Even those of us who are new to the world of caviar will know that for a long time, beluga caviar has been hailed as the highest quality caviar there is. But it seems that a newer product, kaluga caviar also known as river beluga, is threatening to steal that much sought after title as it rapidly becomes more and more popular with caviar connoisseurs around the globe.
What is Kaluga Caviar?
The kaluga is a freshwater sturgeon which feeds on salmon and other fish, and is found in the Amur river basin which stretches from Mongolia to north east China and south east Russia. These fish have been known to grow to sizes of up to 18 feet, making them the largest of their kind. Interestingly, an adult female can produce huge amounts of roe, or caviar, sometimes reaching a weight of 44 pounds.
Kaluga Caviar is famed as a result of a sharp decline in the natural population which threatens the species with extinction. Today, the fish can only be found in any real numbers in the Argun River in Inner Mongolia. However, the farming of kaluga has resulted in exquisite caviar production and means that the wild population need not be harmed further.
Why Is It So Popular?
Widely seen as the much needed solution to the environmental problems caused by beluga caviar production, this hybrid product is quickly becoming “the new beluga”. This appeals to customers for four main reasons.
1. Environmental Reasons
First of all, more and more caviar customers are becoming increasingly conscious of the detrimental impact that the industry has had on wild sturgeon populations and on other fish species indirectly. This impact has been particularly extreme in the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, where beluga caviar originated from. Kaluga caviar provides caviar enthusiasts with a way to enjoy the delicacy without feeling guilty about the harm caused by overfishing.
2. Supply And Price
Secondly, another result from the overfishing of the wild sturgeon population in the Black and Caspian Seas is the restrictions which have been placed on imported beluga caviar. These restrictions have made it much harder to source beluga caviar, and have driven the already high prices even higher. Kaluga caviar isn’t subject to these restrictions, which means it’s easier to buy and the price is less inflated.
3. Nutritional Value
You may be surprised to learn that kaluga caviar is packed with vitamins and minerals, making it not only delicious but also indisputably nutritious. Each serving is rich in potassium, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and vitamin B12, as well as calcium, iron and magnesium. The nutritional profile means that consumers can enjoy this delicacy in the knowledge that it’s great for their health and wellness, as well as their taste buds!
4. Taste And Texture
Finally, the sheer quality of kaluga caviar is one of the biggest reasons for its surge in popularity. The grains themselves are firm and medium to large in size and boast a range of colors from light to deeper brown and even golden shades. Their taste is often described as mildly salty, with an earthy/buttery flavor and it is widely heralded as one of the tastiest caviar varieties.