The Caviar Queen herself, Laura King talks about her specialist subject - caviar
1. Did you know the word caviar did not originate from Russia? Russians call it ikrabut caviar itself hails from the Turkish havyar, which comes from khayah, the Persian word for egg
2. The sturgeon fish existed on earth 250 million years back. They even outlived the dinosaurs. Currently, we have 20 major species of sturgeon. Sturgeons can be located in the northern hemisphere. They usually thrive in saltwater, but spawn in freshwater.
3. It can only be called caviar if it comes from sturgeon, a finfish - if it comes from scaled fish (salmon or trout, for example) it’s considered roe.
4. Caviar is one of the oldest delicacies. The oldest written account dates back to the 1240s during the epoch of Mongol ruler Batu Khan, Genghis Khan’s grandson.
5. The sturgeon fish existed on earth 250 million years back. They even outlived the dinosaurs. Currently, we have 20 major species of sturgeon. Sturgeons can be located in the northern hemisphere. They usually thrive in saltwater, but spawn in freshwater.
6. Most of the world's wild caviar was produced in the Caspian Sea, which is bordered by Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran. Due to overfishing caviar is now farmed.
7. The people who make caviar are called Ikrjanschik. Before making caviar they must undergo an apprenticeship that lasts anywhere from 10 to 15 years.
8. Caviar is judged on its colour, flavour, texture and maturity. The finest, most expensive caviars are older, larger eggs that are lighter in color. Lower quality caviar is younger, with a less intensely fishy flavour, and darker in colour.
9. It can take anywhere from eight to 18 years for the sturgeon to produce mature eggs that are large enough for caviar harvesting.
10.Nutritional Value of Caviar
Caviar is a source of vitamins and minerals including omega3, which helps to promote a healthy nervous, circulatory and immune system.
It is also a good source of protein, Vitamin A, D, B-6 as well as Vitamin B12, iron, Magnesium and Selenium which can help promote strong bones and teeth.
11. Historically, caviar was prescribed to alleviate depression due to its richness in omega-3s
12. It was also prescribed for impotence. Caviar contains high levels of taurine, a natural stimulant, and arginine, a vasodilator that opens up blood vessels.
13. According to legend, one of Jackie O’s diets consisted of a single baked potato, stuffed with Beluga caviar and sour cream.
14. Caviar should never be frozen, as it will end up mushy. It is best served in a crystal or glass bowl over ice.
15. Serving caviar with silver utensils is a sin, as the metal adversely affects the flavour of this delicacy, Instead, use spoons made with mother of pearl.
16. Caviar pairs well with Champagne and vodka.
Fortnum & Mason presents The Oscietra Caviar Hampering.
This is the perfect gourmet meal to be enjoyed in transit and I spotted this little gem on a recent trip at Heathrow Airport.
Each Oscietra Caviar Hamperling includes our connoisseur caviar – Golden Oscietra Caviar complete with miniature blinis, crème fraiche, shredded eggs and a selection of decadent Napolitain chocolates for dessert, as well as all the necessary utensils packaged in its own unique Time to Fly Travel Bag.