About Russian Caviar Business
Russian caviar business is a gold mine which nurtures many poachers. Caviar has become a great part of Russian market within the last two decades. Now Russian caviar is available almost in any Russian store. There is caviar of various kinds and quality on the market, which makes it difficult for the buyer to find real produce.
80% of caviar market is illegal! The greatest problem with Russian caviar is either the fake product or illegal massive production and poaching of high-quality caviar which harms the nature. Caviar poaching has been so severe after the Soviet Union's collapse that now sturgeon – fish that produces black caviar – has become an endangered species. Sturgeon's caviar is the most expensive one. Russian government banned exporting of black sturgeon's caviar in 2002. However, sturgeon caviar is still exported abroad through black market. Poachers manage to evade or simply ignore the law by bribing and buttering officials.
Tons of fake caviar is destroyed on the boarder between Russia and Ukraine. Some incredibly outrageous facts are discovered about caviar poaching. For example, poachers used coffins to transport caviar and avoid inspections. Another scandalous case took place in Irkutsk where a large amount of caviar was sold just to let buyers find little plastic balls when they came home and opened the jars.
While the main concern of the government is to stop poachers from illegal fishing, producing and selling caviar, the main consumers' issue is how to distinguish between fake and real caviar. Here are several tips that can help find real caviar.
Good-quality caviar should be friable, not sticky.
Most types of caviar do not have a strong smell of fish. However, poachers often use fish milt to make fake caviar smell like fish. So if the caviar really has a strong smell, there is definitely something fishy about it.
Some types of fake caviar are made of gelatinous products. If you put a couple of roes into hot water, fake caviar will dissolve in it.
Most producers of high-quality Russian caviar fill jars up without leaving any space or air in them. Moreover, good caviar should not be too dry or damp. If caviar is fake, the jar will gurgle when you shake it.
Fake caviar always has an unpleasant taste – tasteless, too salty, sour or even bitter. It is sometimes sold by weight. So before buying it, you can actually taste it and find real caviar.
Russians eat caviar on a piece of bread with butter or put it on pancakes.