WHY IS CAVIAR SO EXPENSIVE
Caviar has two things following it at every step: the notion that it is expensive and is only a rich boy’s game, and that it tastes nothing special. True, we have seen James Bond eat caviar, and there is also a repulsive idea that those are just fish eggs so why would anybody want to eat that?
In reality, caviar is an amazing delight that tastes like ocean magic itself and if you look around, you could find it at quite an affordable price. Nevertheless, some varieties are really expensive. Some of the most expensive caviar in the world are Almas, Imperial Golden Osetra, and Strottarga Bianco. Imperial Golden Osetra has rare golden roe that can fetch a price of about $10,400 per kilo. Almas is made of the legendary rare albino beluga´s roe more than 60 years old, fetching a price of $34,500 per kilo. Strottarga Bianco or white gold caviar is also made from the rare albino beluga, but with a twist – a 22 karat gold twist. The dusting of 22-karat edible gold leaf is combined with the precious caviar, making a teaspoon cost $40,000.
Well yes, that is expensive, but there are also cheaper alternatives. White sturgeon caviar can be bought for $60 per ounce, even the beluga, a truly rare specimen, can be found starting from $130 per ounce. Since one ounce is roughly 28grams, you can still argue that caviar is expensive.
Let me tell you a different story. Back in the 19th century caviar was offered in U.S. saloons for free as its saltiness made people drink more. Basically, caviar was used the way peanuts are used today in bars. In medieval Russia caviar was food for peasants. They would eat it daily and not think much of it. So, how did peasant food become food of the royalty?
How did caviar become expensive?
Caviar is derived from sturgeon. Some sturgeon such as Siberian and White sturgeon taste amazing, and their numbers are still not that rare although you can’t fish for them in some regions and countries. The result is a price of $30 per ounce.
The region sturgeon is most famous for is the Caspian and Black sea basin. If you wondered why Russia and Iran are such common names in the world of caviar, it is because they border with the Caspian Sea.
The most famous sturgeon types are Beluga, Osetra, Sevruga and Sterlet. All of them live in the Caspian Sea. However, over fishing, polluting and obstruction of rivers where these fish spawn have all led to their disappearance. They are almost extinct so the only solution was aqua farming. At the beginning of 2000's, individuals and organizations recognized the dire need for a stable supply, so sturgeon farms started growing all around the world. The famous Caspian sturgeon is raised in these farms. Their water conditions are good and experts compete to make the best quality caviar. The caviar from these fish is rich in taste, splendid and delightful just like it should be. A lot has to be invested as it takes over a decade for them to reach maturity and have eggs. The work is very hard and time is needed for the investment to pay off. All of this contributes to the price.
Rare fish whose roe tastes good and the quality of production are the main reasons we pay $100 for 28 grams of Russian Osetra caviar. If you are curious about the taste, I urge you to try it and see for yourself why everybody is crazy about caviar once they've had it. Check out the finest selection here, and especially that Russian Osetra.