It’s impossible to ‘caviar’ without sounding posh. Sumptuous, savoury sea gems, one of the most expensive foods in the world with premiums racking up to multiple thousands by the pound. But is there any other fish in the (metaphorical) sea of caviar brands that dominate the market than the Kaluga Queen? — we argue, no.
Kaluga Queen Caviar, China’s prized delicacy has trumped international players in the market and is quickly climbing the ranks. If you haven’t yet heard about this caviar farm, here’s what you need to know…
It is the largest caviar farm in the world
Qiandao (Thousand Island) lake lies 220 miles south of Shanghai and is home to the famed Kaluga Queen Caviar. Founded in 2003 by Hangzhou Qiandaohu Xunlong Sci-Tech Co, it is the largest caviar farm in the world, producing 60 tonnes of caviar every year — accounting for 30 percent of the world’s production.
It boasts a wide variety of 200,000 Huso Hybrid sturgeons — a cross-breed of Kaluga and Amur sturgeons — some of which can grow up to four meters in length and weigh up to 300kg. They are matured and harvested for their eggs from seven to up to 20-years.
They have made caviar increasingly accessible to the international market
Despite the increasingly scarce production — a stich caused by overfishing in the past — the market demand for these precious black (sometimes white) pearls continues to grow. Fortunately, China’s Kaluga Queen fills that gap.
Boasting the biggest producer of caviar by square foot, they have in the last few years met the high market demands, without sacrificing on quality. According to a report in Bloomberg, they supply a third of the world’s population and 21 out of 26 three-starred Michelin restaurants in Paris. Impressive? — we think so too.
During the tumultuous outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the market had turned to Kaluga Queen to fill their caviar-needs during the drop of international orders.
A possible contender to the big names in the industry
Traditionally, the highest of quality caviars came from Russia and the Middle East, lavishly presented and absolutely luxurious on the palate. Some would debate that nothing will ever come close. But with a rapidly decreasing supply of Beluga, Osetra and Sevruga caviar these rare delicacies might be extinct in the future. This is where Kaluga Queen fills the gap.
Offering a more sustainable production of caviar without having to contribute to the impact of overfishing in Russian and Iranian waters, and having graced the plates of international dignitaries and royal dining halls, China’s Kaluga Queen caviar is winning over gourmands the world over.
What does Kaluga Queen Caviar taste like?
Unlike its more briny and complex counterpart, Royal Beluga, Kaluga Queen caviars are surprisingly milder in salty undertones backed with a hint of nutty and buttery flavours. Its roes are larger, firm and smooth.
How much do they cost?
Although Chinese Kaluga Queen Caviar are more accessible and affordable than premium Russian roes, its price tag is far from cheap. Ranging from 11,800RMB (HK$14,175) to 180,000RMB (HK$216,223) per kilogram (or HK$1,308 per 50g), a nibble on this delicate delicacy would probably still be reserved for the most special of occasions.
See the range of caviars they supply here.