Where to Buy Caviar Online: Non-Russian Caviar Options, Alternatives

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As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drags on for another month, consumers are using their wallets to protest against Russia’s attempt at a takeover of its neighbor to the west. The movement to freeze Russian-made products has led to calls for a boycott of everything from vodka to diamonds to oil, and it has now reached the fine dining scene, with Britain close to This imposes sanctions on Russian caviar.

But do these boycotts really make a difference? And caviar? How should foodies (and consumers) feel about this quintessential Russian delicacy? According to most food vendors, it’s actually fairly easy to find non-Russian caviar in restaurants and online.

Citarella owner/fisherman Joe Gurrera is a New York seafood legend, with his wholesale business (Lockwood & Winant) taking up the largest space at the iconic Fulton Fish Market. Gurrera, who has sold seafood and caviar to some of the biggest restaurants in the city for many years, said Russian caviar accounts for only a small fraction of the market for caviar and there are few alternatives. suitable.

“Today, some of the best caviar is produced in many countries around the world,” assured Gurrera. “The varieties of sturgeon they harvest the caviar from share Russian/Iranian ancestry, but are raised in different countries using sustainable methods.”

Gurrera, the author of a book called Joe Knows Fish: Eliminate the threat of cooking seafoodshows Italian caviar, which he says is “the absolute highest quality.”

Grown in the foothills of the Italian Alps, Gurrera says Italian caviar is not only “some of the best caviar in the world”, brands are also working to replenish their former stock of sturgeon. are threatened worldwide. “In the frigid alpine lakes, they maintain a freshwater sturgeon farm using pioneering aquaculture techniques,” he explains. “They have reinvented the way caviar is produced sustainably without sacrificing flavor integrity, and by expanding re-imagining how we can think about products.”

Looking to buy Italian caviar online? Gurrera recommends Citarella Osetra Caviar, which has a smooth and clean texture. Its golden brown eggs have a golden luster, rich and firm, he said. Rolling Stone.

osetra-caviar

Citarella

Buying:
Citarella Osetra Caviar
in
$139

Petra Bergstein-Higby is the founder and CEO of The Caviar Company, a website that offers caviar varieties that can be delivered to your door. She says that while the company has “certainly seen guests avoid anything with Russian labels,” “the social environment has given us the opportunity to share more of its founding principles and details.” importance behind our products and caviar in general to consumers.”

Biggest misconception? All caviar must come from Russia. “There is a clear link between caviar and Russia,” she explains. “When we see ‘Russian Osetra’ on the label, this is interesting not to indicate that this caviar is a Russian product. To be considered ‘caviar’, the eggs must come from any of the 27 species of sturgeon. Osetra is one of the original sturgeon species from the Caspian Sea, along with Beluga and Sevruga,” she continued. “The association of Russia with Osetra is merely due to the nickname born (pun intended) as the species was originally found in the wild in the Caspian Sea, and their heritage originates in the Volga River in Russia empties. to the Sea. ”

Today, explains Bergstein-Higby, the (legal) possibility of finding Osetra from the Caspian Sea at any restaurant or specialty store in the US is “virtually non-existent,” and it has been for so long. past 10 years. “Due to pollution, overfishing and the industrial blockade of freshwater inlets and outlets to the Sea, the production of caviar from fish species that persists in the Caspian Sea today is at an all-time low,” she said. ,” she said. “These eggs are also unlike anything we’ve experienced from some of the incredible premium sturgeon farms around the globe, committed to raising Osetra and other sturgeon species.”

Where can you find non-Russian caviar online?

Bergstein-Higby says the lack of information about caviar and the lack of alternatives to Russian caviar is precisely why The Caviar Company exists. The company’s mission has always included consumer education, she explained, “noticing the fact that to be prestigious, delicious, great caviar, eggs don’t have to come from Russia.” In fact, The Caviar Company has never sourced any farm in Russia, making their website a great place to find non-Russian caviar online.

Royal California caviar

Caviar Co.

Buying:
Royal California caviar
in
$90

The California caviar, above, is native to Northern California and boasts “smooth and nutty flavors while finishing with a smooth earthy flavor,” according to the description on The Caviar Company’s website.

