Wondering Why?

Why is caviar so expensive?

Caviar refers to a very expensive dish of salted roe or eggs from a particular fish specie called Sturgeon.  Technically, these fish eggs are said to be un-ovulated making them difficult to produce in very large quantities.  Traditionally speaking, only the roe from the Sturgeon fish is considered as real caviar.  But because this very luxurious dish is highly sought after, many have produced so called “caviar-alternatives” and use the roe of other fish species.  Because of these many options, some people think of caviar as simply roe from any fish species. Other people also consider the roe from other fish species like Salmon, Paddlefish, and Trout also as caviar.  But regardless of the fish used, caviar is very expensive.

In terms of reputation, caviar was once considered to be suited only for those in the higher levels of society.  With its reputation that it is served only to royalty, caviar as a dish can dictate high price tags. In terms of the sturgeon fish, it is said that there aren’t that many of them left in the seas.  Much of sturgeon varieties can be found in the Caspian Sea and other oceans in the Northern Hemisphere but in limited quantities.  With a limited number of Sturgeon fish, the prices of caviar will naturally be higher than other food items.  One Sturgeon variety called Osetra is also said to be very rare.  Another variety called Beluga Sturgeon makes caviar so expensive because the females do not bear eggs until they are about 25 years old.  So this simply means that one has to wait for that long in order to harvest some roe from this fish specie.

With the increasing demand for this particular dish, caviar prices continue to rise.  In terms of supply, the Sturgeon specie is considered “endangered or threatened” because of over fishing.  With caviar’s reputation as a food for royalty, a limited supply and a delicate production process, it has become very expensive to order in restaurants.

 

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