For years, caviar has been a popular delicacy of the affluent. While still expensive, the varieties of caviar available on the market today make caviar more widely available and with affordable options for anyone who is seeking to understand the allure behind this curious and fishy delight. In addition to being delicious, caviar is also healthy.
Keep reading for more information about caviar, including caviar health benefits.
What is Caviar?
Like most who have never encountered this seafood delicacy, you may be asking, “What is caviar made from?” Caviar isn’t made, its harvested. Caviar is the fish eggs or roe from a particular species of female fish. You might be wondering why all fish eggs can’t be considered caviar, and the answer to that is tradition. So what fish does caviar come from? Real caviar comes from sturgeon.
There are over 26 varieties of sturgeon today with varying colors and flavors of caviar. Years ago, sturgeon was only wild-caught, leading to the rarity and expensive cost of caviar. Today, due to the overfishing of sturgeon, the farming, breeding, and harvesting of sturgeon caviar has improved so much that the price of some caviar is well within affordability for many people.
Why is Caviar Expensive?
A female sturgeon doesn’t begin spawning or producing eggs until she is approximately 10-15 years old. In addition to their age, it used to be that one female sturgeon had to be killed to harvest sturgeon roe. While still often the case, sturgeon farmers and breeders are working to improve upon the technology used by breeders to collect roe for caviar without harming the female fish. Not only is this good for the fish, but it is good for the caviar farmers who can use females over and over to produce caviar.
While farmers are working to improve breeding and harvesting techniques, there are still several species of sturgeon that produce much sought after and expensive forms of caviar.
Most Common Types of Caviar
What is Osetra Caviar?
Osetra caviar is one of the most expensive and rare types of caviar that comes from the Osetra sturgeon.
What does Caviar Look Like?
Pure caviar from sturgeon fish ranges from olive green to dark black. The size of the caviar can vary with Osetra caviar being larger eggs that range in color from pale green to olive green. Beluga sturgeon yield smaller black pearls of caviar.
What is Red Caviar?
Red caviar comes from salmon. While not a true caviar, which only comes from sturgeon, salmon roe is not only delicious but also extremely popular. You commonly find red caviar atop your favorite sushi rolls.
What does Caviar Taste Like?
Given its expensive price tag, you might be wondering, “why is caviar so popular?” or “Why do people eat caviar?” The answer to that question is the taste.
Caviar is salt-cured fish eggs. When first used as a food item by Russian and Persian fisherman, the salt was necessary to preserve the fish eggs. The salty flavor became synonymous with caviar. Now even with proper refrigeration techniques, the salt-curing of caviar remains as taste preference rather than a necessity. A lower salt caviar called Malossol caviar is available for purchase.
If you’re wondering if caviar is good, all you have to do it try it for yourself, and you’ll be hooked. Caviar is famous for a reason. It wouldn’t be so popular if the flavor and texture weren’t so unique and delicious.
What is the Texture of Caviar?
The texture is a large part of the allure of eating caviar. The roe or fish eggs tend to delicately pop in your mouth when you eat caviar. The texture and popping of the eggs along with the briny fishy taste of the roe combine into a culinary experience that complements many dishes or is perfect by itself.
How to Eat Caviar:
Most commonly enjoyed by itself or on small crackers or toast points, caviar can be a stand-alone appetizer or serve as a garnish for a variety of culinary dishes. Often the best way to eat caviar is served by the spoonful.
What to Eat with Caviar?
Caviar is typically enjoyed only in small amounts. Caviar is served in small quantities due to not only its expensive cost but also due to its rich flavor texture. You only need a little bit to experience caviar to its fullest. After trying caviar a few times, you will no longer wonder, “why do people eat caviar?”
For an exciting twist on serving caviar, see our recipe for Caviar pie!
What is the Most Expensive Type of Caviar?
Due to its rarity and expense, beluga caviar is typically the most expensive type of caviar. Thankfully because of commercial farming of beluga sturgeon and improved roe harvesting techniques, we are seeing the prices of the once rare and elusive beluga caviar coming down into much more affordable ranges.
What is the Most affordable Type of Caviar?
Paddlefish is a very close relative of the sturgeon found in the Central and Southern United States. A much more affordable variety of caviar, the taste, and texture paddlefish caviar most closely resembles that of beluga caviar, making it an excellent and affordable option for those wanting a taste of the expensive delicacy.
Is Caviar Pasteurized?
Most commercially available caviar is not pasteurized. Pasteurization is said to impact the flavor and texture of caviar. Eating caviar while pregnant is not recommended since caviar is raw fish eggs. There are some pasteurized brands of caviar available.
Is Caviar Healthy?
Caviar is not only a delicious culinary experience, but the fish eggs have many health benefits to the consumer. Enjoying caviar is good for your mind and body in many ways. The health benefits and nutritional value of caviar will make you want to order a can of caviar today!
So how is caviar good for you?
