Paddlefish Caviar

An Overview of Paddlefish Caviar

If you love the finer things in life, chances are you enjoy delicious paddlefish caviar.  Although caviar, which is fish eggs, also known as fish roe, is not to everyone’s liking if this is something you enjoy then you need to choose quality for the best flavor.  Interestingly, caviar has been enjoyed by people since the beginning of time although it has only been within the past 100 years that it has become somewhat of a delicacy.

Reports show that caviar originated from China although Persians from early history have enjoyed this particular food for a very long time.  In fact, Persians not only enjoyed the unique flavor and texture, but they also believed caviar contained many types of medicinal qualities.  Then looking at Roman and Classical Greek history it has been discovered that caviar, such as paddlefish caviar was commonly served formal ceremonies and banquets.  Throughout history, caviar can be connected to all kinds of royalty.

However, after Europeans came to America, the sturgeon fish was caught, a very common species of fish found all over North America.  By the start of the 19th century, sturgeon caviar had become so popular within the United States that it is estimated this country was responsible for as much as 90% of caviar being shipped around the globe.  Over time, caviar became a common food served, actually found in saloons where it was given away free to be enjoyed with a cold beer.  Since all types of caviar to include paddlefish caviar has a salty taste, offering it to customers at no charged simply increased the amount of beer being purchased so overall this strategy was excellent.

With so much sturgeon being caught and used primarily for the roe, by the early part of the 20th century, this fish was almost extinct.  As a result, production of sturgeon caviar ended.  However, Caspian Sea fisheries started commercial production of sturgeon caviar in 1925, bringing this delicacy back to the level where it remains today.  Since approximately 25 different species of sturgeon live in the Northern Hemisphere and the Caspian Sea having the most popular species, issues of shortage have disappeared.

As popularity of this food continued to grow, it became apparent that other fish needed to be used, which led to paddlefish caviar.  The official name of this fish is Polyodon Spathula, although most people know it simply as the Spoonbill.  Many people are unaware that the paddlefish is actually a cousin the sturgeon.  Unlike other roe, roe from the paddlefish is dark in color, it is medium size, and the flavor is more buttery with a slight sweet, nutty flavor.  Because of this, paddlefish caviar has become a favorite around the world.

In addition to paddlefish caviar, other popular choices exist such as American Lake sturgeon caviar, which tastes similar to beluga caviar from Russia.  American Hackleback sturgeon caviar is also a great choice, which is similar in appearance, size, and flavor to roe from the paddlefish.  Both the American trout and American whitefish produce soft, juicy caviar with a mild flavor, perfect for people just acquiring a taste for roe.

American Bowfin caviar is also popular, which is sold most often under the Cajun name of Choupique.  This roe is also black but the flavor is quite distinct.  The benefit to choosing Choupique caviar is that while the flavor is much like the more expensive sturgeon caviar, it is more affordable.  Finally, American salmon caviar from Alaska is known for its roe throughout the world.  Today, most salmon used for caviar is farm raised as not to destroy salmon in the wild, needed by bear as a part of their staple diet.