In the Qiandao Lake in eastern China, the wriggling fish stirs the water in 300 iron cages. These fish are sturgeon, from Russia and Central Asia and are famous for their eggs that can be made into caviar.
It is reported that 35% of the world’s caviar production now comes from China, the world’s second largest economy. And the caviar is not a cheap substitute. Made in Qiandao Lake Kaluga roe appeared in Paris 26 Michelin Samsung restaurant in the 21 table, but also French celebrity chef Alan Dikas flagship store in Monaco selected roe sauce.
Qiandao Lake is located 200 miles southwest of Shanghai (about 322 kilometers), is an area of 573 square kilometers of artificial reservoir. Kaluga roe sauce also appeared in the 2016 Hangzhou summit of the group of twenty leaders, to the participants of the food.
Kaluga company deputy general manager Xia Yongtao said: “consumers are beginning to realize that although our roe sauce is China in production, but this is the best quality of breeding can be compared with the wild roe, roe sauce. This is the cause of our product’s hot sale. ”
The company said Kaluga annual sales of 60 tons of roe, roe sauce, make it become the world’s largest producer of. There are 30 thousand sturgeon in the Thousand Island Lake. It takes 10 years for sturgeon to reach sexual maturity, and it can grow to 200 kilograms during this period. In the distance to Qiandao Lake two hours from the company headquarters, there are about 40 thousand Kaluga immature fish stored in the water tank in the special hatch. A little pot of roe sauce priced at $150, the mature sturgeon are composed of the weight of 15% eggs, a sturgeon value is equivalent to a Ferrari car. The sturgeon was guarded for 24 hours a day, living in a carefully controlled environment.
Reported that the 40 year veteran of the Iran expert Abbas Azari visited Kaluga roe sauce, inspected the production process for a customer, he said: “of course, the best from the wild sturgeon roe sauce. But the Chinese sturgeon is very good and has its own unique quality. ”
The process of collecting and pickling fish eggs originated from Iran. It is believed that the English name of caviar is caviar, which comes from Persian cahv-jar or “power block” — but caviar develops from the coast on the other side of the Caspian Sea to the world famous product.
In the Russian Empire of eighteenth Century, Ekaterina the great prepared caviar for guests at a big banquet. After the October revolution, the Russian aristocracy exiled to Europe, bringing the caviar to this place, especially the city of exiles gathered in Paris and London.
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the strict control of the fishing in the Caspian Sea was cancelled. Less than 10 years later, the number of wild sturgeon was greatly reduced. In 2000, the Convention on the international trade in endangered species of Wild Fauna and flora defined wild sturgeon as an endangered species. Soon after, the official ban on fishing for wild sturgeon made commercial farms flourish.
Reported that the Kaluga company produces several different roe sauce: gray green, salty Siberia caviar; light green, butter flavored sea sturgeon roe sauce B-ray — this is the most popular brand of the roe sauce and olive green; Russian caviar, creamy taste is salty, this is kind of the love of the French market. But the peak of roe sauce is made of beluga roe roe sauce, the eggs are almost larger, charcoal sphere, unique taste. Kaluga produced a small box of beluga roe sauce for $2100, equivalent to a roe of 60 cents.
To get to the factory floor, must wear a white coat and boots, wearing a headband and rubber gloves, hands and feet are soaked in sterile water for a minute, and then after a minute “gas bath”, to ensure that the body without dust and hair. Into the workshop, the workers put the fish into the water stun, then use the knife to cut the fish belly up. The two big fish eggs were removed and placed on the iron plate. The rest of the sturgeon was shipped away and sold for fish, mainly to Russia. The fish eggs take a sample and record Kaluga roe sauce per tank has a two-dimensional code, including roe specific production history and the history of fish spawning.
“One of the reasons for our success is our unremitting pursuit of perfect quality,” Xia Yongtao said. The cost of our caviar is 10% higher than that of Western companies, but the demand is far greater than the supply. ”
Reported that 80% of the Kaluga products are exported to the European Union, the United States and Central Asia, and the rich Chinese demand for roe sauce is also growing. In Beijing’s famous roast duck shop in Sheng Yongxing, the owner of the shop, Wang River, began to use caviar to match his signature dishes. “The salty flavor of caviar just sets off the salty flavor of the roast duck skin,” he said. And the ducks come from the land, and the caviar comes from the sea, and the two are combined together.
One reason, of course, is that many Chinese people like rare and expensive ingredients, and even say that they are good for health. “(caviar) is very good to the brain,” Xia Yongtao said of caviar. I promise to have my son eat one can a month and a can before every exam. ”
For the Wang River, caviar is very suitable for Chinese food culture. “Chinese people always want the best,” he said. If caviar is the best thing for Western food, they will accept it. ”
It’s a completely different challenge for Western consumers to buy a “made in China” high-end food, the report says. But it seems that Chinese caviar manufacturers can overcome this challenge.