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Caviar

CAVIAR

Of the twenty-six species of sturgeon found in the world, those most valued are the four that dwell in the Caspian Sea, including, from largest to smallest in size, the beluga (Huso huso ), the osetra or Russian sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedti ), the sevruga or stellate (Acipenser stellatus ), and the sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus ). Each is appreciated for the quality and flavor of its roe (fish eggs), otherwise known as caviar (ikra, ). Although they vary in the intensity of their saltiness and flavor, all Caspian caviars have a subtle, buttery taste. Because of the damage induced by the Volga River's cascade of hydroelectric dams, which originally were built without fish ladders for anadromous fish such as the Caspian sturgeons, and subsequent overfishing in the sea itself, the populations of the Caspian sturgeons have plummeted since 1960. Thus connoisseurs have recommended that caviar lovers redirect their palates to the roe of more abundant fish species, such as the cheaper, but tasty American sturgeon, until the Caspian stocks can rebound. With the major decline of their numbers in the Caspian Sea, sevruga and osetra are being farm-raised in ponds in Europe.

Belugas, which produce the best and most expensive caviar, are the largest freshwater fish in the world, typically weighing more than one ton, measuring 27 feet (9 meters) long, and living for 150 years. The largest on record weighed 4,350 pounds (1,973 kilograms). Beluga eggs are large, bluish gray, and slightly sweet. The caviar is best when it is fresh.

Osetra sturgeon measure up to 9 feet (3 meters) in length and weigh up to 90 pounds (200 kilograms). Osetra caviar is brown in color and stronger in flavor than beluga caviar.

The sevruga sturgeon is smaller still, and yields the smallest eggs. Sevruga caviar possesses the strongest flavor of all the caviars. Because of this, it is cheaper than beluga or osetra, but still quite good.

The exceedingly rare sterlet is the smallest of the Caspian sturgeons, measuring a little under 50 inches (2 meters) long, weighing 7 pounds (16 kilograms), and living on average to the age of 22 years. Sterlet, or imperial, caviar was once the most prized fish roe of all. The eggs are small-grained and golden in color. Valued also as a food species, the sterlet has been fished almost to extinction.

See also: food

bibliography

Alden, Laurie. (19962001). "Caviar and Roe." The Cook's Thesaurus Internet site. <http://www.foodsubs.com>.

Saffron, Inga. (2002). Caviar: The Strange History and Un-certain Future of the World's Most Coveted Delicacy. New York: Broadway Books.

Victor L. Mote

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"Caviar." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Caviar." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/caviar

"Caviar." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/caviar

caviar

caviar or caviare (kăv´ēär), the roe (eggs) of various species of sturgeon prepared as a piquant table delicacy. The ovaries of the fish are beaten to loosen the eggs, which are then freed from fat and membrane by being passed through a sieve. The liquid is pressed off, and the eggs are mildly salted and sealed in small tins or kegs. Fresh caviar (the unripe roe), made in winter from high-grade eggs, is scarce and consequently expensive, especially when imported. Less choice varieties are cured with 10% salt. The eggs, black, green, brown, and the rare yellow or gray, may be tiny grains or the size of peas. The best-known caviar comes the countries on the Black and Caspian seas and the rivers that flow into them, but declines in sturgeon species there and elsewhere has led to a suspension of the international trade in nearly all caviar from wild Caspian sturgeon several times since 2001. Good quality sturgeon caviar is also produced in France, South Korea, and elsewhere from farm-raised fish. In the United States caviar is made from the roe of white sturgeon. Similar products are produced from the roe of other fish, such as paddlefish, whitefish, salmon, flying fish, pike, and trout.

See I. Saffron, Caviar (2002).

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"caviar." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"caviar." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/caviar

caviar

cav·i·ar / ˈkavēˌär/ (also caviare) • n. the pickled roe of sturgeon or other large fish, eaten as a delicacy. ORIGIN: mid 16th cent.: from Italian caviale (earlier caviaro) or French caviar, probably from medieval Greek khaviari.

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"caviar." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"caviar." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/caviar-0

"caviar." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/caviar-0

caviar

caviar Roe (eggs) of a sturgeon and three less common fish (also occasionally a salmon) which, salted and seasoned, is a gastronomic delicacy, especially in Russia. The roe is extracted from the fish before it can spawn.

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"caviar." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"caviar." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/caviar

"caviar." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/caviar

caviar

caviar •penniä • caviar

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"caviar." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"caviar." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/caviar

"caviar." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/caviar