Where does the black gold come from?
Caviar, also called black gold, is the unfertilized eggs of the female sturgeon. The word caviar comes from the Persian word word خاگآور ( khag-avar ).
The sturgeon lives naturally in the Caspian region. There are many different species of sturgeon, the most famous are the Beluga (Huso Huso), the Oscietra (Acipenser Gueldenstaedtii), the Sevruga (Acipenser Stellatus), the Baerii (Acipenser Baerii) and the Kaluga (Huso Dauricus).
The sturgeon is one of the oldest living bony species.
The sturgeon has been an endangered species for years and is included on the CITES list of protected species. Trade in wild sturgeons and wild caviar is therefore strictly prohibited. There are strict requirements for the cultivation and production of sturgeons and caviar, and the trade in caviar is strictly controlled worldwide.
Because the sturgeon has been threatened with extinction for years, caviar now comes from farmed sturgeons. This can be done in different forms and in different places. There are nurseries in Europe (e.g. Italy, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands) but also in Azerbaijan, Iran and China.
The quality of farmed sturgeon differs, not so much from country to country, but from farm to farm. The sturgeon is a huge fish, the Beluga sturgeon can grow to more than 6 meters in length and weigh more than 2000kg. The sturgeon is a bottom fish and has its mouth on the underside, with which it eats food from the bottom.
The food it ingests determines, among other things, the taste of the caviar, but also the water in which it swims. Contaminated water, or tanks in which many sturgeons swim, is more difficult to keep clean than a natural tank in which the fish have much more space. Likewise, a small natural basin with a sandy bottom provides the result of a potential soil flavor to the caviar.
Finally, it is important to mention that the sturgeon is a fish that lives in fresh and slightly brackish water. The sturgeon spawns upstream, which means that this often happens in fresh water. Due to this migration from the slightly brackish water to fresh water, the sturgeon is naturally flushed by fresh water. However, fresh water is much more difficult to maintain in quality in a basin than salt water. Many nurseries therefore use 'saltier' water, so that the quality of the water remains better. This also explains the common myth that caviar is salty!
The quality of Doyy Caviar
Our caviar only comes from farms that use large, open natural outdoor tanks. Our Caviar Master travels to various farms to assess where the best quality sturgeon are available, ready for harvesting. The sturgeons have enormous freedom of movement in natural tanks, and live in slightly brackish water. As the sturgeon spawns, the fish swim into natural tanks with fresh water, to imitate the natural process.
All caviar meets the strict requirements set by CITES and is individually labeled with a unique CITES code. The caviar is tested for the presence of any toxins or other contaminants in the farm. Upon arrival in the Netherlands, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority provides a second entry check. After receipt by us, we have a sample of each batch tested separately by a laboratory, and we test the product again for the absence of toxins and Borax.