Is Red or Black Caviar More Expensive?

Even though caviar types can be determined based on many different factors, the most common differentiation is one based on color. All caviar types can be divided into two large groups – red and black, which vary in several ways, including the price point. So, is red or black caviar more expensive?

Black caviar is more expensive than red. It comes from sturgeon fish and is considered the only true kind. Red caviar is produced by non-sturgeon fish, usually salmon species. However, Almas caviar, the most expensive type in the world, is neither red nor black but golden yellow.

Canned red and black caviar

If you want to find out more about why black caviar is so much costlier than red, all you have to do is read the simple explanation presented below.

Black Caviar Is More Expensive Than Red One

Produced from sturgeon roe, black caviar is considered the only true caviar. Sturgeon species, such as sevruga, osetra, kaluga, beluga, and many others, all produce black roe – one of the most expensive delicacies in the world. On the other hand, red caviar comes from different salmon species and rainbow trout.

Several factors may impact the higher price of black caviar, including:

  • Rarity – while there is an abundance of fish that produces red roe, many sturgeon species are considered endangered today (due to overfishing).
  • Harvesting – contrary to salmon, which can be found easily in the wild, sturgeon is usually harvested at specially designed fish farms.
  • Maturation time – sturgeon species reach their sexual maturation later, which means that farmers need to invest plenty of their time and money in order to get the product.
  • Quality – black roe is considered to have better quality than red.

Take a look at the table below to compare the prices for several different kinds of black and red caviar:

TypeFamilyMaturity timeAverage price per ounce
SalmonSalmonidae (non-sturgeon)1 year$10
TroutSalmonidae (non-sturgeon)5 years$10
SevrugaSturgeon7-10 years$70
OsetraSturgeon12-15 years$100
KalugaSturgeon6-25 years$100
BelugaSturgeon4-7 years$130

Red and Balck Caviar Have Different Tastes, as Well

Complex taste with slight fishiness and mild saltines are the attributes of black caviar, while red caviar usually comes with a more salty and fishy flavor. Additionally, red caviar is generally too strong to taste alone, while the creamy and butter mouthfeel of black caviar makes it delicious even on its own.

However, keep in mind that the taste also depends on the quality of the bought product – excellent quality red caviar can be a lot tastier than the low-quality black one. Remember that the texture is always a good quality indicator – big and whole roe will always taste better than cans with roe that’s already been popped.

List of red and black caviar varieties

Some Black Roe Is Cheaper Than Others

Keep in mind that not all black caviar is made of sturgeon. Bowfin, paddlefish, and hackleback roe are also black. Their prices are higher than with salmon, but they don’t reach the quality of true caviar – which is why their price is set somehow in the middle of these two.

Almas Caviar – The Most Expensive Kind

The most expensive caviar in the world is not black – just the opposite. Golden-colored Almas caviar, which costs more than $30, 000 per kg, is made from sturgeon beluga caviar, but the very rare albino kind.

Almas caviar on a spoon

No Matter the Color, Caviar Is Still a Luxurious Delicacy        

Even though red caviar is much cheaper than black, make no mistake – it’s a delicacy not available for many. Moreover, it is still considered a sign of prestige, whether we talk about the black or red kind.

When you want to treat yourself (and your guest) with a non-everyday dish, caviar is the way to go. However, make sure to serve it with food that doesn’t cover the caviar taste – otherwise, it’s just a waste of money.