Opening Asia for Russia

12.07.2019 68 просмотров

Caviar… How much has merged in this word for the Russian heart… We continue our story about this amazingly tasty product that evokes the most violent emotions in many modern gourmets. Dividing caviar by ranking is a thankless task, but we still take the risk...


The main caviar players field the following teams. On the black half of the field - stellate sturgeon, kaluga, sturgeon, spike, sterlet. The captain is a beluga. On the red half - coho, chinook, sockeye salmon, sim, pink salmon. The captain is a chum.

Black, of course, wins on technique, but loses on points, there are too few of them left - as a result of our "recklessness" and greed for freebies. Although it is believed that sturgeons are found in very many rivers and seas (in addition to the Caspian Sea, we also have the Aral Sea, the Azov and even the Black Seas, as well as in the rivers from the Northern Dvina to the Indigirka), they are hunted almost exclusively in the Caspian Sea and slightly - a little on the Aral Sea. And they hunt, as usual, brutally. However, this is probably not worth talking about for a long time - this is a sad fact, since the current young generation almost without exception considers black caviar an inaccessible delicacy.  

Black caviar
Photo: ok.ru


There are practically no “wild” caviar left in the free sale, and artificial reservoirs where sturgeon are grown, appeared even in the USA. But the taste of that caviar - you understand! - not the same at all. In a word, the fish that lives, for example, in the Caspian Sea and went earlier to spawn in the Volga floodplain, outright lost the unequal battle with humans. Astrakhan, Volgograd - until recently, these were the most "caviar" cities in our country. Now everything is not so - in the afternoon with fire you can’t find the once beloved product in them. Even before, back in Soviet times, it was carefully sold by poachers, and now they have calmed down - due to the almost complete absence of sturgeons in the Volga ...

The fact remains: with the collapse of the USSR, the number of sturgeons in the Caspian Sea has steadily decreased and reached catastrophically low levels in just a decade. It even went so far as to ban some Western countries (for example, the USA and Australia) from importing black caviar into their territory. Therefore, counterfeit divorced - not to count.

Black caviar
Photo: yandex.ru

< br> To reach the "age of puberty", the female beluga requires 18 years. The rest, however, are smaller, but they will be cheaper that way. Then the sturgeons themselves, and the cost of their caviar is growing every year. Accordingly, first of all, the “old women” are knocked out (the legendary hundred-year-old beluga is probably no longer left), then their “daughters” - and so on.

not as dramatic as one might imagine. Now a fair number of fish farms specializing in them operate all over the world, new ones are opened every year, but ... To enter the caviar market "in full growth" they need all the same two decades. But businesses can't afford that luxury. But for the beluga themselves on farms, the first spawning does not mean a momentary farewell to life. If you carefully remove the yastik from the fish, through a caesarean section, it can withstand up to 20 “milkings”. But taste is also important, and, as already noted, young caviar is not at all so “saturated”, or something.

Origin of Species

An incomprehensible word yastyk ... In fact, it's just a bag from the connective tissue, which contains the eggs in the belly of the fish. And the cheapest variety of sturgeon caviar is called sturgeon caviar because it is too small to be separated from this tissue (“punched”), and it is salted along with pieces of ovaries. It turns out such a peculiar dense viscous mass, which is not even distinguished by fish species. 

Red caviar
Photo: retail .ru


Pressed caviar will be more expensive - it is “pierced”, but it is too fat to be divided into separate grains, and therefore we end up with something like porridge. Well known to everyone: it is pressed caviar that is most often found. It looks like an almost homogeneous mass and is intended, first of all, for sandwiches. 

Finally, if the grains are mature, large, dense, if they have passed through the holes in a special rope sieve - "roar" (through it, in fact, is “pierced”), it turned out ... right, the caviar is grainy. The most expensive - but also the most delicious. However, "inside itself" it is also divided into different types: the lighter, the more expensive. And the color, by the way, is certainly marked on the banks. Sevruga caviar is cheaper than all of its "honeycombs", and therefore goes on sale without any marking at all. 

Pused caviar
Photo: ppt-online.org


Speaking of banks, by the way. It has its own color scale: noble blue for kaluga, beluga and sterlet. However, sturgeon caviar, it seems, has already died out as a class ... Golden yellow - for sturgeon and spike. Anxious red - for stellate sturgeon. This is ours. The Iranians, however, have very similar markings (from whom they studied!), except that Almas is packaged in golden jars.

