Life Topic LIFESTYLE

魚子醬 Caviar | 淘洗海中珍貴黑金 The Black Gold of Gastronomy

接壤伊朗、俄羅斯等歐亞國境的裏海,孕育著存活億萬年的活化石鱘魚,其碩大身形在中國古代擁有龍魚的別稱,而腹中之卵更被譽為海中黑金,鱘魚輸入講究精緻飲食的法國,再定義為產於裏海的魚卵才能稱上魚子醬,又以 Beluga 歐洲鱘、Osetra 俄羅斯鱘、Siberian 西伯利亞鱘和 Sevruga 閃光鱘最為頂級。

2000 多年前,最後一道魚子醬端上盛宴,號角聲隨之昂揚響起,鮮花滿佈桌面,古希臘哲學家亞理斯多德如此記載,可見魚子極致美味一瞬爆裂卻亙古流傳至今。然而等待一條鱘魚成熟期至少得要7至20年,且過度濫捕的天然鱘魚已瀕臨滅絕,在聯合國華盛頓公約 CITES 監督下,養殖鱘魚得以崛起,令顆顆海中黑鑽再次閃耀世人面前。

The Caspian Sea is bounded by several Eurasian countries, including Iran and Russia; it’s the habitat of the Acipenseridae (Caspian sturgeon), which are also called living fossils surviving from hundreds of million years ago. Those of giant sizes have another name called “Dragon Fish” in ancient China and roe from their bellies is nicknamed as “black gold” from the sea. In France, where people pay careful attention to high-quality foods, caviar is made only with the sturgeons from this area; in particular, Beluga European sturgeon, Osetra sturgeon, Siberian sturgeon and Sevruga sturgeon are ranked the highest.

Dating back to 2,000 years ago, the records kept by the Greek philosopher Aristotle shows that caviar was the last dish served in a feast with a horn sounded and the dining table fully covered by fresh flowers. It’s the evidence of overwhelmingly delicious caviar that exist from the past until now. However, 7-20 years are needed for a female sturgeon to sexually mature. Besides, wild sturgeons are considered threatened with extinction as a result of over-fishing. After the trade in all species of sturgeons has been regulated under CITES, sturgeon aquaculture has emerged and the black caviar beads can shine once again in front of the public.

Caviar House & Prunier

法國百年魚子醬品牌魚子醬屋璞黎 Caviar House & Prunier,彷彿是千里馬與伯樂的最佳組合,1921年巴黎知名海鮮酒吧Emile Prunier擁有國內第一個製作魚子醬的生產設備,爾後Prunier工廠開始於法國波爾多地區自養鱘魚,強調生態保護和永續性,除了日復一日監控水質、溫度等環境品質,每條鱘魚也有至少 10 年以上的成熟期,品牌因此能確保魚卵的最佳狀態,成為四處探詢頂級魚子醬的Carviar House精選的海中珍寶。

除了Prunier 系列自產鱘魚,品牌也引進伊朗產的 Beluga,擁有 3.2 毫米的大豆般大小和淺灰色外觀,濃郁的味道令齒頰留香;而另款備受饕客青睞的「Prunier Paris」,其外觀是直徑 2.5 毫米偏中至大型顆粒的魚子,使用鹽量低突顯本身的鮮味和微微沁出的奶油香,命名緣由是為致敬 Emile Prunier 餐廳,近一世紀前至今對頂級美味的究及追求。

Carviar House 甚至找到義大利培育出特選的俄羅斯鱘製成 「Almas Persicus」魚子醬,其魚卵直徑達 3.5 毫米甚至超越 Beluga 大小。魚子閃現金琥珀色澤,恍若看見斜陽灑落裏海水面,大豆顆粒不僅口感飽滿,一口咬下多層次風味,濃郁的海味和魚油可待細膩品嘗,特製金罐和木製絕緣盒封藏魚子珍貴金光,每一罐編號專屬於肯耐心等待季節限定的饕客。品牌認為對於現今的奢侈美食愛好者來說,除了基本的品質與營養素攝取,所追求的更是食材與生活結合,代表一種風格、一個象徵更是成為永續發展的支援者與一份子。

