High prices and scarcity often imply luxury, and so it is with caviar. Caviar is salted roe of certain fish, notably sturgeon for black caviar and salmon for red caviar. The sterlet fish (smaller specie of sturgeon) produces golden roe known to be the favorite of shahs and tsars. According to experts the best caviar comes from the Caspian Sea, home of the caviar sturgeons including the beluga sturgeon. The highest priced caviars are beluga, ossetra, and sevruga.

The Caspian Sea is one of the largest inland bodies of water. Its borders are shared by Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russian and Turkmenistan. The lake itself has three distinct geographic regions. The Northern portion is very shallow 15 to 18 feet; the Middle Caspian is deeper 570 feet. The Southern Caspian is the deepest with a depth of over 3000 feet. The Caspian Sea is a section of the Tethys Ocean as was the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.  At one time they were all part of this ancient ocean and were divided by the movement of the earth's tectonic plates. With over 130 fresh water tributaries such as the Volga the Northern portion is a fresh water lake, and is saline on the Iranian side. Overfishing and pollution have led countries such as the US, Canada and Russia to ban or limit the harvest from the Caspian Sea. This has led to aquaculture of sturgeon in Spain, Uruguay and California.

As a real estate luxury marketing professional, acquaint yourself with the new caviars both wild and farmed. Petrossian Caviar is one of most famous caviar suppliers. They have a wonderful six month gift of caviar and blini (Russian pancake) comprised of six different caviars. If you are not a caviar aficionado, it is a great gift for someone who is. By the way, my Russian grandfather scoffed at the idea of serving caviar with champagne, frozen vodka in shot glasses was his recommendation. To serve caviar always use a spoon made of mother of pearl as caviar tarnishes silver.

By Alexandra Seigel

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