Beluga has the largest caviar, it also ranks first in nutritional value - tasty, expensive and .. beautiful, because ideally the eggs should be 2.5 mm in diameter with a dewy color, dark or silver gray. The second place in this “qualification” is occupied by sturgeon caviar. She has a slightly noticeable aroma, and the eggs are smaller than beluga ones - a little more than 1 mm. If you compare the color, then it has shades of bronze. And our "podium" is closed by sterlet caviar - the color of wet asphalt. It is the smallest, however, if we talk about its useful properties, then it is in no way inferior to beluga. 

Beluga
Photo:  bigfishesoftheworld.blogspot.com


Stellate sturgeon caviar is the blackest - and the grains can be very different. The stellate sturgeon "eye" is very bright, and the fish itself among sturgeons is considered the most common and ... the least prolific fish. On average, she can live 30 years, reaching a two-meter size. The largest individuals weigh no more than 80 kg, while the beluga has much more. 

The size of these unique dinosaurs of the ichthyo kingdom, which in the recent past was called "royal", is striking. In the "Astrakhan reference book" No. 58 for 1872, you can read about the monstrous beluga met in the old days. Their weight reached 100, 120 and even 250 poods (1 pood - 16 kg). And 250 pounds is 4 tons! In 1924, a beluga weighing 1227 kg was caught in the lower reaches of the Volga. The caviar in it was 245 kg. And another record was set by a long-lived beluga who lived for 120 years.

The best black caviar is not black, but golden in color. Which perfectly matches her royal essence. 

Huge beluga
Photo: yandex.com.tr


The red team has a slightly different situation. That is, the technology is the same, the varieties are the same, but when buying, you should look at the color of the eggs. That is, remember that pink salmon caviar has medium-sized grains, shiny and light orange, those of sockeye salmon, coho salmon, trout are red, and chum salmon are red-orange and large. In general, there is no such strict price hierarchy depending on the breed, as in sturgeons. On the lower step, it seems, there is pink salmon, on the upper chum salmon, in the middle are all the rest, and so - whoever likes what ...

What to do?

Like what?! There is, of course! And eat red, and black, if finances allow. And also - store in the cold, not for long (the product, after all, is perishable), but carefully and accurately. Black - at 2-4 degrees below zero, red - at 4-6 below zero. Serve at the table, if according to the rules, then only chilled, in special caviar bowls, set on ice in vodka vases. According to Prince Odoevsky, "caviar is good only when it is cold, like champagne from a good host." Once upon a time, caviar bowls with subcorn bowls were an integral part of any large service, then they disappeared (along with caviar) ... 

Belugas caviar
Photo:  caviar.glvrbsbt.ru


In general, our ancestors scoffed at caviar (primarily black) as they wanted. Here is what the famous Russian historian Nikolai Kostomarov wrote about the old days: “Caviar was among the usual dishes: fresh granular from sturgeon and white salmon was a luxury; but in general use there was a pressed, baggy, Armenian - irritating property and wrinkled, of the lowest dignity, which was bought by poor commoners. Caviar was generally consumed with vinegar, pepper and crushed onions. In addition to raw caviar, they also used caviar boiled in vinegar or poppy milk, and spun: during the fasts, the Russians made caviar, or caviar pancakes: it was whipped, after a long beating, caviar with an admixture of grainy flour and then steamed. br> The Englishman William Cox, who traveled around Russia during the time of Catherine II, goes even further and recalls "a table littered with mountains of bread with caviar, pickles, crayfish and fish." The table was put up for Christmas for the St. Petersburg poor... 

Red caviar
Photo: mysonnik.com


Black caviar as a food product of "poor commoners"... We can't live like that. We'd rather be rich (well, not so much as to stoop to merchant chic and eat "black gold" with spoons), but we still won't forget about caviar. And in the form of small canapes, croutons and tartlets with sturgeon (after all, whatever one may say, it’s a perfect classic!) And about pancakes for Maslenitsa with salmon. And about complex sauces, in which one or the other looks organically. And we will also decorate fish dishes with them, add a little to gourmet soups, stuff vegetables with them ... But you never know there are delicious dishes that lack only one piquant detail - a small hill of caviar?

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