As we move out of Dry January and into the season of love and indulgence that is Valentine’s Day, I would like to offer up that there is an opportunity to expand the possibilities from Champagne, chocolate, and roses to include….caviar!
I had the pleasure and opportunity to sit down with one of owners of Polanco Caviar Farm in Uruguay.
Since 1998, the UN (CITES – Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) has been regulating and prohibiting the unsustainable harvesting and illegal trade of sturgeon species to foster sustainable farming for production of caviar; today, there are around 140 farms in the world and 99% of caviar globally comes from a farm. (Some exceptions exist for local communities in Caspian Sea for personal consumption.)
What makes Polanco unique as a Caviar farm: the fish are farmed in a natural river environment under controlled practices protecting the local ecosystem.
How it’s made: Sturgeon roe + salt.
Why so expensive: need to wait 10-12 years to have caviar (invest in farm, river)- sturgeon take 8-10 years to produce caviar. See the farm on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/DZnNzuGcuTo
[Price: $110….to $250/ounce retail]
Flavor profiles of caviar: there are 16 species of Sturgeons, 6 of them produce highest quality of Caviar (one of them is Beluga which is prohibited to be commercialized in US); color of caviar varies by the species of sturgeon
- Sterlet- smallest beads, briney
- Siberian Sturgeon (can produce caviar in less time, 6-8 years)- grey to black; used by Thomas Keller! (Polanco triple gold quality ITQI! 2017); typically 2.7 mm = “GRAND CRU”
- Ocietra Sturgeon- “top quality” caviar (typical sturgeon: 100 lbs!) – can be any color (from light grey to black and from light to dark brown even gold)- pricing varies by color and size; Reserve + Gran Reserve
- Siberian: soft, supple, cheesy, finish (highly popular cost/value)
- Ocietra: elegant robust intense flavor, more body, buttery
How long it lasts in the tin/sealed: 4 months (if refrigerated)
Ideal Caviar Pairings:
Carpaccios: salmon, tuna, artichoke, etc.
Typical French: scrambled eggs
Wagyu beef with caviar
White Pasta with caviar
Sushi’s with caviar
Trendy in a wide range of cuisines including high end tacos!
Polanco Farms GRACIOUSLY offered 25% off this Valentine’s Day season at their website to #hacksthenewsletter readers a with promo code PCMS25 at www.polancocaviar.com or www.finetasteclub.com.
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