National caviar day
POSTED: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 5:14pm
(CNN) — Best paired with Champagne wishes, July 18 is National Caviar Day.
Once hailed for its medicinal qualities, caviar (fish eggs) has been enjoyed for centuries. There are a few reasons why caviar is so expensive. First, true caviar is the roe from one particular species of fish, the Acipenseriformes. Sturgeons are part of this species and for the longest time, they were only found in the Black and Caspian seas. Still, when caviar was first discovered, it was widely abundant and not that expensive. Russian Czar Nicholas II enjoyed it so much that he taxed fisherman for the stuff, and it became associated with royalty and wealth.
Secondly, when America was discovered, sturgeon were found in the Hudson, Delaware and Columbia rivers. Apparently, caviar was so widely available, it was served for free at bars like peanuts are nowadays because it's saltiness encouraged drinking. Eventually, overfishing led to a decrease in supply and an increase in price.
These days, people refer to most fish eggs as caviar and include different species of fish. Salmon roe is often called caviar.
Caviar is often served in tiny spoons made from a neutral substance so the flavor isn't compromised. Some are made from mother of pearl, some from bone. Caviar is salty and fishy in taste, and is often served in a small bowl or tin.
And a little caviar trivia for you: Most would think the largest producer and exporter of wild caviar is Russia, but you'd be wrong. That title belongs to Iran.
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