Filed under: Dining
When it comes to caviar you traditionally have a choice between the incredibly expensive and increasingly scarce wild variety from the Caspian Sea, the farm-raised variety produced with varying degrees of success around the globe, and a host of sub-par imitation or substitute options. Black River Caviar from Uruguay has ushered in a newer contender that aims to fit in somewhere between the first two and be the best of both worlds, dubbed "wild-raised." The process involves replicating the sturgeon's natural habitat as closely as possible.
Black River Ossetra Malossol Caviar is produced from Siberian sturgeon, originally imported as fertilized roe from Russia in 1995. The sturgeon are fed an all-natural, organic feed. Black River's facilities are harmoniously adapted to the environment and best utilize the pristine natural habitat that is Uruguay's Rio Negro. Unlike most farm-raised systems, which involve recirculated water requiring treatment with filters and chemical products, Black River uses millions of gallons of fresh water.
The system involves a fresh water lake whose environment corresponds very closely to that of the lake-like Caspian Sea with its slow and natural water streams, as well as a "raceways" system, which is a perfect simulation of the river delta and its requisite rapids. The volume of water running through the system guarantees a totally unspoiled environment in which the water is naturally oxygenated when flowing through a cascade system, simulating the female fishes' natural journey up the river.
The continuous exercise the sturgeon get in this environment from constantly swimming against the fresh water streams allows them to grow and mature in a fashion which ensures a quality akin to their wild counterparts. After harvesting, Black River's Russian Caviar Master uses the malossol, or "little salt" method, to enhance flavor of the finished product. The delectable large grain caviar (above), has a fresh, clean, nutty taste, and creamy texture. Ice cold vodka is the perfect accompaniment, but champagne works well too.