Black Caviar

Rosi StoyanovaRosi Stoyanova
Nadia Galinova
Translated by
Nadia Galinova
Black Caviar from Beluga

Black caviar is one of the most expensive foods in the world, which is why it is not accidentally called a royal food. This type of caviar is a symbol of luxury and abundance and is often compared to black diamonds. Black caviar is obtained only from the sturgeon fish family. The sturgeon as a fish has no special taste, but the eggs produced from it are worth as much as gold.

There are 24 species of sturgeon, 5 of them live in the Caspian Sea, but only 4 produce edible caviar. The most famous of these 4 species of sturgeon is the beluga. An interesting fact is that caviar makes up about 25% of a beluga's weight.

Female belugas reach sexual maturity at about 25 years of age, but do not spawn every year. In captivity, the beluga can reach sexual maturity in about 7 years, but only in the presence of high-protein food and suitable water temperature.

Beluga caviar is distinguished from other species by its color and size and its taste is extremely soft and delicate. Connoisseurs of fine food describe it as having an unique nutty flavor. From all species, beluga caviar is the largest in size, with grains measuring around 5-6mm. For comparison, the caviar of other fish reaches 1.3 mm.

The price of black caviar is really not for everyone. Caviar from artificially farmed fish costs around 1, 500 euros per kilogram, while the price of free-range beluga caviar exceeds 2, 000 euros.

History of Black Caviar

Black Caviar
Image: Izismile

If you think that black caviar has started being consumed only recently, you will be surprised. The earliest evidence of the consumption of caviar dates back to the 13th century. They are associated with Genghis Khan's grandson - Batu Khan.

Five centuries later, a very interesting incident happens. Louis XV throws in the face of the unsuspecting Peter the Great the unpleasant fish eggs with which the Russian king tries to treat Louis as a sign of good will. The French king did not even suspect that it would be one of the most expensive foods in the world, which few have the fortune to try. Nowadays, black caviar is a fine delicacy for royalty.

The truth is that in the past, black caviar was not properly appreciated, and one of the reasons lies in the fact that people simply did not know how to store it. In the Caspian Sea region (where it was found) the climate was very warm and the caviar spoiled very quickly, causing massive, severe poisoning. This is the reason why it is even considered a cursed food. Over the years, however, they begin to master the intricacies of its storage. To extend the shelf life, the fish eggs are heavily salted and then transferred into wooden barrels.

Russians and Persians were the first to popularize black caviar around the world. In the 16th century, it was consumed as far away as America, but it was not considered a fine food, but rather a low-quality food for the poor.

Until the mid-1980s, the USSR was in first place for industrial sturgeon fishing. In the Caspian Sea region, 28, 000 tons of sturgeon were caught, from which about 2, 500 tons of black caviar were obtained. This is also about 90% of the entire caviar market in the world, which makes the Soviet Union a complete monopoly on the export of the priceless caviar. After the collapse of the Union, however, things changed.

In the 1950s, the sturgeon population began to decline, and poaching was the other reason for the disappearance of the fish. This necessitates a change in the market and the development of aquaculture. However, breeding sturgeon in artificial conditions is not as easy as it is, for example, with salmon.

Nowadays, the biggest producers of black caviar are China and Saudi Arabia, and the caviar is produced in an artificial environment. Interestingly, Iran is a top supplier of wild caviar for two reasons. The first is that there is no ban on sturgeon hunting there and the second is that Iranians do not consume this delicacy. A fact that is explained by the Quran, where it forbids Muslims to consume fish without scales.

Black caviar in the culinary world


Black caviar is served in small saucers that are placed on a plate with ice and garnished with a lemon wedge. It can be consumed with a teaspoon without any additives. It is very often served on rusks, bread, or in a pancake.

Another option is to spread a little bit on the bread, add black caviar, sprinkle with lemon juice and it's ready to eat. Caviar should not be spread on the bread, because then the little grains will crack and release their precious liquid, which is also the greatest delight for the palate.

There are also a variety of extravagant ways to serve caviar – with cheese, pineapple, raisins or even pieces of vegetables. It is good to note that caviar is never eaten with a silver spoon, because silver will spoil its delicate taste.

The quality of black caviar can be easily recognized - when you open the tin, the fish eggs are stuck to the surface right next to each other, forming a thin layer of ice. This is exactly what high-quality black caviar should look like.

Benefits of black caviar

Black caviar is a refined and very healthy food that is full of nutrients that nourish the body. It consists of 25% proteins, 50% water and about 17% fat. It is rich in phosphorus, vitamins A, E, C and D, amino acids, lysine and many others.

It is believed that caviar has a positive effect on brain functions, increases immunity and reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Vitamins in caviar slow down aging processes in the body.

Caviar is extremely nutritious food, 100 g of it contains about 280 calories. For this reason, people following a weight loss regime should limit its consumption.

Skin care with black caviar

Black Caviar is not only a refined and healthy food, but also an exceptional ally in the fight against aging of the skin. As in cooking and cosmetics, products with black caviar are by no means cheap, but the result is incredible.

When using products that also contain black caviar, the skin is loaded with a number of nourishing substances. In cosmetics, the percentage content of this caviar is between 0.5 and 5%, and this wide interval is explained by the fact that there is more caviar in creams and masks than in tonics, for example.

Black caviar extract activates the production process of its own elastin and collagen, which prevents the appearance of wrinkles, makes the skin smooth and gives a radiant appearance.

See all our caviar recipes as well as how to make Tarama caviar.


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