Northside SF  

October '09

Sustainable Splurge: Black River Caviar

By Susan Dyer Reynolds

CaviarFounded in 1990 by the Alcalde family on the Rio Negro in Uruguay, Black River Caviar has from its inception established itself as one of the highest quality producers of caviar in the world, and the only producer in the Southern Hemisphere. Raising old-world species by closely mimicking the wild and pairing 21st century-techniques with environmental accountability, Black River Caviar has set the bar for modern sustainable caviar production.

The process begins with imported sturgeon eggs from Russia and continues in stages modeled after those of their natural environment. The facility’s hatchery simulates a shallow estuary – the ecological nursery of sturgeon – where they spawn in protected fresh waters from the pristine Rio Negro. Once they’ve developed to fingerlings, innovation enters via a patented process designed to identify female sturgeon. Females are tagged with a microchip to allow the facility to closely monitor their maturation. Later, in the raceways system, the fish swim in the free-flowing current of the Rio Negro, akin to the one they would encounter in the wild during their migration to spawning grounds.
The company focuses on sustainability and quality, not quantity, producing approximately 2.5 tons of caviar per year (just 3 percent of the U.S. caviar market), making it one of the most exclusive products on the market. Using the “malossol” (Russian for “little salt”) method, Black River Caviar’s Russian-trained caviar master delicately preserves the freshness of the nutty flavor and creamy texture of the caviar, allowing for true old-world authenticity for today’s most discriminating connoisseurs.
Buy Black River Caviar online at in tins of 30 to 500 grams, ranging in price from about $100 to $1,600. The tins of 50 grams or more come with a beautiful mother of pearl spoon for proper caviar consumption (because of its delicate flavor, caviar requires a nonreactive material that won’t impart unwanted scent or flavor).
Because of its sustainability and exceptional quality, Black River Caviar is Northside San Francisco’s pick for an extravagantly delicious but ecologically responsible gift for gourmands.

–S. Reynolds

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