aqua farm is being developed in north central Florida near Gainesville.
By the time it is finished next year, Zaslavsky hopes to have
brought in about 80 more sturgeon. (He could be barred from
importing more fish if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service places
beluga on the endangered species list, as it has been considering,
but researcher Akopian says a recent increase in the census
of wild beluga makes that unlikely.)
the meantime, UF's Chapman will determine the gender of the
first five fish via ultrasound in preparation for breeding.
He and Zaslavsky expect the hatched fry of the brood stock to
grow faster in Florida's warmer climate, reaching sexual maturity
in perhaps three or four years rather than the six or seven
years it takes in the beluga's cold native waters.
when all the work and dreaming will begin to pay off. Roe will
be surgically removed from the females, who will be released
to heal, grow and spawn another day. (Beluga can live to be
Florida's finest is available, Marky's would be happy to meet
your caviar needs. (All caviar is called roe until it's cleaned
and lightly salted.)
the rarest and most expensive type, has large pale-to-dark-gray
grains and a sweet, briny flavor. Ostera is the next grade,
with a rich, almost nutty flavor. (Golden ostera has an amber
hue and milder flavor due to the fish's diet.) Sevruga is the
third jewel in the triple crown of caviar, with smaller, darker
eggs and an intense flavor of the sea.
caviar is best eaten from a mother of pearl spoon (metal taints
the true flavor) or on a blini with a little crme frache. Some
fans prefer caviar unadorned, while others serve it with melted
butter, minced scallions, finely chopped hard-cooked egg (whites
and yolks separate), sour cream and/or lemon wedges.
vodka is de rigueur between caviar nibbles. Here's how
to make Anise Vodka, courtesy of Darra Goldstein's A Taste
of Russia (Russian Life Books, $17.50):
2 teaspoons whole anise seeds in 1 pint plain vodka and infuse
at room temperature for 24 hours. Strain and store in the freezer
untill ready to drink.
a different flavor, use coriander seeds, peppercorns, saffron,
lemon or orange peel or garlic and dill in place of the anise