In the good old days before extreme pollution, dams blocking spawning routes & rampant overfishing, the prehistoric sturgeon - one of the oldest vertebrates on earth (250 million year old fossils have been found) - could live to almost 50 years of age. Nowadays, they rarely see the other side of 30. However delightful authentic caviar may taste, to consume it is to directly contribute to an inexcusable eco-disaster.
Instead, do right by Mother Earth & indulge in sustainable caviar from the Spoonbill Paddlefish, a prehistoric cousin of the sturgeon which produces delicate caviar with a unique & mild smoky flavor. Native to the rivers of Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri & Montana, this caviar from The Little Pearl is harvested in sustainable & environmentally-sensitive fisheries, where they have learned to breed and culture the ancient filter feeders on wild shrimp & in pristine conditions. ($200 for 8 oz. - LaPetitePearle.com) Of course, fabulous caviar deserves an equally fabulous presentation: a Steuben crystal presentoir shaped like a fantastic sea creature with matching smaller 8" bowl (designed to hold up to 250g of caviar). $2400 from Petrossian.com.
Equally eco-chic but only $15 for a 4 oz jar, try Avruga caviar - from herring fished off the coast of Spain - The Fashion and Beauty Bargain Queens' pick. They even have a handy, affordable recipe for whipping up festive caviar canapés!
- Lesley Scott
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