Black caviar is a real delicacy thanks to its scarcity, unique fishy and nutty taste, and, of course, health benefits. Black caviar is served in a crystal or porcelain bowl that is put on crushed ice to keep the caviar chilled. Black caviar is most often eaten with white bread, crackers, and butter only on the most special days because it is not something most people can afford.
Is black caviar expensive? Yes, black caviar is very expensive. The cheapest black caviar (sterlet) will cost at least 700$ per 1 kg, while Beluga caviar will cost at least 900$ per 1 kg. And expect to pay from $7,000 to $10,000 per 1 kg for premium Beluga caviar.
The most expensive black caviar in the world is the albino beluga caviar, which is golden in color. Such caviar is exported under the brand name “Almas” from Iran. It is packed in one-hundred-gram jars, certainly made of pure gold, and it costs $2000 per 100 g. Check it out below:
The price of black caviar is determined by its rarity and the uniqueness of its properties. And even if the concept of taste is subjective, the overwhelming number of people who have ever tasted caviar agree that this is one of the most delicious foods on Earth.
See also: What Does Beluga Caviar Taste Like?
However, the rarity of black caviar is an ambiguous concept because in different countries at different times, the availability of black caviar was different: in the regions where sturgeon lived, caviar was a common food, while in some countries, sturgeon caviar was supplied as an exotic delicacy.
Why Is Sturgeon Caviar So Expensive?
Sturgeon caviar is so expensive because fish farmers need to grow sturgeon for 15 years before they can produce high-quality eggs. The fish farm incurs long-term costs throughout the entire cycle, which includes the costs of maintenance, equipment, feed, rent, and staff salaries. Also, the sturgeon population decreases every year, making sturgeon caviar hard to get and, hence, expensive.
Since the early 2000s, sturgeon have been actively bred in aquaculture farms around the world because only caviar obtained from farmed sturgeon has been and remains a legal product. Gradually, black caviar ceases to be a rarity on the counter. However, no fish farmer can grow sturgeon as it grows in the wild.
Also, the high price of black caviar is now determined by another factor: the length and complexity of the production process. For the fish to reach maturity and to be able to spawn, fish farmers must look after them for 7 up to 15 years. That is, all this time, the fish needs to be cared for and fed. The cost of long-term maintenance of sturgeon is the main reason why black caviar is so expensive.
The price of caviar also depends on the type of sturgeon. The most expensive black caviar is beluga caviar. It remains the rarest to this day since this fish reaches maturity by the age of 15 and does not spawn often. Beluga caviar is considered the most valuable in terms of taste, although not all black caviar lovers share this stereotype. The most affordable is the sterlet caviar, which is the smallest of the sturgeon. However, it also has both beneficial and delicious tasting characteristics.
The price of black caviar, like any other goods, is also regulated by the laws of the economy: the demand for black caviar has always been great because its useful and taste qualities have no analogs in nature. This is a truly valuable and tasty delicacy, a storehouse of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Why is Russian caviar so expensive? Russian caviar is so expensive because the sturgeon population has decreased significantly because of uncontrolled fishing and poaching. Beluga, for example, is listed in the Red Book as an endangered species and is under state protection, catching fish of the sturgeon family is a criminal offense. Russian caviar is also expensive because of the taxes on the export and costs of transportation.
Black caviar is obtained from sturgeon fish such as beluga, sturgeon, and stellate sturgeon. However, often on the market, you can buy colored pike caviar, black bowfin caviar, or even protein caviar, which is passed off as black caviar. Of course, it is a lot cheaper, but it has nothing to do with real black caviar.
Sturgeon fish was mainly found in the Caspian and Azov seas. Fish go to spawn in the rivers flowing into these seas. It must be said that there are practically no sturgeons left in the Sea of Azov for several reasons. A hundred years ago, sturgeon and their caviar were not considered a deficit, they were often a common food for ordinary people.
Now it is an expensive, scarce, rarely found product. Poaching, a catastrophic situation to the environment, and dams of the state district power station, which blocked access to spawning grounds, led to the fact that the population of the wild Caspian sturgeon has decreased dozens of times.
Why are there fewer surgeons now? The sturgeon population has decreased because of the general deterioration of the ecology in the seas, the construction of dams, hydroelectric power stations, and other hydraulic structures deprived sturgeons of access to natural spawning grounds. Predatory poaching, fishing mainly for caviar, has reduced the reproduction of these fish species.
The production of black caviar on fish farms is growing every year, however, the price of caviar does not seem to decrease. Since the cultivation and extraction of black caviar from farmed fish require colossal investments. Sturgeon breeding carries enormous risks since this species is very demanding on habitat conditions, and any stress for the fish can be fatal. Thus, farmers need to spend a lot of money on eliminating these risks.
Sturgeon farming is a fairly young industry, so farms learn from their mistakes, creating and improving their own technologies that facilitate the production process. But it may take more than 10-20 years to achieve perfection. The lack of proper competition in this business, which is necessary for the development of any industry, also plays an important role. Few companies produce good-quality black caviar. And the demand for black caviar is a lot bigger than the supply.
Is Caviar Overrated?
No, caviar is not overrated. It is considered one of the most delicious delicacies in the world and is very hard to get. Moreover, caviar is beneficial for your health. Black caviar is also an amazing source of iron, so if you need to get your hemoglobin levels uo, give black caviar a go. Black caviar also enhances learning, increases the elasticity of the walls and blood vessels, and restores cells.
Why is caviar so special? Caviar is special because of amino acids, proteins, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and vitamins A, E, D that it contains. It also contains a large number of minerals, such as selenium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, iodine, calcium, and potassium, which are necessary for the normal functioning of human organs and systems.
Black caviar is recommended for people who are prone to vascular and heart disease. Moderate doses can save a person from heart ailments. Fatty omega acids are a prophylactic agent against the occurrence of cancerous tumors, improve the functioning of the nervous system, and increase immunity.
Also, caviar has a good effect on vision. Modern medicine and cosmetology offer the consumer a large number of cosmetic preparations containing this delicacy. Doctors say that this product is a strong aphrodisiac that stimulates the release of testosterone and serotonin.
Caviar is a good remedy for iron deficiency anemia, so it is advised to include it in the diet of pregnant women. It will be equally useful for both the mother and her child. Folic acid takes an active part in the regeneration and development of tissues, hematopoietic organs, iron increases the level of hemoglobin in the blood, and magnesium protects against cramps in the legs.
How Did Caviar Become Popular?
Caviar became so popular because it perfectly copes with the prevention of many diseases and has a general strengthening effect on the body. It has a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as iodine, calcium, and phosphorus. These elements have a beneficial effect on the functionality of the brain, strengthen the immune system, stabilize memory, prevent the development of thrombophlebitis, and stimulate blood circulation.