Caviar has been known for hundreds of years as the “food of the czars”, and it is the undisputed king of luxury foods. It has been produced for thousands of years and used in earlier times as a diet staple because it was salted and thus relatively easy to preserve. Armies were known to consume caviar in great quantities and it was popular in 18th century American saloons as its salty flavor enhanced the thirst for beer. Today, caviar has returned to its position as sumptuous, sought-after fare.Time line
Sturgeon have been traced as far back as 250 million years—around the same time as the dinosaurs—which is why they are sometimes referred to as “living fossils”. A sturgeon can weigh more than 1000 kilograms and might have a lifespan of more than a century. about 2,400 BC: It is believed that caviar originated somewhere in the Caspian Sea region.
16th century: The word caviar is derived from the Persian word mahi-e-Khayedar which refers to an egg bearing fish. 18th century: Caviar was routinely served during free lunches in American saloons. The salty flavor encouraged thirst and enhanced beer sales. 19th century: The US caviar boom causes overfishing of sturgeon nearly to the point of extinction. The sudden shortage leads to a steep jump in caviar’s price.
1939: Caviar Galilee Farm begins specializing in aquaculture. 1960s: Caviar prices are so expensive that new sources of caviar sought. 1992: Galilee Farm begins raising Russian Osetra (sturgeon) fingerlings. 1998: Caspian Sea caviar stocks continued to decline through the 1990s; the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) ruled that trade in all sturgeon species required government approval, based on scientific advice. Since then, all exports of caviar and other sturgeon products have had to comply with CITES provisions, including the use of export permits and specific labeling requirements. Early 2000s: Aquaculture facilities for sturgeon breeding in various countries expand, accompanied by marketing sturgeon products via websites. Today: Karat Caviar marketed and sold to the largest caviar houses in the world, in prestigious restaurants, and leading delicatessens.