Caviar is a delicacy for real gourmets and has become an indispensable part of upscale gastronomy. But not all caviar is the same. There are differences in colour, taste and size between Russian, Iranian and Siberian caviar varieties. These are obtained from different female sturgeon species from the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, the Caspian Sea and the Arctic Ocean. Learn all about the different types of caviar below.
What types of caviar are there?
Sturgeon caviar is treated and cleaned roe, i.e. eggs from sturgeon fish. The types of caviar on offer are each named after the type of sturgeon from which it comes. Four types of caviar are of economic importance:
- Beluga caviar (Huso Huso)
- Osietra caviar (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii)
- Siberian caviar (A. baerii)
- Sevruga caviar (A. stellatus)
Regardless of the sturgeon species, there is also the exclusive Shah caviar, which comes from rare albino sturgeons.
The caviar variety: Beluga caviar
Beluga caviar, also known as Huso Huso among connoisseurs, is probably the best-known, most expensive and, for many, also the best type of caviar.
Beluga caviar is made from the roe of the European house sturgeon (Huso huso). This sturgeon, which is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world, can grow to over eight metres in length and reach a weight of one and a half tonnes
Breeding beluga sturgeon is an extremely lengthy task, as it takes an average of 15 years before the first caviar is harvested. In order not to damage the delicate sturgeon roe, one has to proceed very carefully in a complex processing procedure.
With a diameter of 3.5 mm, the light grey and anthracite-coloured roes have the largest grain size of their kind. The pearls have a very thin, delicate skin, which contributes to the extremely mild and creamy taste of Beluga caviar.
The caviar variety: Osietra caviar
Osietra caviar, as the name suggests, comes from the Osietra sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii), also called Russian sturgeon. These fish can grow to over 2 metres in size and occur naturally in the Caspian Sea, Black Sea and Sea of Azov, as well as the tributaries of the Danube to Don. This sturgeon species is of great importance for the Russian caviar industry.
Compared to Beluga caviar, this variety is much less sensitive because it has a somewhat firmer shell. The somewhat firmer pearls are only about 3 mm in size and have a slightly golden shimmering silver-grey to black colour. Due to the more robust shell, Osietra caviar eggs are easier to process. In terms of taste, this variety is known to be particularly intense and expressive, with a slightly nutty note.
The caviar variety: Siberian caviar (A. baerii)
The Siberian caviar originates from the Siberian sturgeon fish (Acipenser baerii). The Siberian sturgeon, which becomes sexually mature at about 8 years of age, reaches a body size of 80 cm to about 140 cm and an average total weight of about 20 kg. It is originally found in Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia and lives in all rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean. The anthracite to black-coloured roe of the Siberian sturgeon is on average 1.5 to 2.5 mm in size. Siberian caviar stands out above all for its spicy aroma and rather strong flavour.
The caviar variety: Sevruga Caviar
This caviar is made from the roe of the Sevruga sturgeon (Acipenser stellatus). The sturgeon, also known in German as Sternhausen (although the Sevruga is not related to the Hausen, Huso Huso) or Scherg, is notable for its elongated body shape. However, with a size of up to 220 cm, the Sevruga sturgeon weighs a maximum of only around 68 kg. Its natural habitat is the Black Sea, Sea of Azov and Caspian Sea, as well as their tributaries. The roe of the Sevruga has a diameter of only 2 mm and is very sensitive due to its very thin shell. The colour of Sevruga caviar can vary in different shades of grey. The aromas are strong, spicy and are often described as “sea flavour”.
The caviar variety: Shah caviar
Shah caviar (also “Shah caviar”), the yellow sturgeon caviar, was once probably one of the most expensive foods in the world as wild caviar with a price per kilo of 15,000 to 33,000 euros. However, this was less due to an elaborate production process than to the albino sturgeons themselves. After all, sturgeon with pigment disorders only occur extremely rarely in nature. Since Shah caviar does not come from a specific sturgeon species, Shah caviar is not, strictly speaking, a separate type of caviar. The amount mentioned above can be explained by the fact that in the past, only about 10 kg of this rare delicacy was produced annually when caught in the wild. This very limited supply was also the reason that drove the price of Shah caviar so high. In the meantime, albino sturgeon can be successfully bred, and their caviar can therefore be offered at a lower price, but Shah caviar is still an exquisite and rare speciality.
Enjoy the exclusive Shah Caviar Royal Premium Gold, which you can order quickly and easily in our online shop.
What is Malossol Caviar?
Malossol caviar is not a type of caviar, but the name for the way the caviar is salted. Malossol, which literally means little salt, stands for a mild salt content of 2.8% to a maximum of 4%. This light salting serves as a flavour enhancement and makes the caviar last longer. Learn more about the Malossol process on the caviar info page.
What are the typical colours of caviar?
The colour of the caviar depends on the respective sturgeon species. While the pearls of the Beluga caviar have a light grey and anthracite colouring, the roe of the Siberian sturgeon is mostly greyish. The caviar eggs of the Russian Ossietra sturgeon, on the other hand, tend to be silver-grey to black with a slight golden sheen. In the case of hybrid caviar, the colour table ranges from gold to dark brown.
A particularly exclusive caviar speciality is colour-selected caviar. The freshly harvested sturgeon roe is carefully sorted. Only eggs with the right colour are processed into these special caviars. The best-known caviar selections are Royal Black Caviar, Imperial Caviar and Almas Caviar.
Royal black caviar is caviar in which the deep black grains are specially selected. Royal Caviar has the Royal Black Caviar on offer for you.
Imperial caviar is obtained from the roe of the Osietra sturgeon and refers to the selection of particularly light, golden-brown shimmering grains. Taste the Imperial caviar from our online shop and enjoy this exclusive speciality.
Almas-Kaviar ist ein sehr hell gefärbter, weiß-grau schimmernder Kaviar, aus Rogen besonders alter (ca. 60-80 Jahre) Beluga-Stören gewonnen. Früher war dieser Kaviar nur den persischen Herrschern vorbehalten. Heute ist iranischer Almas Kaviar mit rund 4.000 Euro pro Kilogramm zu einer der seltensten und teuersten Kaviarsorten weltweit. Jährlich werden weltweit nur rund 20 kg als Farm-Kaviar produziert, weshalb ein Kauf ausschließlich über eine lange Warteliste möglich ist.
How much do the caviars cost?
Caviar is not an inexpensive delicacy. The prices for real sturgeon caviar depend on the respective variety. Depending on quality and availability, it can vary greatly. For example, the average price for 100 grams of caviar is currently between 100 euros and 440 euros.
Buy exclusive caviar varieties at Royal Caviar
Royal Caviar specialises in first-class sturgeon caviar. You will find an assortment of the most exquisite caviar varieties in our online shop. With more than 40 years of professional experience, our Iranian caviar master himself produces, controls and supervises every step in the production process of our caviar varieties.
In order to guarantee our customers high-quality caviar, we not only pay attention to the water temperature and the feed for our sturgeon fish, but also to malossol refinement in the production process. Convince yourself of our exclusive offer in the online shop and try the noble caviar varieties:
Royal Caviar is a wholesaler for caviar. This means that you can always enjoy the freshest caviar at the best price-performance ratio. We obtain our products directly from our sturgeon farms and ship them to you within the shortest possible time after your order, meticulously maintaining the cold chain. Taste the quality and freshness of our caviar.
A little tip from the house: the Royal Premium caviar is particularly popular with our customers from starred restaurants.