Filed under: Dining
I've been following the story of the declining sturgeon population in the Caspian Sea for years. With increasing focus on bans to prevent overfishing, the quest to discover the perfect alternative has been going on for several years (I created a list of beluga alternatives in 2006). Now from Japan there is another solution, Cavianne. This imitation caviar is made from a rather non-appetizing sounding mix of squid ink, apple pectin, sea urchin extract, oyster, scallop and a gum derived from kelp by a company called Hokuyu Foods. The faux caviar has a skin that is thicker and gummier than the real thing. The company produces four tons of this caviar substitute a year which is, according to the AFP, equal to one-fifth of the estimated consumption of real black caviar in Japan, Cavianne is mostly used by restaurants and hotels and sells for the equivalent of less than tend dollars for a 1.75 ounce jar and contains one seventh the calories of real caviar. The company also sells "Fruppy" balls that contain fruit-flavored liquid.