Saturday, June 11, 2011

New Caviar Farm in Abu Dhabi (UAE)

 Caviar farms exist through the world, and now the newest one has found it's home in Abu Dhabi, The UAE.

The Royal Caviar Company, launched under the Bin Salem Holdings, is the Middle East's first caviar farm. The factory currently contains 18 tons of sturgeon (mainly Siberian) with an additional 124 tons (various sturgeon) expected for delivery later this year. Additionally, approximately 20 ever-so-rare albino sturgeons are also expected for delivery.

The farm plans to be at full production in 2015, with a capacity to produce 35 tons of caviar along with 700 tons of sturgeon meat per year. We are definitely looking forward to sampling some of their product, hopefully by the second half of 2012. Just like most any other industry, more competition will result in higher quality and lower prices. This is great for both purveyors such as Caviar Express, and for our customers.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Etiquette Coach for Sushi, Wine and Caviar by P. Diddy...

The NY Post reports that Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, has hired Dawn Bryan, an international protocol expert, in order to school employees of "Diddy" Combs on how to properly act in formal settings.

Teachings include how to present a business card in Japan, etiquette for business gifts in international settings, how to choose wine, and of course, how to properly eat caviar.

Apparently, the etiquette courses are required for any new employees working under Diddy and his company, Bad Boy Entertainment, located in New York City.

Friday, June 3, 2011

How does Sturgeon Roe (eggs) become caviar?

We commonly get asked this question - So I wanted to provide a succinct answer for those that are interested. The following is an example of a "Russian-Style" for hand processing caviar. I mention this because there are multiple styles for turning ordinary roe into caviar. Additionally, this method is primarily used for Sturgeon roe.

First, the female sturgeon is caught and the entire egg sack (ovary) is removed. The sack is then placed on a mesh netting and lightly rinsed with water. This clears the eggs of an unwanted particulates. The eggs are then gently rubbed across the mesh netting, which is key in separating the eggs from the ovary membrane itself. The eggs are then rinsed again with water and are now ready for salting.

Salting the separated and cleaned roes is also referred to as "malossol", which translates to "little salt" in Russian. In the caviar industry, "Malossol" is usually reserved for caviar that contains 3% to 5% salt content. Generally, higher quality eggs receive less salt than average and low grade roes, as the higher grade roes need less salt (additive) to influence the shape and texture of the roe.

After the roes are lightly salted, they are left to soak in the salt for several hours, after which time they are again lightly rinsed to remove the salt brine. Salt is used as a natural preservative for the eggs, and to give the eggs substance and taste. Unsalted roe are tasteless, and lack a rolling texture and firmness that pops in your mouth, which is quintessential to caviar. Thus, salting is a very important step in producing true caviar. Alas, the roes have now become "caviar", and are ready to be packed for consumption.

Some producers, namely of the Iranian style, also add "borax", which is a preserving agent meant to extend the shelf-life and freshness of the caviar, and influence its taste and texture. More information on borax next week.

Additionally, some caviar producers use a process of "aging" the caviar. These producers believe that although caviar should normally be eaten as a fresh product, there needs to be a brief period of aging (anywhere between 5 and 14 days) to allow the salt to truly soak into the roes and influence both taste and texture.