Red caviar – a valuable nutrient – is produced from the roe of salmon fishes (dog salmon(keta), pink salmon, red salmon, king salmon, coho salmon, Atlantic salmon) processed with the solution of table salt and addition of preservatives. Caviar is distinguished by recipe. Caviar without preservatives is made only by a customer’s request. Salmon fresh-grain caviar is packed in tin or glass hermetically sealed jars.
Specialists distinguish several kinds of the fish with the common name salmon. When speaking about waters of Atlantic and Europe, we can name Atlantic Salmon ( Salmo salar ), which lives in the rivers and along the West coast of USA, and Dunai Salmon, which belongs to a different genus (there is 10 kinds of noble salmon).
Pacific Ocean salmons are the most numerous. They all belong to one genus Oncorhynchus, which in Greek means “from the nose to the hook “. This genus includes the following kinds: red salmon, pink salmon, dog salmon (keta), coho salmon, king salmon, cherry salmon. Also Japanese salmon (O . masu, O. rhodurus) is assigned here. This is the general systematic and geographic classification of salmons.
Far East is the main salmon supplier for Russia. Only here can one meet such diversity and richness of fish kinds; red caviar (which is very nutritious and much cheaper than black one), smoked and preserved fish from the Far East are widely popular in Russia and in the whole world.
Red caviar has its advantages which allowed it to take its deserved place among delicacies: even though it is cheaper than black caviar, it is not less valuable in its taste and nutrition quality. The reason is that there is still enough fish of salmon kinds.
While black caviar was especially popular in the South of Russia, the red one was favoured in Siberia and in the Far East. During the last decades this delicacy found its fans in Europe and America, but it still can’t be compared to black caviar in popularity, staying “Russian exotics”. Though the residents of Japanese islands prefer raw red caviar in combination with other foods.
Unlike the caviar of sturgeon fish, which has been prepared different ways (yastik , drying, sun drying, pressed or fresh-grained ) , red caviar has always been fresh-grained. The most important thing in the processing is to strictly follow the procedure. For example, the caviar should only be extracted from the fish during the first four hours after it was caught, and the solution (tuzluk) should be of a certain concentration and it should be left to stay for no less than 10 days before preparation.
The red caviar table of ranks admits the priority of keta caviar. Its colour is orange with a glimpse of red, the grains are quite small, the film is thin and elastic. If the caviar is pale or yellow it means it’s overripe and of low taste quality. The second place belongs to the caviar of pink salmon; its grains are of orange and light orange colour. The caviar of red salmon has a distinctive flavour which is not favoured by many Russians, while the Europeans consider it the best; the colour of the caviar is dark red. Anyway, the caviar – black or red – is eaten cold, with little spoons and without bread, because a caviar sandwich destroys the true taste of the product and also is not well digested by the body. The classical serving of caviar is in a special glass caviar dish (ikornitsa), which is put on ice in podikornitsa – a supporting dish.