Bergstein-Higby says the company is also sourcing domestic caviar from Tennessee and caviar from Israel, Poland and China, where she says it’s the only place in the world where Kaluga caviar is available. . The website says their Kaluga Hybrid caviar (see below) is “the closest to Beluga” and “the caviar that Michelin Chefs use”, with a firmer feel and slightly fatty flavor sweet and creamy.

kaluga caviar

Caviar Co.

Buying:
Kaluga . hybrid caviar
in
$120

Gurrera, meanwhile, recommends Citarella’s Beluga Hybrid caviar, which he says offers a “smooth and buttery mixture of caviar”. This caviar is only sold after 15 years – the time when the sturgeon is mature enough to harvest the caviar.

“It requires extraordinary patience to produce high-quality caviar and no rush quality,” notes Gurrera. “Standard caviar can take six to fifteen years to mature for harvest, so even with advanced techniques it is a time- and labor-intensive process.”

beluga-hybrid-caviar

Citarella

Buying:
Beluga lai hybrid caviar
in
$285

Gurrera’s serves up recommendations: combine your caviar with a glass of chilled dry Champagne and eat it on its own, without a spoonful of pearls (reactive metals like stainless steel can change the flavor of eggs. your salted fish). And avoid serving caviar with crackers, crostini, or chips — “Crunchyness reduces the overall texture, breakage and mouthfeel of pearls,” explains Gurrera.

What are the best caviar alternatives?

While there are certainly alternatives to Russian caviar, there are also good alternatives to caviar in general, if you can’t find genuine caviar online or prefer an option. more affordable caviar.

Bergstein-Higby suggests a “cousin” to the sturgeon called Paddlefish (also known as “Spoonbill”), which produce eggs with a texture and flavor similar to some of the most sturgeon species. determined. Starting at $40 a box, it’s also cheaper than regular caviar.

Caviar paddlefish

Caviar Co.

Buying:
Paddle fish
in
$40

Paddlefish is also a great American alternative to Russian caviar, as the fish is native to the Tennessee Valley river system. In fact, as online gourmet grocer GoodEggs.com explains, paddle caviar is often referred to as “American-style sevruga,” with its “sharp crust like the ocean breeze reminiscent of its counterpart.” Caspian.”

American paddle caviar

Good eggs

Buying:
Paddlefish American sturgeon roe
in
$29.95

Of course, if you’re looking for an easy caviar substitute, you can also buy the classic salmon roe or caviar, which has a distinct orange color and familiar savory taste with a slightly sweet finish. Often seen on sushi plates, caviar is also wonderfully served on crackers and bread, or as part of a barbecue table.

Caviar Company offers salmon roe, smoked salmon roe, salmon roe and caviar on its website, for easy ordering and home delivery.

salmon roe

Caviar Co.

Buying:
Roe Salmon
in
$10

There is a vegetable substitute for caviar called “Tonburi”, an edible nut from the Kochia Scoparia plant. As Bergstein-Higby explains, “This seed is sometimes called ‘caviar’ and is flavored with broccoli.”

Tonburi can be difficult to find online, although Amazon does sell a caviar substitute called “Caviart,” which is made with seaweed. Even so, reviews of the product are somewhat mixed, with some reviewers saying it lacks the strong flavor of caviar, while others herald that it is a vegetarian alternative. that really.

caviart vegan caviar

Amazon

Buying:
CAVIART Black Seaweed Pearl
in
$8.95

Whether boycotting Russian caviar or choosing one brand over another, Bergstein-Higby said she is buoyed by the fact that consumers are putting their money behind what they believe, adding added that “It’s great to see how conscious customers are when choosing luxury products. ”

“Just like any other luxury product,” she said, “I would recommend [that you] Do your research, taste when you can and feel free to ask questions and chat about the product. ”

Gurrera, meanwhile, said there are plenty of non-Russian caviar options in the sea (pun intended) and with the abundance of options for buying caviar online, the treat to yourself be easy and guilt-free. In short, he says, “People should rest assured that they can enjoy caviar now more than ever.”

https://www.rollingstone.com/product-recommendations/lifestyle/where-to-buy-caviar-online-reviews-1336597/ Where to Buy Caviar Online: Non-Russian Caviar Options, Alternatives

Sarah Ridley

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