KAVIARI

過去做為第二大魚子醬出產國的伊朗,至今則仍有國營包裝出口公司 Shilat 以嚴格的品質管理標準生產魚子醬,而法國品牌卡維亞芮 KAVIARI 強調漁業工藝秉持職人精神,和世界各地契作的漁民皆繼承 Shilat至古累積的捕魚技術和永續漁業概念,將鱘魚養殖於高溶氧度的純淨水質中,就連食用飼料都精選非基改且受核可的魚肉,或是有沙丁魚、蝦肉等新鮮魚產。

職人們將新鮮魚子帶回巴黎實驗室,交由專人布魯諾・伊戈斯,依照魚子醬的魚種、顆粒大小、狀態、熟成氣侯不同,歷經 3至 9 個月熟成,甚至有主廚會依照需求交由布魯諾訂製專屬魚子醬,而魚子醬依照熟成時間長短締造各樣風味,享受不同深度的舌尖旅行。

其中「至尊奧賽嘉魚子醬」選自養殖於中國及歐洲的俄羅斯鱘,仔細端詳能在灰色魚子中看見金棕色斑點,色澤形同琥珀,在口中咬破時先是品嘗到多種榛果香氣,接著海洋鹹鮮如潮水湧入,呈現多層次味道;另款「晶鑽魚子醬」,選自最頂級的歐洲鱘和史氏鱘混種,圓潤魚子在灰中隱隱閃爍金色色澤,口感馥郁尾韻帶有杏仁甜香,是品牌中最受米其林星級主廚青睞的選項。

GIAVERI

除了法國成為鱘魚養殖先驅,作為義大利沿岸最大魚類養殖場的亞得里亞海,品牌珈費里善用天然資源,在北義阿爾卑斯山與亞得里亞海之間未受污染的環境養殖鱘魚,為全程掌握魚子醬品質,以一條龍生產方式從養殖、取卵、製作、裝罐皆不假他人之手。積累超過 35 年的家族企業,部分魚子醬採用一公斤魚子醬兌 3.5 公克鹽醃,充分突顯頂級魚子本身濃郁的魚油脂膏香,靠著稀少鹽分襯托出海中鮮味,而隨著魚子種類鹽分吸收能力不同,仍能展現獨特風味。

其中「Beluga & Siberian 貝魯迦魚子醬」更領先全球培育出歐洲鱘與西伯利亞鱘混種,縮短純種歐洲鱘 18 至 25 年的等待,卻幾乎仍可留存頂級美味。魚子直徑最大可達 3.2 毫米口感自然飽滿,風味則如絲綢一般圓潤細膩,濃郁的後韻久久縈繞似一場悠遠的味覺旅程;而取自俄羅斯鱘的「Osietra 奧思迦魚子醬」帶有獨特的堅果香,豐富而有層次的風味成為品牌內最受食客鍾愛的選項;「Siberian 西伯利亞魚子醬」,除了堅果香氣更多了一股果乾風味令餘韻持久。

珈費里掌握頂級鱘魚其中製作過程更不馬虎,原始無味的魚子醬需透過鹽醃步驟方能發揮極致美味,為此,品牌即便依循多年經驗以手混拌魚子醬判斷鹽漬程度,仍聘請伊朗或俄羅斯等地鹽漬師傅當顧問,讓 35 年的家族企業秉著熱情與耐心,持續以歲月淘洗海中珍貴黑金。

Caviar House & Prunier

Caviar House & Prunier, the brand of caviar with a hundred years of history, is the best combination like the horse with the best stamina meeting a good judge of talent. In 1921, a famous seafood bar in Paris called Emile Prunier had the first caviar production equipment of the nation. Afterward, the Prunier factory started breeding sturgeons and has been emphasizing ecological preservation and sustainability. In addition to daily monitoring tasks related to environmental quality, including water quality and temperature, each sturgeon are bred to sexual maturity for more than 10 years to ensure that the brand keeps roe in the best status and becomes the treasure of the sea that Caviar House has been aiming for.

Besides the self-bred sturgeons of the Prunier Collection, the brand has introduced Beluga from Iran; it has the size of a soybean about 3.2 mm in diameter and the appearance in a light gray color; also, the rich taste leaves your mouth smelling as fresh as it does. As to the other popular option, the “Prunier Paris” has a size of 2.5 mm, which ranks in the middle to large-sized caviar; the use of as little salt as possible can increases its fresh flavor with a slight cream-like aroma. Its name pays tribute to the restaurant called Emile Prunier, which has specialized in and pursued the top-class taste for almost a century ever since it was opened.

