Almas Beluga Caviar
Price: $49,800 per kg
Ludwig Bemelmans once said “Caviar is to dining what a sable coat is to a girl in evening dress” which is why rich people love and adore the mighty sturgeon. A well stocked bowl of these delicate morsels will turn even the most posh upper east-side Manhattan gathering into a melee of sharp elbows and utter disregard for social etiquette. As such, knowing the basics about caviar will impress even the most discriminating of hosts, particularly if you have traveled to the Caspian Sea and sampled caviar on Iranian or Russian soil.
The world’s finest caviar is supplied by three species of Sturgeon; the beluga, the oscenta and the sevruga. A common faux-pas is the misconception that beluga caviar is harvested from beluga whales…this is a give-away that you are a party-crasher and may result in relegation to the dishwashing area or worse yet, forcibly having to wear white Ferragamos after Labor Day. But I digress, the beluga sturgeon is the largest and rarest breed and hence the most sought after.
Caviar of the highest grade is white in color due to the extreme age of the fish but roe are commonly grey or black. Like fine gems, a color grading system exists with 000 representing the lightest color to 0 for the darkest. Roe are further sorted by criteria including size, fragrance, consistency and firmness. The roe are then salted and packaged in colored tins to identify breed; beluga in blue, oscenta in yellow and sevruga red tins.
As sturgeons tend to dwell on the sea floor, this is a case where how deep you fish matters although if you serve beluga caviar it is unlikely that the size of your rod will matter.