Being a gourmet and indulge caviar doesn't always mean to be a millionaire and spend a fortune on an everyday mill. You can enjoy a high-quality sea product rich in omega-3 fatty acids, sea minerals, and all the wholesome vitamins for a more affordable price. There are plenty of fish species in the world ocean that have delicious roe which can be used as a part of an everyday diet or a cost-effective substitution to the expensive Sturgeon caviar. One of these fish species is the Capelin, a small fish from the North Atlantic ocean that is a source of one of the world's most popular Sturgeon caviar substitution — the Capelin Caviar.
The Capelin roe became extremely popular in the European, International, and especially in the Japanese cuisine only last century after the serious decline in the population of the Sturgeon family in the wildlife, the following scarcity in the black caviar, and fast growing prices for this delicacy.
The tiny beads of the Capelin roe have a firm envelope that gives you a great crunchy experience when eating them though they are softer than their closest rival the Flying fish roe Tobiko. Small eggs blow with a briny juice in your mouth filling it with a breeze of a sea flavor. The natural color of this roe is orange but it is usually naturally dyed in a wide variety of colors and most popular of them are:
Thanks to its low price the black capelin is a great and, what is very important these days, a sustainable alternative to the Sturgeon caviar. It is very popular among the catering companies for the big cocktail parties as an affordable substitution for the black caviar on hors d'oeuvre. The fashionable restaurants and cafes use it to add some sea flavor to their culinary masterpieces like cold and hot salads, pasta, risotto, sauces, omelets, and even mashed potatoes. The range of usage is as wide as the fantasy of an experienced chef.
But still the biggest consumer of the Capelin caviar are the Japanese restaurants and sushi-bars as Capelin roe became an essential and integral part of the sushi cuisine. The Japanese call it Masago and it is mostly used as a topping for different kinds of sushi, sashimi, rolls and other similar dishes. Usually, the Capelin roe is cheaper than the Flying fish roe (Tobiko) so this black caviar capelin is generously used on top of the sushi rolls and so on.
The fish species Capelin (Mallotus villosus) is a member of the smelt family and is one of the most important forage fish species in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. These cold waters are filled in abundance with the Capelins that are a significant source of food for many fish species, sea mammals, and birds especially in the spring when they have a spawning season and they head up South to spawn in the shallow water of fjords. It is an essential food source for the Atlantic Cod. Capelin is also a well-appreciated fish in the Scandinavian cuisine.
The maturing period is not very long — after three to four years females are ready to spawn and they can spawn several times in their live if they survive in between the spawning periods. Males are not that lucky and many of them die after the end of spawning.
Capelin is not a big fish, the males reach the length of 20cm and females grow up to 25cm. They have elongated body with an olive-colored top of the body and silver scales on sides and body.