Caviar, sometimes called black caviar, is a luxury delicacy, consisting of processed, salted, non-fertilized sturgeon roe. Roe or hard roe is the fully ripe internal overies or egg masses of fish. Beluga caviar is caviar consisting of the roe (or eggs) of the beluga sturgeon Huso huso. (from Wikipedia)
Vegetarian caviar (Kaviar Royal) is a soy protein-based caviar made in America sold in the UK by Caviar4Everyone.
Now, as a vegetarian, I have never fancied trying caviar. The Beluga sturgeon is currently considered to be endangered. Almost all caviar is harvested from dead fish. Fishermen on the Caspian wait until the mature female sturgeon (which are at least 10 years old) are ready to migrate upstream and lay their eggs. Once caught, the sturgeon will be transferred to a large boat, where workers slit her open and remove her eggs. The caviar is cleaned to prevent spoilage and then packed up; the rest of the fish is sold for flesh.
You want me to eat that?
So when I was given a jar of vegetarian caviar (one of those, "you're a vegetarian what do you think of this" moments) I was not overly keen to test it. Eating the unborn babies of fish wasn't on my list of must try things. I dutifully got out the crackers and had a go. I was expecting it to be smelly and fishy but actually it wasn't bad. If fact it was a subtle taste. The texture (lots of little balls) was weird but I can imagine someone who wants to try a recipe or used to like caviar before they went veggie will enjoy this very much.
The best bit is that it doesn't kill fish to create it, there is a virtually unlimited supply and it is healthy. It is about £20 per jar (125grm) which is better than about £80+ for the same amount of the real fish killing stuff.
The website says the benefits are that:
The high demand for fish-derived caviar has left the sturgeon under threat of extinction.
Royal Organic Vegetarian Caviar is made from organic GM-free soy - an environmentally friendly, vegetarian alternative.
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