Osetra Caviar

Written by Rebecca Russell
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Every year for Christmas, my father presents to my mother a stocking stuffed with various gourmet foods. Gifts range from macadamia nuts to smoked clams, but each year her favorite is caviar. She always makes a point about how she really loves the caviar my father has given her, and we all know that this is a true statement. However, she never manages to miss an opportunity to tell us that, one day, she would love to receive some quality, gourmet caviar.

One of the more popular caviar types, among gourmet connoisseurs, is Osetra caviar. Osetra caviar comes, rather predictably, from the Osetra sturgeon. The Osetra is one of the larger form of sturgeon, which can grow to be at least 10 feet in length, and generally reaches spawning age at around 12 to 15 years. The caviar is rather rare, second in expense only to that of the Beluga, and has a flavor that many prefer to its more costly cousin.

Two of the largest exporters of caviar are Russia and Iran. Both of these countries have access to the Caspian Sea, which is where Oestra sturgeon are found, among other varieties. Roe can be extracted from a sturgeon once it is dead, or milked from a live fish, which is preferable for better quality caviar.

Where to Find Osetra Caviar

To purchase Osetra, you will need to visit a specialty food store, or a very well-stocked and diverse grocery store. Osetra will likely be found in the refrigerated section. There are also many companies who have Osetra available for ordering online. Once purchased, it can be kept unopened in your home refrigerator until you are ready to enjoy, or for up to 20 days.

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