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Organic Caviar

Listed under Original Gifts in Andalucia, Spain.

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The tenacious old sturgeon has been around since prehistory, and research suggests that its eggs have been harvested and preserved as a gastronomic treat since at least 2400 BC, when beautiful paintings were made inside royal tombs of fishermen catching fish and removing their eggs. Similar ancient evidence has been discovered in Greece, Turkey and Iran, where caviar was believed to have regenerative medicinal qualities, and even amid the culinary dubiousness of the English Middle Ages, the sturgeon was proclaimed a “royal fish”.

Only three types of sturgeon produce caviar, and of these, the beluga sturgeon is the largest, rarest and most highly regarded. It is a wide-ranging predator and in the wild, can be found in the Caspian, Black and Adriatic seas. Barely over a hundred are caught each year, and since a female beluga sturgeon has a longer lifespan than a human, they rarely produce eggs before the age of twenty, and frequently live to be well over a hundred, by which time they can be up to six metres long.

Overfishing and destruction of up-river spawning sites resulted in the beluga sturgeon being officially named as an endangered species in 1996, and it is now illegal to kill wild members of the species for any reason in most countries.

Though beluga caviar may seem to have been relegated to the list of politically incorrect foods, suitable only for ancient royalty, it is still possible to acquire it whist supporting environmentally friendly fishing methods – namely, from an organic sturgeon farm. Caviar de Riofrio is produced in Granada, Spain and comes from fish raised according to the high standards for organic farming set by the World Conservation Union. The farm is the first of its kind in the world, and uses only natural methods, making its product sustainable and fish-friendly as well as delicious and quite probably healthier than non-organic alternatives, which often come from fish treated with chemicals, hormones and antibiotics.

Beluga caviar is set apart from its peers by its translucent, silvery appearance and delicate texture, which is softer than that of other species. The flavour is noticeably smoother and creamier than in other varieties, and lacks the commonly-found sour tang. Now all you need is someone to translate the Spanish website for you, and you’ll be on your way to foodie heaven!

Available online here.

Written by  larapiegeler.

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