One of the gems that you can find at De La Valley is a specifically handpicked caviar selection that is unique in its kind. Caviar is an elegant and exquisite delicacy, always an excellent addition to any table and any party. Read on to learn about the story behind the mystery and mystique of this luxurious indulgence and what is the best way to enjoy caviar.
What is Caviar?
Caviar has enjoyed lasting fame as the luxury treat in the most upscale social circles. Caviar is basically the roe (eggs, also sometimes referred to as "berries" or "pearls") of the female sturgeon, a large - it can grow to over 3000 lbs, but averages 60lbs - migratory fish that has roamed the cold waters of the northern hemisphere for over 250 million years. Sturgeon are found mainly in the Caspian Sea, which laps the shore of the two major caviar-producing countries in the world, Russia and Iran, but is also found in the Black Sea, some parts of the Pacific Northwest and South Atlantic regions of North America, and is expected in the big lakes and rivers in Europe. Although it is a saltwater fish, it spawns (lays eggs) in freshwater.
The Story Behind Caviar
The British kings of the middle ages reserved all the sturgeon for their consumption and knighted it the "Royal Fish", set aside solely for royalty. However, it was the Persians who first prepared and savoured sturgeon roe - the word "caviar" actually comes from the Persian word "khav-yar", which means "cake of strength" or "cake of power", because the people of Persia attributed many medicinal powers to caviar. The Persians collected the fish eggs on the Kura River, but the tradition of salting fish roe for consumption actually originated in China, where carp eggs were prepared in this manner.
The first known record of caviar dates back to the Greek scholar Aristotle. In the 4th Century B.C. Aristotle described this delicacy as the eggs of the sturgeon, heralded into banquets amongst trumpets and flowers. But it was Russia and the Russian Tsars that catapulted caviar into the world of utter luxury. The golden roe of the Sterlet sturgeon - now overfished to the point of near extinction- produced what would become the "imperial" caviar, the most delicate and coveted type of caviar available. As time progressed, gourmet caviar spread to all countries across Europe and was prized by nearly every culture. One jar of caviar equalled one hundred sheep in the second century B.C., making it exclusive to higher-class citizens.
Caviar Selected by De La Valley
One of the types of caviar that you can find at De La Valley is Amur Oscietra caviar, which has the scientific name Acipenser schrenckii. Amur Oscieta caviar comes from Amur sturgeon whose native home is Amur River. It is a medium-sized sturgeon with a weight between 20 - 30 kg. Its caviar size is from 3.0 to 3.2 mm with colour ranges from brownish-grey to pale brown, rich and powerful walnut taste. It requires 8-10 years for maturation.
Another caviar of our selection is Royal Oscietra caviar, which has the scientific name Acipenser gueldenstaedtii. Royal Oscietra caviar comes from the Russian sturgeon, an ancient species originally native to the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, and the Azov Sea. It is a medium-sized sturgeon with a weight of 20 to 30 kg. Its caviar size is between 3.0 - 3.2 mm with poppy texture and strong nutty caviar, colour ranges from dark grey to amber, many consider this to be the most refined caviar with a similar flavour as wild caviar. It requires 9-11 years for maturation.
The Best Way to Eat Caviar
Caviar is best stored at -2° to 20°C. Before serving, place the refrigerated caviar at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes to release its flavour. Caviar is best enjoyed with a mother-of-pearl spoon. It is better to avoid direct contact with caviar and silver utensils as it may affect their taste. Real caviar lovers will always prefer a plain tasting, or on a piece of blinis. Champagne is a timeless classic to be served with caviar. An ice-cold vodka in a shot glass is also a perfect partner for caviar!
You can start your caviar tasting journey with us by exploring our selection in our shop!