Caviar and Roe

The four main types of caviar are Beluga, Sterlet, Ossetra, and Sevruga. The rarest and costliest is from beluga sturgeon that swim in the Caspian Sea, which is bordered by Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan. Wild caviar production was suspended in Russia between 2008 and 2011 to allow wild stocks to replenish. Azerbaijan and Iran also allow the fishing of sturgeon off their coasts. Beluga caviar is prized for its soft, extremely large (pea-size) eggs. It can range in color from pale silver-gray to black. It is followed by the small golden sterlet caviar which is rare and was once reserved for Russian, Iranian and Austrian royalty. Next in quality is the medium-sized, gray to brownish osetra (ossetra), and the last in the quality ranking is smaller, gray sevruga caviar.Our caviar election includes domestic and imported caviar from three species of sturgeon. Wikipedia (the website can summarize better than us).

Royal Californian white sturgeon is the royal grade of California Osetra which  is hand selected for its light grey to tawny brown color. These large eggs have a nutty, buttery flavor and smooth pop and are a favorite among chefs for versatility with food and wine pairings. This caviar has topped everything from foie gras, to braised abalone, to chocolate mousse and paired perfectly with cabernet sauvignon, beer and of course champagne. Though this is the caviar we choose to eat simply on a spoon.

Hackleback Caviar is a product form the shovelnose sturgeon which is the smallest species of freshwater native to the US. It is often called "hackleback", "sand sturgeon", or "switchtail."  Shovelnose sturgeon are the most abundant sturgeon, found in the Missouri River and Mississippi River systems, and the only commercially fished sturgeon in the United States. Great for large parties, Hackleback can be used as a substitute for the pricier osetras. Its full flavor and nutty character lends itself well to anything from corn & red pepper pancakes to a burrata & brioche grilled cheese and pairs perfectly with either a glass of brut champagne or an amber ale.

Paddlefish caviar is harvested from the American paddlefish or spoonbill and resembles the Sevruga Sturgeon grade of the Caspian Sea, although the size of the roe can be slightly smaller. This roe can range in color from dark gray to black. Paddlefish caviar offers the consumer genuine caviar at an affordable price - less than half the price of the equivalent imported grade. A great substitute for the pricier sevruga, the assertive paddlefish is a perfect accompaniment to smoked fish and a glass of brut rosé or a cold shot of vodka.

Siberian Caviar is another sturgeon species providing a subtle, yet distinct choice of flavor, medium sized eggs with a deep gray hue, a smooth pop and sweet finish. Our imported Siberian Sturgeon is hardy breed of sturgeon that has thrived far from home in Uruguay and offers caviar aficionados a jet black egg with a smooth entré and a mild, fresh finish. Try it with fresh oysters or smoked sturgeon for a classic combination.

The Selection of Roes at To-Table may be the most interesting. They are spectacular as you may use traditional sturgeon caviars. Use a mini toast, topped with a small amount of crème fresh and the roe. The salmon are more salty and the trout are a vibrant golden color with a very subtle flavor of what I can best describe as fresh water brine - pure umami. These come in 8 OZ containers which last over 2 weeks and have so many possible uses throughout your various preparations. And at that size, the price is very attractive.

With a smooth fresh finish and full pop, Trout Roe's vibrant orange pearl and large size bead make this roe the perfect addition to any appetizer. Try tossing it with sake and topping it on sashimi or mix it with bourbon and spices to top on grilled salmon. The freshness and faint sweetness of this caviar is great for use in delicate salads or pasta.

Salmon Roe, with its very large bead, full flavor, and robust pop, has the biggest flavor and pop of all the roes and can be used in place or in conjunction to salmon meat. Topped on cornmeal pancakes with herbed crème fraiche or tossed in a mache salad with avocado are some of our favorite applications.

Find some ideas for caviar recipes here,  and for roe recipes, see salmon roe recipes here,.

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