Caviar Nutrition Information
The nutritional value of caviar will surprise you. Caviar is salty, but one teaspoon of caviar contains only 46 calories and 4 grams of protein. Caviar fish eggs benefit your health without risking your exceeding your recommended daily number of calories. Caviar fish eggs benefit more than just your beltline, as black caviar and red caviar nutritional value go far beyond calories and protein.
Why is caviar so good?
Health Benefits of Caviar:
Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
One gram of caviar packs an entire day’s worth of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Caviar omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the human body to work at peak healthy. One of the few fatty acids the body can’t make, humans have to get omega-3 fatty acids from food sources.
Omega-3 fatty acids help protect the body against heart disease. The Omega-3s in caviar can help protect you against stroke, heart, attacked, clogged arteries, and even more. Why take an artificial supplement when you can get an entire day’s worth of omega-3’s right from a delicious spoonful of caviar.
Caviar is High in Selenium
Selenium is an essential mineral that, when combined with Vitamin E, helps protect the body from the effects of free-radicals. In addition, selenium supports thyroid function, which is vital to your entire endocrine system. The selenium found in caviar can support your immune system and lead to a boost in overall cell health and growth.
Caviar is High in B12
B Vitamins are essential to the function and health of the human body. B12 keeps your nervous system and red blood cells healthy. The B12 found in caviar helps your body build DNA and can prevent you from becoming weak from anemia. B 12 deficiency is common in adults. Food sources such as caviar are one of the best ways to ensure you are getting enough b12 for your body.
Caviar Benefits Mental Health
The same Omega-3s found in caviar is shown to boost your mood. Recent studies into the mental effects of caviar have demonstrated that the amino acids found in caviar can help people fight off the symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder. More studies are needed to confirm this correlation. Anecdotally, caviar is said to help fight off the blues. This is especially true of those suffering from seasonal depression during the winter months.
Caviar is rich in Vitamin D, which is essential to boosting one’s mood during seasonal depression. The body naturally produces vitamin D from absorbing the sun’s rays. During the winter, when sunshine is lacking, dietary vitamin D, like that from caviar, can help fight off the depressive effects of vitamin D deficiency.
Caviar can Improve Reproductive Health
The reproductive benefits of eating caviar are especially real for men. For ages, caviar has been known as an aphrodisiac, which helps increase intimacy. The increase in blood flow caused by the b vitamins and zinc found in caviar is likely the cause of the reproductive benefits of eating caviar for both men and women.
Caviar Benefits Cancer Patients
Caviar is high in iron, which helps cancer patients recover more quickly from the side effects of chemotherapy. Iron helps improve energy, as well as the function of your gastrointestinal tract, which are two common complaints of chemotherapy patients.
Health Benefits of Red Caviar
Like sturgeon caviar, salmon caviar has health benefits. In addition to the same health benefits of sturgeon caviar, salmon roe health benefits include being high in carotene. Carotene is responsible for its reddish-orange color. The particular carotene found in caviar is known to help increase the skin’s ability to fight off the damaging effects of UV rays from the sun. Red caviar health benefits come at a much more affordable price point that true sturgeon caviar.
Not only is salmon roe healthy, but salmon eggs benefit your body, and red caviar nutrition facts won’t hurt your beltline either.
What is Caviar Good for?
The benefits of caviar go far beyond flavor, texture, and the feeling of luxury, which is why caviar is so good. Caviar nutrition is a strong reason to incorporate caviar into your regular diet, especially the more affordable options, such as paddlefish caviar.
Eating caviar is good for your mind and body and is less damaging to your wallet than it used to be. Start enjoying the benefits of eating caviar by ordering some today.
Fun Caviar Facts
Caviar is good for you and a talking piece around the dinner table. Caviar uses include serving it as an appetizer, a garnish, or in sauces. Caviar has nutritional benefits and fantastic flavor. You no longer have to wonder why people eat caviar. Black caviar as food is guaranteed to be a conversation piece at your dinner party. To prepare yourself to discuss caviar fish eggs, here are some interesting facts about what caviar is.
- Sturgeon is a pre-historic species that has been part of man’s diet since the early history of man in the middle east. During the 1300s, caviar consumed strictly by royalty.
- The name caviar translates “unfertilized salt eggs.”
- Sturgeon can live to be over 100 years old. A female sturgeon won’t produce eggs until about 10-15 years old.
- The most expensive caviar ever sold was beluga caviar that sold for $35,000 for one kilo of caviar.
- Caviar is graded based on its color and the size of the eggs.
- Caviar used to be a poor man’s food, Russian fisherman would put caviar on their potatoes. Russian fisherman gave the fish eggs the name “roe.”
- There are more than 26 types of sturgeon that produce caviar.
- The fishy taste associated with caviar is called to as “umami.” Many consider umami a 5th basic taste in addition to sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.
- In the early 1900s, sturgeon was over-fished nearly to extinction. Thanks to fish farming practices, we are still able to enjoy sturgeon. Many governments have made the fishing of wild sturgeon illegal as the population still needs to repair itself.
- No longer a delicacy served alone. You can find caviar as a garnish on many exciting dishes, including pancakes, pizza, burgers, and even ice cream.