictate texture, color, and taste. Just as beef, lamb, and pork are all considered "meat" and come from different animals, caviar is derived from different types of sturgeons. Each Sturgeon carries its specific unique characteristics such as size, taste, texture, and aroma. (Subscribers to our website can access more articles and learn more about the various particular sturgeon species)

So what Kind of Caviar Should You Buy? 

  • Make Sure It's Caviar- If you've experienced caviar in a buffet somewhere, chances are it is not the type of caviar we are explaining in this article. Salmon or Trout Roe, although are fish eggs, do not meet the criteria and are considered "roe" instead. For it to be considered "caviar," it needs to be from the Sturgeon
  • Make sure the caviar is sourced sustainably- more than 40 years ago, when our father, a true visionary in this field, introduced sustainable sturgeon farming to the Iranian fishing industry, he was ridiculed at first by the pundits. That's because all of the sourced caviar around the world was caught wild. Forty years later, in today's world, what was once considered "ridiculous" by the industry and consumers, with the help of the CITES organization to preserve the endangered population of wild sturgeons around the world, it is a crime to catch and sell wild caviar around the world. Fortunately, all sturgeon caviar consumed today is farmed and, therefore, sustainable.
  • Focus on what tastes best for you! There are a handful of sturgeons caviar that exist in the market place. Our focus is always to keep the selection process simple for our clientele by using our proprietary methods and long-lasting relationships with aqua farmers in finding the best caviar from around the world. We know not everyone's taste palette desires the same flavors, texture, and color. 

 

Know what you are paying for, because like almost anything else in life, "not all caviar is created equal"

Before we address this bold statement, we have to answer a common question that many consumers ask, which is: why is caviar expensive? Let's put a few things in perspective. Many of the types of sturgeon caviar that one consumes today take anywhere between 6-10 years before they can be harvested sustainably. During these years, these Sturgeon must be fed the best kind of foods, be provided clean water and environment, and monitored by the best aquaculture farmers and experts daily. Finally, once the Sturgeon is ready to spawn, the selection process is what determines the quality of the eggs, which determines the texture, taste, and color. This is called grading. To our standards, there are only a handful of farms that can meet our standard of quality and care to meet the grading we currently provide to our clientele. As a result, in today's market place consumers have many options with regards to price and may choose whatever fits their budget. We focus on bringing the best quality direct from farm-to-table to our clientele. Hence the saying "not all caviar is created equally".

So you may ask what are the best types of caviar one can buy to satisfy the palate and senses? Just like anything worthwhile, we always recommend clients to focus on the best quality caviar, which translates into the taste, the appropriate texture, and the right color. To help our clients and subscribers, we intend to help refine the options to the most desired caviar selections consumed by culinary chefs, caviar enthusiasts, and lovers around the world. 

Osetra caviar

Here are our top selections of caviar!

Siberian Sturgeon caviar(Acipenser Baerii), one of the smallest in size sturgeons one can find. Its natural habitat comes from the Siberian river. Siberian Caviar is found in many culinary recipes, in particular, the Asian and Mediterranean dishes to help with bringing the taste and texture of the sea as a salt substitute. Siberian Caviar's grains are small in size and range from light to dark smoky grey in color. Since it is naturally pleasing to the palate, bringing a mix of earthy and oceanic flavors, this caviar is ideal for beginners or casual caviar consumers who want to indulge in the unique and luxurious experience of the authentic taste of caviar. 

Ossetra Caviar (Acipenser Gueldenstaedtii) - Commonly known as the Russian Sturgeon, and also spelled Asetra or Osetra, is native to the Caspian sea but is farmed in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Simply put, one can never go wrong choosing this amazingly tasty caviar. Ossetra Caviar has medium-sized grains with thin shells that range from shades of dark to light golden brown, often with a tinge of green. Considered as one of the most flavorful types of caviar by critics and connoisseurs, it brings delicious buttery and nutty flavors to the palate. It's noteworthy to mention that Ossetra Caviar is most commonly used by almost all Michelin Star chefs or fine dining establishments in one of their recipes or on their menus.

Kaluga Hyrbid Caviar- Cross-bred from the Chinese Huso Dauricus and it's Japanese counterpart Acipenser Schrenckii sturgeons, this Kaluga hybrid caviar is one of the smoothest types of caviar in the world. Kaluga Hybrid Caviar is distinguishable by its large, glossy grains in various shades of green. Offering a complex array of seafood flavors accompanied by light briny notes, the best graded Kaluga Hybrid caviar is a truly delightful delicacy. With the exquisite richness and magnificent buttery flavor, it claims to be the pinnacle of caviar artistry. Although the market place has oversupplied this type of hybrid mix, it is noteworthy to mention that Grade A of this product is only available in limited quantities. Fortunately, Dorasti Kaluga Hybrid is part of the few available Grade A caviars in the market place. 

Beluga Caviar (Huso Huso) also known as the King of Kings of the sturgeons due to its massive size and weight. Its typical habitat is in the Caspian Sea. Beluga Caviar eggs are the largest and smokey grey with a fantastic creamy taste and aroma. It can be considered the connoisseurs galore of caviars. Except, it has been illegal in the United States for imports since 2005. As of 2020, it is still entirely unavailable in the United States for sale.  

Of course, other types of caviars are available and used by chefs and consumers not covered in our selection. In our humble opinion and putting our experience to work, we thought we would mention those that we believe would serve the caviar enthusiasts' interests most. 

Unlike some other superfoods, sturgeon caviar is not something that is consumed daily. Perhaps one a monthly, bi-weekly, or for the fortunate connoisseur, weekly. Therefore, when it is consumed, we advise our clientele to focus on the source, type, desired texture, and taste. This way one can enjoy the unique, memorable, and enjoyable experience that caviar is truly designed to create. 

Buon Apetito. 

We'd love to hear about your favorite type of caviar. Email us at info@dorasti.com to share your caviar stories and question.  

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