As you know, most of the caviar on the market is harvested from the farmed fish and this is true because the wild nature already cannot supply enough fish to meet the constantly growing demand for caviar. Moreover, the mankind has made it even more difficult by polluting the waters and damming the regular spawning ways for many species of fish. So aquafarms are probably the only way to taste the natural caviar of the highest quality without endangering the whole species.
Nevertheless, there are fishes that are still abundant in the wild nature and still yield the precious caviar. This fish is called Bowfin (Amia calva) and the Bowfin fish caviar proudly stands in the row of native American black caviar even though it is harvested not from the Sturgeon family fish but from a bony dweller of the southern US backwaters. Just like the Bowfin fish itself, the Bowfin roe grains are pretty small and they vary in color from brownish to jet black.
The American Bowfin caviar is famous and highly regarded by the connoisseurs for its very intense flavor which is mildly tangy and spicy. Moreover, the Bowfin roe is an inherent part of the traditional Cajun cuisine of Louisiana and is more famous as Choupique caviar. The Bowfin Caviar looks pretty similar to Sturgeon Caviar and the low Bowfin caviar price makes it an affordable Sturgeon caviar substitute not only for salads, pasta, and garnishing different hot and cold dishes for the top chefs but also for canapes and blinis at cocktail parties. Checking the Bowfin Caviar price will convince you it is a cheap caviar!
Most part of the Bowfin black caviar is harvested from the wild catch and this guarantees the incredible taste and flavor but the recent ban on the Caspian caviar import in 2006 has encouraged the foundation of the aquafarms for the Bowfin for sale too.
About the Bowfin
Bowfin is also known by other names like 'Mudfish', 'Mud pike', 'Dogfish', 'Griddle', 'Grinnel', 'Cypress trout', and 'Choupique'. It is among the primitive species that haven't changed a lot for many millions of years just like the Sturgeons but even more ancient. Its natural habitat are the still waters of the rivers and lakes on the East of the United States from the Louisiana swamps to the Great Lakes. It is a relatively small fish about 50 to 70cm long that weighs about 6kg. The Bowfin body is elongated and cylindrical with a long dorsal fin that gave the fish its name.
As it is a primitive fish it has retained some primitive characters like the roundish caudal fin, bony gular plate, and a highly vascularized gas bladder lung. One interesting point about this species is that it can breathe both through its gills and also through the vascularized gas bladder that gets air from above the water surface through the tunnel like nostrils on the head. There are evidence that Bowfins survived and even stayed active after several days on the dry land. The long and sharp teeth definitely indicate that Bowfin is a predatory fish. It prefers to attack its victims from the ambush. Adults feed on smaller fish and crustaceans while young Bowfins feed mostly on small crustaceans. Bowfins have a voracious appetite and move very quickly in the waters and the dorsal fin helps them to move very silently through the water when stalking their prey. They attack instantly and the movement lasts approximately mere 0.075 seconds.