Russian Caviar

Written by Rebecca Russell
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The history of caviar is almost as fine and delicious as the actual food itself. An ancient delicacy, caviar has graced the table of world and religious leaders for centuries. While history shows that caviar was present in Ancient Greece, Rome and even Persia, the country most often associated with this gourmet treat is Russia.

Details of Russian Caviar

In the 11th century, Russian fishermen began to extract and produce caviar from the fish of the Caspian Sea. Caviar began to grace the tables of the Czars and imperial guests by the 16th century. Czars were known to eat their caviar from spoons made of gold--a clear symbol of wealth and power. From Imperial to Beluga, Russia has been the leading exporter of quality caviar for hundreds of years.

Particularly under the Soviet rule, quality control was in the hands of the government. Almost all caviar was treated in one of two large fisheries, yielding large quantities of superior caviar. While the caviar industry has changed somewhat since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia continues to export what is considered, among many, to be the top caviar in the world.

Traditionally, the best Russian caviar is of the malossol variety. Malossol, translated from Russian, means “little salt.” Any caviar that is classified as malossol will have a salt content of under four percent, giving it the most delicate flavor among caviar. This type of caviar is also the most expensive, and should be enjoyed on its own, eaten from a traditional caviar spoon. Most spoons are made of mother of pearl or horn; however, if one can be found, a golden spoon is the best way to experience caviar in the same way as centuries of Russian royalty.


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