Sturgeon eggs: what they are and how the quality of caviar is determined. How to eat and advice to identify quality products.
Thesturgeon eggsthey are derived from a good number of species belonging to the familyAcipenseridae, some of these include multiple subspecies. Thesturgeonsthey are widespread in all cold and temperate waters of the northern hemisphere. Thesturgeon is a fishof great economic interest: its fishing is carried out in order to extract theeggsof the belly of females but also for the use of fine meats.
Caviar: sturgeon fish roe
Thesturgeon eggs, callscaviar, are a rather sought after product. According to the European Commission, with the termcaviarthey can only be marketedsturgeon eggsand not other fish eggs. For example, the lumpfish roe, less valuable, they are not caviar but "caviar substitutes".
Sturgeon eggs: how they are obtained
To get thecaviarthe ovaries are extracted from the female and, theeggs, are separated from the connective stroma and fatgently massaging the ovary. The eggs thus obtained have the appearance ofgrains and, placed in sieves, they are washed under cold water.
Only after separation takes place the salting (dry or in brine) and the quantity of salt depends on the quality of the raw material. Thecaviarwith less salt content it is the most valuable because the lower the quality of the sturgeon eggs and the higher the salt content used. Thebest caviarit is defined "malossol" which in Russian means "with little salt". Caviar "malossol" is often calledRussian caviar. In this case, the caviar is stored at temperatures between -3 and 0 ° C. If the cold chain is broken, however, the result will besturgeon eggsvery salty, in the process of degradation.
Sturgeon eggs can also be found in "pressed" form, even if this form is less valuable and also less widespread in our country. In case of overripe ovaries, the sturgeon eggs salted they undergo a pressing process inside jars. This caviar has a rubbery texture.
There are many types of caviar and, when buying, it is important to read the cites label. This label came into force only in 2008, to protect consumers from possible food fraud.
From the label, it is possible to understand the species ofsturgeonused for the extraction of eggs(indicated with the first three letters). The fourth letter can tell you if thecaviarderived frombreeding sturgeon(W) or wild (C). The code continues with the provenance, i.e. the place of production of the product. Unfortunately, if we notice an Italian label, this does not mean that the caviar is produced in Italy! Very often, thesturgeon eggsthat you find at the supermarket have the CN code which indicates China. If you see the initials "IT" it is Italian caviar. It doesn't matter who packaged or labeled… lesturgeon eggsthey can be produced abroad and repackaged in Italy.
If you are on the hunt for a prized caviar, sturgeon eggsOssietra(Osetra, Oscietra or Asetra), derived fromRussian sturgeon Acipenser gueldenstaedtii, from the Persian sturgeon Acipenser persicus and Acipenser nudiventris (a species that has now become extremely rare). It is aboutsturgeonsof medium size therefore not only are they rare but also give rise to small quantities ofeggs. TheOssietra sturgeon eggsgive life to afine caviar, considered betweenbest caviar. The color of the eggs is between brown and nutty. Generally, the boxes of this caviar have a yellow label. The grains are quite large.
The sturgeon Acipenser stellatus (starry sturgeon) gives life to the Sevruga caviar: it is characterized byeggssmall light gray / anthracite gray. Generally, the box label is orange or red. Generally, the more expensive caviars are called "imperial caviar" or "royal caviar".
Caviar contains no dyes, however some manufacturers add a glossy black dye for black caviar and an amaranth red dye for red caviar. This is also why it is important to read the label.
Sturgeon eggs: how to eat them
How do you eat caviar? Simply accompanied by sweet champagne! :)
Sturgeon eggs have a rather strong flavor and whoever prefers it caneat themon blinì, canapés or even savory crepes. If you are looking forrecipes with sturgeon eggs, know that these should never be cooked, they should be served cold or at least added to slightly warm dishes.
Caviar should only be served in glass, crystal or mother-of-pearl containers, i.e. materials that do not alter its flavor. If you prefer, you can serve thecaviarwith a drop of sour cream.
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If you are a fan of crossword puzzles and typed "it is made with sturgeon eggs ”, the answer iscaviar!