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Canadian Caviar

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Food

Canadian Caviar

sturgeonWhile touring through New Brunswick, I stopped in to visit Supreme Sturgeon and Caviar. They are one of the very few short nosed sturgeon farmers in the world. This species is indigenous to the Atlantic seaboard as far south as Florida and inhabits three river, the Connecticut River, the Santee River, and the Saint John River in New Brunswick. In the United States, the fish is considered an endangered species, and here in Canada it has become vulnerable. There isn't a lot of research on sturgeon farming, as it is a relatively young industry. But it could be a growing one for Canada. The caviar industry used to be heavily regulated with strict fishing quotas, but since the fall of the Soviet Union, black market caviar has flooded the market and Caspian Sea sturgeon have been almost completely wiped out by pirate fishermen. In the 1820s caviar was so abundant in North America that bars would give it away as a free snack. However, it was quickly over fished and what was once equivalent to bar peanuts can now go for up to $10,000/kilo for beluga caviar. Farmed North American caviar is much more reasonable at about $2,000/kilo and has been getting very good reviews from restaurants and aficionados. I found Don Breau at an unmarked warehouse on a country road just past St. George. He showed me the sturgeon in the huge tanks where they grow. I wasn't able to sample any caviar because they are only producing a limited amount and restaurants already speak for most. Supreme Caviar started in 1998, and sturgeon faring is a long-term commitment for them since it takes eight years for the eggs to mature. Except for the smoked sturgeon meat they produce, they have only recently been able to market their product. They are a growing operation and are in the process of moving the fish to a larger facility so they'll have more room to produce. And with an international demand for a depleting product they may have their payoff very soon. Click here to sign up for Christine's Food for Friends e-newsletter!
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Canadian Caviar

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