DIECKMANN & HANSEN CAVIAR
BELUGA / GIANT STURGEON (Huso huso)
The Beluga is the largest freshwater fish on our planet. The biggest ever caught specimen had a weight of more than 1,5 tons. Their natural habitat is
the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. In our climate zone the fish needs abt.
25-30 years for sexual maturity. The large grain with its very fine skin makes the Beluga one of the most favourite suppliers for the caviar production.
OSIETRA / RUSSIAN STURGEON (A. gueldenstaedtii)
Osietra sturgeon can grow over two metres long and can reach a weight of
more than 100 kilos. They also live in the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. Their sexual maturity begins at the age of 12-14 years. Their roe grain is quite large and firm and varies in colours between bright yellow, various brown shades up to dark grey. Most caviar is produced from the roe of the Russian sturgeon.
SIBERIAN STURGEON (A.baerii)
The Siberian sturgeon took the role of a pioneer in the aquaculture, being a pure freshwater fish. The first aquaculture caviar was produced from this fish. Typical for this roe is the grey-black coloured, medium-sized grain, which is slightly more sensitive than that of the Osietra.
SEVRUGA / STELLATE STURGEON (A.stellatus)
The Sevruga sturgeon’s home is also the Caspian and Black Sea. The fish is a bit thinner and shorter than the Osietra. The intensive but mild taste of the Sevruga is special. In Aquaculture, Sevruga cannot be found very often nowadays so the availability is rather limited.
Caviar sorts are mainly called like the fish they are generated from, such as “Beluga”, “Osietra”, “Sevruga”.
Apart from that, however, there are meanwhile a lot of name creations invented by the various caviar dealers and producers, often also connected to the name of the fish. DIECKMANN & HANSEN has e.g. protected the name “Sibirskaya” for its Siberian sturgeon caviar. Names or descriptions as “Selection” of “Imperial” originally reflected a certain selection of qualities but are used nowadays also as sole description of the caviar without any further explanation. At this point the Universal Labelling Code resp. the scientific name of the sturgeon species brings some clarity.
Sometimes the label also describes the way of processing the caviar. Mostly the description “Malossol” is used which means that the roe has been processed with a max. of 5% salt. Such caviar is only lightly salted and stays grainy therefore. “Pressed Caviar” or “Barrel Caviar” can hardly be found anymore in the trade nowadays and had been processed with a much higher salt percentage.
Correct salting of the raw material is of great importance for the taste as well as the shelf life. A further conservative is Borax which is permitted only for the processing of sturgeon caviar. This natural mineral additive permits to use less salt so that the taste of the caviar gets milder.
A further method of increasing the shelf life is pasteurization, a method with great effect. During this process the closed packaging (mostly a glass jar) is briefly heated at a carefully controlled temperature. Possible germs are deactivated that way.