Caviar House has also offered the “Almas Persicus” from the Russian sturgeons (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii), which are cultured in Italy; the roe reaches 3.5mm in diameter, which is larger than the size of a Beluga. The caviar has an amber glow like the shiny sunset falling into the Caspian Sea. The soybean-like beads of caviar satisfy the desire for taste and texture; the bite is filled with a layered flavor, the rich seafood taste and fish oil are so good to the palate. The custom-made gold can and the insulated wooden box seal the precious golden shine of the caviar. Each can is exclusively numbered as an easy identification for gourmets who are willing to wait patiently. Nowadays, to the people who favor luxurious foods, in addition to basic requirements for food quality and nutrient absorption, what they pursue is the combination of food ingredients and life, the presentation of a style and a symbol; they are not only one of the members but also the supporters of sustainable development.

KAVIARI

Iran, which was the 2nd largest exporter of caviar, still has a government-owned packing and exporting company called Shilat, which produces caviar with strict quality control standards. On the other hand, the French brand KAVIARI has been emphasizing fishery technology and upholding the spirit of craftsmanship, it works with the contract fisherman around the world to carry on the accumulated methods of fishing and the concept of sustainable fishing from Shilat; the sturgeons are cultured in purified water with a higher concentration of dissolved oxygen. Even their feeds are made from fish carefully selected, non-GMO and certified; otherwise, some feeds are made from sardines, shrimps and other fresh seafood products.

The craftsman travels monthly to the fish farms worldwide and brings fresh roe back to the lab in Paris, and the specialist Bruno Higos will categorize them by different species, size of beads, shape, maturation climates before the 3 to 9-month brining process. Some chefs even request Bruno to produce custom-made caviar. According to the maturation time, the flavor that caviar creates are varied for people to enjoy journey for the palate with different depths.

The “Farmed Raised Oscietre Prestige” is the roe from the Russian sturgeons cultured in China and Europe; the golden-brown spots in the gray caviar can be found by careful observation, an amber-like glow. When it’s bitten in the mouth, people can taste the flavor with multiple chestnut aroma; then, then the salty seafood flavor emerges as tides with multiple layers of tastes. The other option, “Caviar Krystal” is the roe from the highest graded species, European Sturgeons and European sturgeon (Acipenser sturio) and Japanese Sturgeon (Acipenser schrenckii). The round and smooth caviar in the gray color with a hidden golden glow; the rich texture with a sweet almond-like aftertaste, the most favorite choice of the Michelin chef among all available brands.

GIAVERI

Besides France, the pioneer in sturgeon aquaculture, GIAVERI is the largest fish farm in Italy along the entire coastline of the Adriatic Sea; it has made the best use of natural resources and built the fishing farm of sturgeons in the non-polluted area between the Alps of northern Italy and the Adriatic Sea to manage quality control in the one-step production of caviar without other’s help, including breeding and culturing, the harvest of roe, production, and canning. Some caviar adopts the brining formula of 1 kg of caviar with 3.5 g salt to bring out the rich aroma of fish oil from the top-graded caviar as the little salt can best highlight the fresh seafood flavor. Due to the roe from different species of sturgeons, caviar absorbs the salt at different rates for different but unique tastes.

Among all, “Beluga & Siberian” is the leading brand that offers caviar from the crossbreed of European sturgeon (Acipenser sturio) and Siberian Sturgeon (Acipenser baeri). The crossbreeding plan has shortened the maturation time to 18 to 25 years of waiting but the top-graded flavor remains. The largest caviar reaches 3.2 mm in diameter with a silk-like smoothness and refined flavor; it has the rich aftertaste that prolongs the journey for the palate. As to the “Osietra” from the Russian sturgeon, it has a unique nutty aroma and its rich and multi-layered flavor has made it as the best-selling product of the brand; as to the “Siberian” caviar, it has a dried fruit-like flavor along with the nut aroma for a more lasting aftertaste.

GIAVERI manages the caviar production from top-grade sturgeon under strict control. The primitive and tasteless caviar needs the brining process to bring out the extremely flavorful taste. Consequently, the brand has followed years of experiences that mix the caviar by hand to judge the level of brine. Also, the masters of brining from Iran and Russia are hired as consultants so that the family business with its 35 years of history can uphold passion and patience to carry on the black gold of the sea in its entire life.hired as consultants so that the family business with its 35 years of history can uphold passion and patience to carry on the black gold of the sea in its entire life.

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