The secrets behind the sturgeon's wonderful taste
Sturgeon roe or black caviar has wonderful taste properties. You can think about what they consist of and which factors contribute to a fantastic taste experience. Fat is a flavor enhancer and the fat content in storm is usually between 10% - 15% depending on the stage of maturity. By comparison, the fat content in roe is just over 2%.
Then feed and water quality are decisive for the characteristics of the rum (and the fish meat, if applicable). It's a bit like a Swedish food fish that is caught either from a muddy lake on a hot summer day or from a northern river in late spring. The properties of the water affect the fish and its rum. It is the same with the fish feed. It is important to use the best possible quality.
Thus, the sturgeons must "go clean" for a long enough time in absolutely clean water before they are harvested. From this, Arctic Roe has a section with "winter water" where the fish lie in ide for a few weeks. Then no feeding takes place and thus no excrement comes out of the fish either. The water is then clear as in a river and off flavors in the rum are cleaned away.
But there are also important factors in the preparation process itself. When the rum is milked out, particles from the insides of the fish accompany it. The ovulatory fluid can at best be completely clean, but many times contains parts of membranes and lumps of fat. These particles must be separated, otherwise they follow down into the caviar jars and have a negative effect on the taste. Then the salt is also important. Arctic Roe uses a special sea salt that is mixed with the caviar.
But in addition to clean water, salt, etc., genetics also has an effect. It's like with meat. Not all beef or venison tastes the same. Arctic Roe also follows the principle of not mixing roe from different female fish. In that case, the flavors are smoothed out. In Småland, it is preferred that rum from each individual female goes into separate jars. It provides a natural variation in the taste characteristics.
It is also considered in the industry that the flavors get better with age. Rum or caviar from a young fish is therefore not considered quite as good as rum from an older fish that has produced a harvest before. There is something to it, but the individual genetics in combination with water and feed play a bigger role.
Finally, the ripening time in the can has a big impact. Just as a red wine should be aged in barrels for a long time, the caviar must be allowed to mature for a couple of weeks at least. And the experience at Arctic Roe is that the flavors get better the longer the caviar is stored, even if they "level out" in the end. If the can is stored for a very long time, you can imagine that the properties will start to deteriorate.
And last but not least – airing! Just as a red wine tastes better after aerating in a large glass for a while, caviar also tastes better after aeration and at room temperature. Therefore, open the caviar can and let it sit at room temperature for at least a quarter of an hour before consumption. Then the taste experience will be just as much sharper.