Types Of Caviar Enjoyed By Yacht Charter Guests

Caviar is associated with luxury and opulence; a hallmark of haute cuisine that is a sign of wealth across the globe. However, whilst many have heard of caviar, not everyone knows what makes this rare delicacy so sought-after in the culinary world.

If you’re curious about the differences between the different types of caviar, this blog will delve into them all. From the rarest, most expensive Beluga caviar to the most common and affordable Hackleback caviar, continue reading to find out what makes each type unique.

Beluga Caviar

Thanks to its egg size, colour, and exceptional flavour, Beluga caviar is the most expensive and sought-after of all the caviar varieties.

Harvested from freshwater Beluga sturgeon, which are native to the Caspian Sea located in Southeastern Europe and Western Asia, Beluga caviar is easily recognisable thanks to its characteristically large, pearly-grey eggs.

Harvested in fresh waters

Beluga sturgeon take 18 to 20 years to reach maturity and produce eggs that are ready for harvesting, and as an endangered species, they are often protected. This means supplies are relatively low and demand is high, resulting in much higher prices.

A natural, salty taste

Thanks to the pure, unpolluted water of the Caspian Sea, Beluga caviar can be harvested without altering its natural taste. It is reported to have a rich, buttery, creamy, mild taste, with some reporting notes of hazelnut.

However, in an effort to preserve the purity of its taste, many people advise against using metallic cutlery to eat Beluga caviar. Instead, they reach for utensils made of glass, ceramic, and/or bone.

Also originating from the Caspian Sea, Ossetra Caviar (aka oscietra caviar) is renowned for its aromatic taste and rich flavours.

Ossetra caviar is one of the most popular and sought-after types worldwide. It is often found on the menus of luxury, Michelin-star restaurants and is a favourite amongst private and commercial yacht charter guests. Similar to the Beluga variety, Ossetra caviar comes from one of the sturgeon varieties native to the Caspian Sea. However, the eggs are slightly smaller – the size of the pearl is approx. 2 millimetres – and the consistency is also much firmer.

A unique, robust flavour

The taste of Ossetra caviar is often described as buttery, nutty, and briny, with hints of citrus – the nutty richness is said to pair perfectly with a dry sparkling wine that is crisp, fresh and slightly acidic.

When describing the appearance of Ossetra caviar, the colour typically ranges from dark brown to grey to black. However, gold varieties are also available.

The cost

An ounce of Ossetra can cost anywhere from 50-175 US dollars, depending on the availability and delivery location.

Ossetra Caviar

Sevruga Caviar

Outside of Beluga & Ossetra, Sevruga caviar is the next most expensive caviar on the market, despite also being the smallest in size.

Sevruga caviar is actually harvested from a variety of sturgeon, including Sevruga, Sterlet & the Siberian sturgeon. This European caviar is identifiable by its relatively small size and dark grey colour.

Fine-grained and flavoursome

Despite its small size, sevruga caviar is widely regarded as one of the most flavourful types of caviar there is. Its taste is described as full-bodied, briny, and nutty, with some people also calling it salty, but this depends largely on the origin of the fish from which the caviar is harvested. Sevruga caviar can be purchased for anything between 50-120 US dollars per ounce.

Hackleback caviar is often called the American equivalent of Russian sevruga caviar, though it is much less expensive.

Like all caviar, Hackleback caviar refers to fish roe. However, Hackleback caviar is much more affordable, and environmentally sustainable compared to the high-end caviars listed above.

Hackleback caviar is harvested from the shovelnose sturgeon, the smallest species of freshwater sturgeon native to North America.

The shovelnose sturgeon is not endangered and fishermen are able to source this particular variety without any restrictions, meaning there is an adequate supply worldwide – This is what makes this particular type of caviar notably less expensive than the others.

A sweet and nutty caviar

Hacklebck caviar’s appearance has been described as jet black and shimmery, with an intense, sweet but nutty taste.

Hackleback Caviar

Kaluga Caviar

There are 27 different species of sturgeon and several types of Caviars on the market today. But of all the sought-after Caviars that exist, Kaluga caviar, from the Huso Daricus sturgeon, has earned a reputation for being one of the most delicious.

An alternative to Beluga

Native to rivers in Asia, the Kaluga sturgeon is a close relative of the highly coveted Beluga sturgeon. Due to this relation, Kaluga caviar and Beluga caviar share a similar flavour palette, with Kaluga caviar often being described as earthy, buttery, and salty.

The cost

Its appearance is described as light-dark brown, sometimes appearing golden and can be purchased for approximately 65-85 US dollars per ounce.

Sterlet caviar is harvested from sterlet sturgeon (e.g. Acipenser Ruthenus), which are native to rivers that flow into the Caspian Sea, Black Sea, Baltic Sea, Barents Sea, and the Sea of Azov.

Similar to the Beluga, Osetra and Sevruga sturgeons, the Sterlet sturgeon is endangered due to overfishing. In fact, sturgeon are the most threatened group of animals on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The taste

Sterlet is said to taste similar to Sevruga caviar (despite being much smaller), sharing a light-dark grey hue and a mild, nutty, buttery flavour.

The price

Sterlet caviar can be purchased for roughly 50-100 US dollars per ounce.

Sterlet Caviar

The above are widely considered the six main types of caviar available for purchase. However, you may also find places selling salmon roe and pike roe under the name of caviar, but it is important to know that although caviar is a type of roe, only roe from a sturgeon can be considered caviar.

If you’re interested in learning more about any of the above types of caviar, or you’d like to source some high-quality caviar for an upcoming yacht charter, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today or click the link to order online.