Friday, July 9, 2010
Beluga caviar is relatively rare. Today, only about a hundred Beluga sturgeons are caught in the Caspian Sea and less frequently in the Adriatic Sea. Known to be the largest sturgeon, it can measure up to six meters in length. Its massive size is reflective of the size of its eggs. Beluga caviar consists of very large eggs, which makes it very desirable. It is, in fact, the most expensive caviar.
Even though Beluga weighing up to 600 kilograms existed in the past, they rarely come in those sizes nowadays because of the modern practice of overfishing. The silver-gray Beluga is the only carnivore in the sturgeon family. It usually reaches maturity between the ages of 20 to 25. Even when mature, the Beluga sturgeon might not spawn on a yearly basis if favorable conditions do not exist. Up to 25 percent (and sometimes 50 percent) of its body weight is attributed to eggs.
The color of Beluga caviar ranges from light gray to black. The lighter shades, which come from more mature fish, are highly demanded by individuals of refined taste. Beluga caviar prices are rather high. In the United States, they reach $5,000 and higher per kilogram. In Kazakhstan, they are rather affordable at around $250 per kilogram. The rarest type of Beluga caviar is the Almas, which means diamond in Farsi and sells up to $25,000 a kilogram.