How Long Does Caviar Take to Make?

It might be surprising to many to find out that the process of making caviar is quite short, but what takes long is for the fish to be ready to be harvested for its eggs. It usually takes seven to ten years to obtain perfect eggs from the fish.

The process of making caviar boils down to determining if the eggs are ready to be removed from the fish. On the farm, people monitor when the female ovulates and carry out tests to determine the quality of the eggs. Every seven years 10% or 20% of fish get harvested, and the rest are left in another cycle. Once the fish is ready, the caviar gets taken out and processed in a couple of days.

a spoon-full of caviar

How Long Does the First Stage Last and What Does it Entail?

The popularity of harvesting caviar has increased over the years since the mouth-watering delicacy is always high in demand. The first stage of making caviar entails raising sturgeon in fish tanks, where they grow over time and become ready to get harvested. While in the tanks, the sturgeon is constantly fed and monitored. As time goes by, the fish gets bigger and requires less feeding. When they are considered ready, they are moved into a larger tank where the carbon dioxide has to be removed from the water continuously.

After seven years, it has to be determined which fish have the quality roe that can be harvested. The fish must be at least one meter in length, and the ultrasound is used to see if the fish is first of all female and then if the eggs are ready. Usually, this requires the fish to be sedated, either by carbon dioxide or electric current. Once the fish is out of the tank, the ultrasound can show the growth of eggs in the row sacs. On average, 20% of sturgeon gets harvested every year.

Black caviar

What Type Of Fish Are Usually Harvested and Kept in a Pond?

In order for you to get the best quality and true caviar, the fish roe should be taken out of the sturgeon fish. It is special because it is a saltwater anadromous fish. Some might mislabel roe that comes from other fish as caviar, but the difference is staggering, and it should not be mixed. Even though top-tier caviar comes from sturgeon in the United States, it is allowed for slated-curated fish roe to be considered caviar. But for authentic caviar enthusiasts, here is a list of some sturgeon fish caviar is made from:

  • Russian Sturgeon,
  • Japanese Sturgeon,
  • Adriatic Sturgeon,
  • White Sturgeon,
  • Beluga Sturgeon,
  • Kaluga Sturgeon.

How Is Caviar Made After Harvesting the Eggs?

The second stage of making caviar begins when the eggs get extracted from the sturgeon. With a small incision, the roe can be extracted, and the fish can later be stitched so it can continue living and producing more roe. After collecting roe, it has to be prepared for being served at the table. First, the fragile eggs have to be removed by using a mesh screen. Cold water is required to rinse all the broken eggs, residues, or impurities from the caviar. When cold water cannot remove all the fragile and broken eggs, tweezers can be used to manually get rid of all impurities. The caviar that is left is put in a mesh colander. Now it is ready for finishing touches.

What Is Required to Be Done at the End of the Process of Making Caviar?

The processed eggs, in order to become the best quality caviar served at restaurants all over the globe, have to be weighed and salted. Salt is necessary for the caviar to stay fresh and to have the ideal flavor. The caviar with less than 5% salt is regarded as “malossol.” It should be emphasized that the less salt content the caviar has, it is considered to be better in quality. So top-tier caviar usually has less than 3%. The less fresh caviar has more salt, up to 8 percent, and it is considered to be semi-preserved caviar. But, if more salt is added, the longer it can be preserved. It is salted for 5 to 15 minutes, after which it has to be drained and dried.

 Black caviar in a jar

So, How Should Be Caviar Served and Eaten?

After the process of creating this delicacy, it would be good to know how to serve and eat caviar. In most restaurants, you will see the best way it can be served. It is usually put on ikra, toast, or a blini. The fresh caviar should be eaten on crispy toast, pierogi, or crepes. There are many variations to properly having caviar, but one of the best ways you can try is by eating it with eggs, smoked salmon, potatoes, or herring. Adding sour cream or cream cheese just makes the experience of eating caviar more tasty.

Where Can You Eat the Best Caviar?

Finding the best caviar worth spending a lot of money on might seem like a daunting task. However, it doesn’t have to be expensive to try this mouth-watering delicacy. Therefore, we have our top picks for where to get the buttery and reasonably priced caviar.

Tsar Nicoulai Caviar50 dollars
Browne Trading Company Beluga Hybrid230 dollars
Browne Trading Company Osietra Supreme110 dollars
Regalis Caviar Two-Tone Osetra125 dollars

After the Complex Process of Making Caviar, It’s Time to Try It

The long process of making caviar just stands as proof of the quality of the product in the end. Overall, when taking everything into account, the initial stage lasts about 7 to 10 years, and the last stage can be accomplished over a few days. Still, the effort and forethought required for caviar to end up on our plates are considerable, so it should be wise to savor every bite.