Beluga caviar

Beluga caviar is caviar consisting of the roe (or eggs) of the Beluga sturgeon found primarily in the Caspian Sea. It can also be found in the Black Sea basin and occasionally in the Adriatic Sea. Beluga caviar is the most expensive type of caviar, with present market prices ranging from $7,000 to $10,000 per kilogram. [cite book|title=Guinness Book of World Records|year=1999|pages=94|author=Young, Mark C.] [cite book|title=Chef's Book of Formulas, Yields, and Sizes|author=Schmidt, Arno|year=2003|pages=48]

Harvesting

The Beluga sturgeon is currently considered to be endangered, causing the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to ban in 2005 the importation of Beluga caviar which originated in the Caspian Sea and Black Sea basin. In 2006, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) suspended all trade made with the traditional caviar producing sturgeons of the Caspian and Black Seas (Beluga, Ossetra and Sevruga), due to the producing countries' failure to apply international regulations and recomendations [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4577100.stm BBC - International caviar trade banned, 2006.] ] , exempting only Iran. [ [http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/fish/caviar/beluga-caviar-update.asp The Nibble, "Caspian Caviar Update: News About The World’s Favorite Roe", 2006.] ] In January 2007, this ban was partly lifted, allowing the sale of 96 tons of caviar, 15 per cent below the official 2005 level. [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6225723.stm|title=UN lifts embargo on caviar trade|date=2007-01-02|publisher=BBC News|accessdate=2008-05-30] CITES maintained the 2007 quotas for 2008, drawing criticism for doing little to protect the declining sturgeon population. [cite news|url=http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080304093748.htm|title=Beluga Sturgeon Threatened With Extinction, Yet Caviar Quotas Remain Unchanged|date=2008-03-06|accessdate=September 15|accessyear=2008]

The Beluga sturgeon can take up to 20 years to reach maturity. The fish harvested for caviar are often nearly 2,000 pounds (900 kg). The eggs themselves are the largest of the commonly used roes, and range in color from dark gray (almost black) to light gray, with the lighter colors coming from older fish, and being the most valued. A pearly white variety, called "Almas" (Persian for "diamond"), taken from a centennial female sturgeon, is the rarest type of Beluga available, with an extremely small production and prices reaching almost $25,000 per kilogram.

Any additions by producers diminish the value of the roe, and the caviar usually reaches the market without any additions or processing whatsoever. Most people also find a good bit of acidity and/or sweetness in the flavor as well.

ervice

As with most caviars, Beluga is usually handled with a spoon made of mother of pearl, bone, or other non-metallic material, as metal utensils tend to impart an unwelcome metallic taste to the delicate and expensive roe. [cite web|title=Beluga Caviar|url=http://www.caviar-guide.com/Beluga-Caviar.htm|publisher=Caviar-Guide.com|year=2006|accessdate=September 15|accessyear=2008] [cite book|title=The New York Times Seafood Cookbook|pages=287|year=2003|author=Fabricant, Florence] But Beluga caviar, unlike less expensive varieties is usually served by itself on toast whereas other caviars can be served in a variety of ways, including hollowed and cooked new potatoes, on a blini, or garnished with sour cream, crème fraîche, minced onion or minced hard boiled egg whites. The higher grade caviars, including Beluga, usually need very little embellishment.

Beluga caviar ranges in price from more than $5,000 per kilogram in the United States, to a low of around $250 per kg in Atyrau, Kazakhstan, the major production center.

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • beluga caviar — Beluga Be*lu ga (b[ e]*l[=u] g[.a]), n. [Russ. bieluga a sort of large sturgeon, prop. white fish, fr. bieluii white. The whale is now commonly called bieluka in Russian.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) A cetacean allied to the dolphins. [1913 Webster] Note: The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Béluga (caviar) — Caviar « Tartar huître caviar » du chef 2 étoiles au Guide Michelin Hélène Darroze Le caviar (du persan خاگآور (Khāgāvar), en russe : чёрная икра (tchernaya ikra) est un alimen …   Wikipédia en Français

  • beluga caviar — noun roe of beluga sturgeon usually from Russia; highly valued • Hypernyms: ↑caviar, ↑caviare • Part Holonyms: ↑beluga, ↑hausen, ↑white sturgeon, ↑Acipenser huso …   Useful english dictionary

  • beluga caviar — appetizer made from the eggs of the white sturgeon (type of fish) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Caviar — is the processed, salted roe of certain species of fish, most notably the sturgeon ( black caviar ) and the salmon ( red caviar ). It is commercially marketed worldwide as a delicacy and is eaten as a garnish or a spread; for example, with hors d …   Wikipedia

  • Beluga — Be*lu ga (b[ e]*l[=u] g[.a]), n. [Russ. bieluga a sort of large sturgeon, prop. white fish, fr. bieluii white. The whale is now commonly called bieluka in Russian.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) A cetacean allied to the dolphins. [1913 Webster] Note: The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • caviar — Beluga Be*lu ga (b[ e]*l[=u] g[.a]), n. [Russ. bieluga a sort of large sturgeon, prop. white fish, fr. bieluii white. The whale is now commonly called bieluka in Russian.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) A cetacean allied to the dolphins. [1913 Webster] Note: The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • caviar — [ kavjar ] n. m. • 1553; cavyaire 1432; it. caviale, turc havyar 1 ♦ Œufs d esturgeon préparés, salés, constituant un hors d œuvre estimé et très coûteux (variétés : sévruga, osciètre, bélouga). « Du caviar, du caviar ! Et pas du pressé, pas du… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • beluga — [bə lo͞o′gə] n. pl. beluga or belugas [< Russ < byelyj, white (Russ byeluga, the sturgeon & byelukha, the whale) < IE base * bhel , to gleam: see BLACK] 1. a large, white sturgeon (Huso huso) of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea 2. a… …   English World dictionary

  • caviar — CAVIÁR, s.n. Icre negre preparate prin sărare. [pr.: vi ar] – Din fr. caviar. Trimis de valeriu, 03.03.2003. Sursa: DEX 98  CAVIÁR s. v. icre negre. Trimis de siveco, 05.08.2004. Sursa: Sinonime  caviár s. n. (sil. vi ar) …   Dicționar Român

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