Caviar of salmon fishes, otherwise called red or keta caviar, is made out of roe of salmon fishes of Pacific Ocean: keta (dog salmon), pink salmon, cherry salmon, and less often – red salmon, coho salmon and king salmon. Different salmons have different size and colour of roe grains. Pink salmon, red salmon, coho salmon and cherry salmon have 3-4 mm diameter of grains, keta and king salmon – 5-7 mm. The yolk part of the grains has numerous little drop-like fat inclusions containing lipochromes – colouring carotinoid substances, which give the grains their colour. Red salmon’s grains have the brightest red-orange colour, keta’s grains have pale red colour with a glimpse of orange, and pink salmon’s grains are pink orange.
Caviar of pink salmon and keta is considered the best because of its pleasant taste and shiny orange colour. Caviar of other salmons has darker red colour and stronger flavor of bitterness.
By processing salmon caviar is classified as fresh-grained and yastik , and by packing – as barrel and tinned.
Fresh-grained salmon caviar
Preparation of caviar consists of the following operations. Yastiks are sorted, washed and beaten through a caviar sieve (roe screening apparatus). Then the roe is salted in a boiled saline solution of density 1.2 and temperature of no more than 13-15 degrees Centigrade. Then tuzluk (solution) is drained away and the roe is mixed with preservatives (usually 0.3% borax and 0.1% urotropine) and vegetable oil, 600 g for 1 centner of roe. The oil can be sunflower, walnut, peanut, sesame seed or mustard. Lately they started to add glycerin to the oil (15g for 1 centner of roe) to prevent the grains from sticking together. Caviar is packed into wooden barrels with iron hoops.
During recent years they also started to pack caviar into tin and glass jars of the capacity up to 500 g. Caviar packed in jars retains its quality longer and is more convenient for retailing than in barrels.
Fresh-grained caviar of salmon fishes is graded as 1st or 2nd grade depending on the condition of the grains, taste, smell or the caviar and its salt content. 1st grade caviar should have whole firm grains, there should be no films and blood in it.
Salt content in 1st grade caviar is 4 to 6%, in 2nd grade caviar – 4 to 8%. The content of preservatives: boron-containing substances in terms of borax – no more than 0.3%; urotropine – no more than 0.1%.
1st grade caviar – caviar of keta, pink salmon and cherry salmon
Caviar of one fish kind;
Pleasant aroma and taste without foreign flavors;
Low salt – 4-6%;
No residue or broken grains.
For the caviar of king salmon and coho salmon inhomogenuity of colour and a touch of bitter taste is acceptable.
For 2nd grade caviar is acceptable:
Weak grains of different size and colour;
High salt – up to 8%;
Presence of broken grains or residue, viscosity, slight acid smell and acrimony.
Salted fresh-grained caviar of ordinary fish is not graded. Salt content for caviar in jars should be 3 to 6%, in barrels – 5 to 10% for low-salt caviar and 10-12% for medium-salt caviar.
Yastik caviar of salmon fishes
Yastik caviar of salmon fishes is usually made of frosen yastiks, since for yastiks extracted from frozen salmons it is impossible to separate the grains from connective tissue. Yastiks are salted with dry salt.
By quality yastik salmon caviar can be of 1st or 2nd grade.
Characteristics of 1st grade caviar:
Yastiks are well cleaned;
Grains are whole, firm, without foul taste or smell;
Salt content 3-5%.
For 2nd grade caviar is acceptable:
Yastiks with mechanical fractures or faded colour.
Yastik caviar is also made of yastiks of pike-perch, it is called galagan, or of yastiks of vobla (Caspian roach) and bream, it is so-called tarama.