Among the oldest delicacies in the world, aristocrats and royalty have prized the great Caviar long before truffles and raw oysters were merely even noticed. Wealthy Greeks were said to have had the delicate roe at wild banquets, while the Russian tsars simply couldn’t get enough of it. Persian nobles, on the other hand, were widely believed to be the very first people who appreciated this handsome delicacy for its great worth.
Originally harvested in the Caspian Sea by Persian and Russian fisherman, the term ‘Caviar’ indicates unfertilized salt-cured fish eggs from various species of sturgeon, of which all 26, including Beluga, Ossetra and Sevruga, have been used for caviar.
Determining Its Worth
Among the determinants of caviar’s value includes color, texture, flavor and maturity – the older, larger and lighter-colored the eggs are, the more expensive. Cheaper caviar of lower quality usually bears a darker color, and often has a much milder and less ‘fishy’ flavor.
It’s a Prozac
In addition to being prized by for its exquisite taste and complex flavor, caviar was used to combat depression. We know it sounds like a rather fishy prescription, but hear us out – eventual studies reportedly showed that omega-3 fatty acids, which caviar happens to be incredibly rich in, are indeed, helpful in treating symptoms of bipolar and depression.
Also an Aphrodisiac
In addition to its purported powers towards bipolar disorder and clinical depression, a 19th century manual released some findings that claimed the caviar was an aphrodisiac of sorts, igniting an energy that ‘excites the blood’. Despite the lack of proven medicinal properties to support such claims, the Persians consumed the roe in stick form for stamina and energy.
Century Old Extravagance
The current record for the most expensive caviar is the Almas caviar, which are eggs from an Iranian beluga sturgeon. The Almas caviar costs an average of $35,000 per kilo, and is ideally obtained from specimens that are over 100 years old. Given the prestige these white caviars come with, they aren’t for sale just anywhere – only at one of the very few select Caviar House & Prunier stores, encased in a metal container swathed in 24k gold.
Best Served Cold
Warm caviar is like warm beer – it’s not the best experience, so you best keep it in the fridge. Serve it over ice should it be enjoyed as an appetizer, to ensure a constant temperature. A glass server for caviar would be an excellent investment, since ice can be placed around the base of the cone, where the caviar goes.
Source: luxury-insider.com Photo: luxury-insider.com