BÉLUGA

BÉLUGA

‌By Caviar House & Carpet Club

“Every Caspian Sea fisherman dreams of catching a large Beluga. It’s as lucky as finding a diamond in the middle of the desert.” The Beluga is the largest of all sturgeons, growing to 6 meters in length, and is the only carnivore of its species. It has become so rare that annual catches in the Caspian Sea do not exceed one hundred examples.

In the past, Belugas typically weighed 600 kg or more. Unfortunately, modern fishing methods, which are often very aggressive, have made it very rare. At the beginning of the 20th century, Belugas accounted for 40% of sturgeon catches. Today they represent only 1%. The grey-green Beluga, unlike other sturgeons, loses some of the hard scales on its body as soon as it is a few months old. It has a large, compact head, an elongated snout, and a large mouth, which can reach 25 centimeters in adulthood.

Under its mouth, it has two barbed rows (which look like whiskers) used to scoop up food. Eggs can account for up to 25% of the Beluga’s weight, although in some specimens it has been found that the eggs make up 50% of their weight. The female is fertile from the age of 25 years and does not necessarily lay eggs every year.

Like all sturgeons, a Beluga can store eggs for more than one season if the temperature and conditions are not favorable for egg laying. Due to its impressive size, the Beluga generally has larger eggs. They are also the most appreciated for the size of the beads and the thinness of the skin. The color ranges from pale gray to extremely dark gray. The lightest gray is the most popular.

But regardless of the color, experts agree that this caviar has a slight “sea flavor”. Its price recently doubled in the space of a few months.