Where Does Caviar Come From?

A Living Dinosaur

Sturgeon is the common name for the 27 species of fish belonging to the family Acipenseridae. They are estimated to have dated back to the Triassic period some 245 to 208 million years ago, making them a living dinosaur. In the acipenseridae family, only certain species produce the product you’ve come to know and love: caviar. Most of the sturgeon species and subsequent breeds that you’ll recognize are the ones that we produce our caviar from, such as Ossetra, Kaluga and Sevruga.

Sturgeon are native to both oceans and freshwater rivers, mostly above the equator. They are large, strong fish and some have been reported to reach more than ten feet in length. Caviar is made from the roe of these different breeds of sturgeon. Depending on the breed, the eggs have a different texture, shape, size, and taste. The eggs are unique and so is your preference. Petrossian takes pride in crafting a special selection of many sturgeon species in order to provide you with a fabulous caviar experience.

The know-how to select, raise and harvest these fish has taken many years to learn, not only for our company but every caviar producer in the world. At Petrossian, we have over 100 years of caviar experience, and are renowned around the world for our quality and decisiveness when it comes to selecting and producing stellar caviar.

Caviar Throughout The Decades

The Caspian Sea is legendary in caviar lore thanks to its large population of sturgeon. Recordings of consuming caviar date as far back as the Persian empire. The addition of salt to the eggs seems to have always been to enhance the taste and preserve the eggs. This practice has been used throughout the waves of history, appearing in ancient Chinese traditions as the addition of salt to carp eggs. The process of harvesting the eggs has indeed always been labor intensive and therefore caviar has carried a high price at the marketplace since ancient history.

A true Old World delicacy, caviar came onto the scene long before champagne or truffles. Aristocratic families across Russia and Europe would import and enjoy their sturgeon roe by the kilo. It is even mentioned in books such as Don Quixote and by philosopher Aristotle.

In the 20th century, caviar became more accessible to the masses. In places like Russia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, it was often an after school snack, smeared across a slice of thick black bread. Consumed all over the world, it can be fascinating to see the way different cultures consume our product!