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History of caviar

Caviar once was a special treat which was reserved for consumption strictly by the wealthy because it was considered to be very expensive and rare. As man moved around the planet they found these “rare” fish eggs were everywhere! Fish either lay eggs or bear live baby fish so those that were of the egg laying variety were sought as a source for this delectable dish. Although some tasted better than others, fish eggs became a more common hors d’oeuvre served at parties and in drinking establishment worldwide. With a distinctly salty taste caviar became popular as a bar snack alongside peanuts and popcorn. They made drinkers thirsty and so they purchased more drinks. With American waterways abundantly supplied with fish (sturgeon in particular) these valuable fish eggs were imported to Europe and other continents and sold at premium prices when labeled as “Russian caviar”. Much of the exported item went from America to Russia, then exported on to Europe as caviar from Russia, thus more valuable simply by label. This practice went on throughout the 1900’s until sturgeon fish became nearly extinct due to over fishing. Prices then rose because of the shortage when salmon eggs, whitefish, and lumpfish caught on as alternative sources for caviar.

Red caviar (from salmon fish) is enormously popular

Salted to preserve the flavor, caviar is processed eggs of fish which has found world wide popularity as a rare delicacy which can either be eaten by the spoonful or as a spread on top of a wide variety of hors d’oeuvre, most generally served as party snacks. Fish eggs or roe is cultivated and processed using salt as a preservative. The eggs most popularly used for caviar come from sturgeon, salmon, paddlefish, lumpfish, and whitefish. As long as fish continue to lay eggs or can be “milked” of their eggs by way of squeezing the roe out, the delicacy we know as caviar will continue to be provided. Poachers and a black market for this delicacy may damage the source but as a desirable valuable party treat, caviar will continue to be in demand.