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Farm-Raised Caviar Is A Nutritional Delicacy
One of the most unique farms in the world is a California operation that produces sturgeon caviar. Tsar Nicoulai Caviar began operations nearly 40 years ago, and the business is still thriving.
It was founded in 1984 by Mats and Daphne Engstrom, Swedish nationals with caviar production experience from around the world, in particular, the Amur River and Caspian Sea regions. The entrepreneurs were driven to provide a sustainable, high-quality product for customers who enjoy fine caviar. This white sturgeon farm is the only one eco-certified by ECOCERT in the United States and it produces fine American caviar year-round.
If you want to taste the smooth, buttery or nutty-flavored salt-cured caviar, you can visit the Tsar Nicoulai Caviar Cafe in San Francisco. The delicacy is served with fresh kettle chips or smoked fish and a glass of sparkling California wine. Retail products are available at most Whole Foods Markets and Costco stores or directly from the TNC website. The different grades of caviar sell in various-sized containers, starting at $55 an ounce. The company also provides a traveling caviar cart which can be rented for special events.
To ensure that quality specifications are met, grading of the sturgeon roe is done by eight specialists who work at TNC. Their work is certified by partners like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seafood Watch, the University of California Davis, and Fishwise. Price differences for the final caviar product are determined by the age of the sturgeon, its type, and how rare it is. Early in the Engstroms’ business venture, UC Davis identified white sturgeon as a “unique species capable of naturally producing caviar with variations in color, flavor and texture.” These characteristics also contribute to the grading and price points.
Farmed sturgeon require about 6-1/2 years to reach maturity. The fish perishes in the process of the roe collection, and TNC uses best industry practices for humane roe harvesting. The meat is smoked and processed to package and sell.
Caviar is considered a nutritious superfood, with less than 4 percent salt. It’s rich in omega 3, B12, amino acids, antioxidants and selenium. These elements are good for healthy cells in our bodies and brains, the immune system and more.
TNC proudly shares the processes at their farm and describes their roe and caviar production with their customers and industry partners. The company conducts farm tours twice a year to showcase its work.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tsar Nicoulai Caviar, 3018 Willow Pass Road, Concord, Calif. 94519 (ph 415-543-3007; www.tsarnicoulai.com).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #6