There are an estimated 27 species of sturgeon, all of which are endangered, twelve of which are commercially fished or farmed, and five of which are known for producing the highest quality caviar, each named after the sturgeon species from which the eggs were harvested.
THE BIG FIVE
- Beluga* (Huso huso)
- Oscietra (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii)
- Kaluga (Huso dauricus))
- Sevruga (Acipenser stellatus)
- White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus)
Caviar farming began to respond to declining wild sturgeon populations due to overfishing, habitat destruction, and, eventually, global-scale conservation efforts and regulations imposed by the United Nations-run Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Conservation regulations and trade restrictions, along with the unique specificities of different sturgeon species, the time it takes for them to produce Roe, and in some cases, such as that of the Beluga Sturgeon, from which the most sought-after caviar variety comes, the absolute bans imposed in some countries, brought about the exploration of sturgeon cross-breeding and subsequently introducing caviar hybrids to the market.
Altima Caviar currently includes a Beluga Hybrid and a Kaluga Hybrid.
*A note on Beluga:
Before 2016, the absolute ban on Beluga-sturgeon products made Beluga Caviar unlawful in the United States. The closest consumers could get to the “Caviar of the Tsars,” was a Beluga Hybrid Caviar. In 2016, Aqua Farms was exempted from this ban, reintroducing sustainable Pure Beluga Caviar to the market.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Altima Caviar takes pride in our unwavering commitment to sourcing only the best, considering every aspect of the water-to-table process. Our collection, a testament to this commitment, may evolve.
Can’t find what you know you love? Our dedicated team is here to craft your perfect caviar match. Additional grades are available for chefs to purchase. Reach us by email email@example.com or phone (607) 645-2188.
Explore and shop Altima Caviar’s current collection here.
The Caviar: Beluga caviar is considered the most prestigious caviar variety. Obtained from HusoHuso sturgeon native to the Caspian and Black Sea basins, Beluga caviar boasts particularly large and delicate roe.
Appearance: Large, firm, light-gray grains.
Tasting notes: Rich, buttery, creamy, and nutty flavor and a unique, full flavored after-taste.
The sturgeon: Huso Huso
- Largest of all sturgeon species and produces the largest and most delicate eggs
- Native to the Caspian and Black Sea Basins
- Capable of surviving over 100 years in the wild
- Critically Endangered
- Recently made available in the United States through Aqua Farms exemption permit to the 2005 ban of Beluga sturgeon and caviar importation to the United States
- Once hailed the most expensive food product in the world
- There is only one farm raising Beluga sturgeon and manufacturing Beluga Caviar in the United States
The Caviar: Oscietra Caviar has long been recognized as one of the most coveted varieties of caviar. Oscietras vary in color from deep brown to gold. The lighter the eggs, the richer the flavor. Golden Oscietra is the rarest form of Oscietra caviar and the lightest in color, boasting the most decadent flavor.
The Sturgeon: Acipenser Gueldenstaedtii
- Oscietra Sturgeon is smaller than Beluga sturgeon (50-400 pounds) and lives up to 50 years.
- Critically endangered
- Originally from the Caspian Sea
- Alternative spellings : Ossetra, Osetra, Assetra,
Each of our choice Oscietras have their own unique profile. Explore and compare tasting notes for each here.Explore Altima Caviar's choice Oscietras.
The Caviar: A unique caviar variety, Kaluga Caviar, often referred to as “River Beluga,” presents sizable pearls and a very distinct flavor profile with a long finish.
Appearance: Large and glossy pearls in a light to deep golden brown.
Tasting Notes: Buttery, nutty with a creamy texture.
The Sturgeon: Huso Daricus
- One of the largest freshwater fish in the world with particularly large pearls comparable to that of Beluga Caviar
- Native to the Amur River basin in Russia and China
- Critically endangered
The Caviar: Sevruga Caviar is a unique caviar known for its fusion of pronounced oceanic flavors.
Appearance: Small, glossy, dark gray-to-black eggs.
Tasting Notes: Rich, briny taste with a hint of seaweed and a creamy, buttery undertone.
The Sturgeon: Acipenser Stellatus
- Native to the Caspian and Black Sea regions
- Smallest Sturgeon species presenting the smallest eggs
- often referred to as an “entry-level caviar”
The Caviar: White Sturgeon Caviar comes from the sturgeon species Acipenser Transmontanus which is native to North America. A rich flavor and harmonious blend of smoothness and robustness make white sturgeon a chef’s favorite.
Appearance: Medium sized pearls with hues that range from a glistening grey to a rich dark brown.
Tasting Notes: Rich flavor, this caviar offers a harmonious blend of smoothness and robustness with a hint of ocean brine.
- Largest freshwater fish in North America
The Caviar: Siberian sturgeon caviar is renowned for its delicate flavor and small firm eggs. Harvested from the Siberian sturgeon, a species native to Siberian rivers, the caviar is often characterized by a rich, nutty taste with buttery undertones. It's considered a premium choice among caviars, prized for its quality and texture.
Appearance: Medium sized pearls with hues that range from a charcoal grey to a rich dark brown.
Tasting Notes: Rich and robust, nutty taste with buttery undertones and a complex, long-finish.
The Sturgeon: Acipenser baerii