One of Marky's most popular and delicious caviars, American Hackleback Caviar is available for the best price online, starting from just $24.94 / 1 oz..
The American Hackleback (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) is one of the true sturgeons, giving its eggs all the highly praised qualities of true sturgeon roe: nuttiness, a buttery flavor, a creamy texture. The eggs are smaller than those of Sevruga caviar and range in color from dark gray to jet black. The envelope is soft and glossy. The eggs pop in your mouth at the lightest pressure of the tongue. Hackleback caviar is renowned among connoisseurs for its rich and intense nutty taste. Its popularity has made it the number one choice for many highly-rated chefs.
American Hackleback caviar
Among those who seek an affordable alternative to Sevruga and Osetra caviars from the Caspian Sea, American Hackleback holds one of the top spots. The source of this domestic caviar is our own American Hackleback sturgeon, also known as the Shovelnose, Sand Sturgeon, and Switchtail. The species' origin naturally influences the price of its caviar.
Hackleback sturgeon caviar has been known and highly praised for many years. Over the past century and a half it has even been successfully exported to Europe and Asia. The modern height of its popularity, however, stems from the ban on the import of Caspian sturgeon caviar, implemented to counteract the overexploitation of the Beluga, Osetra, and Sevruga sturgeons and the resulting shortage of stock and rise in the price of caviar. It has proved fortuitous that Hackleback sturgeon caviar is highly reminiscent of Sevruga and echoes the nutty flavor it is prized for. Due to the domestic source of Hackleback caviar, its prices are nowhere near the extravagance of Sevruga and Osetra. The low price of this American caviar makes Hackleback a very popular and wallet friendly substitute to the more expensive kinds of caviar, ideal for large cocktail parties. It is often advertised as "Russian Style Caviar," meaning that it is processed according to "Malossol" standards: using only a small amount of pure sea salt.
About the Hackleback
Hackleback is one a small number of wild species of fish open to commercial fishing in the United States, and the only sturgeon. The main populations of the Hackleback sturgeon are found in the waters of the Missouri and Mississippi River systems. Among the reasons for its abundance in the wild are the brief four year maturity period of the females, the lack of long distance migrations during its spawning period, and the absence of dams cutting off its traditional spawning routes.
The Hackleback sturgeon itself is the smallest of the sturgeons, especially as compared to its Caspian relatives. The largest recorded specimen was 1 m long and weighed about 4.5 kg, and the standard measurements of an adult fish are 50-85 cm and 2.5 kg. The Hackleback has no scales (regrettably excluding it from a Kosher diet under Kashrut restrictions), being instead equipped with rows of bony scutes along its sides. Its snout has a distinctive shovel-like shape to which it owes its common name of Shovelhead. This design feature helps the fish to dig into river sediment in search of crustaceans to eat. Another peculiarity, responsible for the Hackleback's label as the Switchtail, is a long, thin filament on the upper lobe of its tail fin.