Kosher Caviar List – Is There Kosher Caviar?

Classic caviar is a delicacy made from sturgeon eggs, which traditionally is not considered kosher. Even though there are disputes among rabbis whether Sturgeon is kosher or not, most people are not eager to take a chance and enjoy this fish and its roe. Still, if you are interested in eating kosher caviar, you will be happy to know there are such caviars. 

In theory, all roe from kosher fish can be considered kosher caviar. Still, even the kosher fish eggs must be taken out under Rabbinical supervision to be considered kosher, except red roe from salmon or trout.

Still, demand for kosher caviar has increased in the last decade, and more and more people are interested in finding real kosher fish roe delicacies.

A Russian company called Tzar Caviar has even made a sturgeon caviar substitute that tastes, looks, and feels like real caviar, and it is kosher.

But let’s see which natural caviars are kosher, and do all kosher fish have roe you can eat.

Which Fish Can Jewish People Eat? 

According to the Torah (Vayikra 11:9), kosher fish are considered to be ones that have scales and fins. But not all fish that have scales can be kosher.

Scales that are embedded in the skin or not visible by the eye are not acceptable. Also, if scales can not be removed easily by hand or knife without tearing the skin apart are also not considered kosher.

And even though scientists have different definitions about the scales, Torah is only interested in scales you can remove with ease.

Here is a list of fish that have scales but are not considered kosher:

  • Sturgeon – Even though sturgeons that produce the most famous caviar have scales, these scales are “ganoid” and can not be removed without tearing the skin apart.   
  • Burbot – This species has cycloid scales, which are almost always considered kosher. Still, with this particular fish, they are embedded in the skin, and therefore are not kosher.
  • Sand lances – This fish technically has scales, but they are tiny and not visible by the bare eye, so it is not kosher. 

See a Complete List of Kosher Fishes 

As you can see, even though there are strict rules about kosher fish in the end, the best way to know for sure is to buy fish from Rabbinical supervised stores.

Still, if you, for some reason, must buy fish from other stores, here is a complete list of kosher and non-kosher fish, at least those usually on shelves in our stores.

Name of the fishKosher Not Kosher 
Herrings x
Tilapiax
Sculpinsx
WhiteFish x
Belugax
Sevruga, Osetra or Kaluga sturgeonx
Leatherjacket x
Monkfishx
Atlantic salmon and Pacific salmons x
Codfishx
Dolphin fishx
Goatfish x
Jewfishx
Swordfish x
Triggerfish and firefish x
Gray Mullet x
Tuna x
Puffers, blowfish, swellfish, sea squabx

Kosher Caviar List 

So we have established that traditional Russian caviar from the sturgeon family is not kosher. Beluga Sturgeon is not kosher either.

So, what caviars on the market are available for Jewish people? You would probably think that roe from each kosher fish will be good enough. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Why this is so is still unknown, but the most probable reason is that only roe from certain kosher fish most resembles the traditional caviar, both in taste and texture. Here is the list of the most famous kinds of kosher caviars most producers will offer. 

Golden and Black Whitefish Caviar  

Black Whitefish roe comes from the Salmon family. This fish produces small crispy yellow eggs that become dark after processing. It has a mildly zesty flavor with a bit of a sweet taste. Price is affordable for anyone’s pocket, and this kind of roe is an excellent substitute for caviar. It is also used as a garnish on many dishes, and since it is among cheaper versions, it can be included in a daily healthy diet.  

Golden Whitefish caviar also comes from the Salmon family, but roe from this fish remains golden after processing. It is also pretty affordable and excellent for daily eating or for catering businesses.  

Bottarga Caviar

This caviar is made from Grey Mullet fish, and it comes from the Mediterranean region. The Bottarga comes from an Italian word meaning salted, cured fish roe. It is often called “poor man caviar,” but there’s nothing poor about it. It’s sun-dried and then pressed into a sausage-like shape. And you can guess it is excellent for pasta dishes or omelets. There is also Tuna roe bottarga available on the market.

Alaskan Salmon and Bowfin Kosher Caviar

Probably the most popular is Alaskan Salmon roe. It tastes great, and it is made from large, firm orange berries that crunch and burst into a sea flavor once eaten. It is usually served on sushi, but it is great when eaten like traditional caviar. Bowfin Caviar comes as a rarity because it comes in natural black color like Sturgeon roe. It comes from the southern waters of Louisiana, and currently, the only producer that has permission to produce it is Black Diamond Caviar. It has an earthy, tangy taste.

The Demand for Kosher Caviar Is Increasing – Should We Expect More Products? 

As you can see, there is plenty of kosher fish but not as many caviar products available. The main reason is probably the difficulty of harvesting or not such a good taste. But as demand increases, who knows. Maybe some company will find a new kind of kosher fish roe that looks and tastes good, while extraction and processing are simple.