Caviar from sturgeon that lived in the Caspian Sea is still the world standard and comes in three varieties:
- Beluga is the most expensive caviar with large buttery steel-gray pearls. The lighter the color of the eggs, the more prized the caviar.
- Ossetra falls in the middle range of these caviars, with a stronger taste and smaller eggs than Beluga.
- Sevruga eggs are generally the smallest size eggs and offer a distinctly crunchy texture and the most intense flavor.
Other varieties of caviar include:
American Bowfin: This inexpensive caviar is very popular for its spicy kick and mildly tangy flavor. It’s harvested from a fish that grows in Louisiana and is locally called “choupique.”
American Hackleback: These are the eggs of a wild sturgeon native to the rivers and lakes of Tennessee and Illinois. It’s generally glossy black with medium-size eggs.
American Paddlefish: This caviar is usually steel gray to golden gray and has a buttery flavor. It’s from freshwater sturgeon that live in the lakes and rivers of Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Lumpfish: This inexpensive form of caviar is generally dyed red or black and is frequently quite salty. Lumpfish are oily fish that grow in the North Atlantic.
Salmon: These large eggs are sometimes described as orange or peach in color. The large eggs are from salmon that grow in Canada, the United States and Russia.
Trout: Like salmon roe, trout roe is generally red-orange. It’s harvested from freshwater trout from inland lakes.
Whitefish: These small eggs come from whitefish native to the U.S. Great Lakes. It’s enjoyed for its milder flavor.
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