People have gathered, cooked, and eaten the eggs (roe) of nearly every common sport fish and fish harvested for food. “Caviar” has become a generic name for salted sturgeon roe, and anything that deviates significantly from the look, texture, or flavor profile of that product will prompt some people to scoff and remark, “That’s NOT caviar!”
Of course, they are true, but that does not imply that the other products are in any way inferior.
When I was a youngster, my family liked bluegills. Every time we got, we fished for three as a favored eating fish. We caught a lot of bluegills with enormous eggs sacs full with yellow or yellow-orange eggs in late spring and early summer. We’d gather these sacs until we had a “mores of them” (about 4 cups in volume) and then sauté them, delicately cracking apart the sacs throughout the cooking process.
Yes, fish eggs, but definitely not caviar.
Because it seemed “strange” to them, most of my pals turned their noses up at this delightful dish.
That’s how most people feel about eating. Many cultural beliefs ban individuals from consuming specific foods in certain locations. One of such things is fish eggs.
The idea that salted sturgeon ova (eggs, roe) is a “delicacy” has spread over the world. For years, the affluent and upper class have favored Anne. Caviar (the good stuff) is today considered a high-end luxury item that takes a sophisticated palate to truly enjoy.
I believe it’s a little too salty. Bluegill eggs sautéed in fresh butter were my favorite.
A variety of different species are gutted before being distributed across the Great Lakes. Harvesting eggs from gravid females and selling the egg sacs in particular marketplaces has been widespread in several species. A few ethnic groups purchase the egg sacs and utilize them to manufacture various types of “whitefish caviar,” mostly for personal use. Small jars of this native caviar may be found on every great forehead and in certain small grocery stores.
Aside: Bass eggs (from largemouth or smallmouth bass) are “OK,” but I won’t go out of my way to find them or harvest a gravid female to obtain them. When prepared with a “mild” salt curing for a few days in the fridge, trout and salmon eggs are delicious. I prefer them sautéed, as I do with bluegill and eggs. When simply sautéed and mildly seasoned, salmon eggs are delicious. Yellow perch eggs are smaller and more difficult to handle than sunfish eggs, but they have an excellent flavor (better than bass).
Most fish that survive lay eggs or generate roe. Not everyone wants to eat ‘caviar.’ Caviar is a type of fish roe that comes from certain types of fish. Sturgeon caviar is the highest quality caviar available. Three species of sturgeon, in particular, are found solely in the Caspian Sea. Roe from salmon, steelhead, trout, lumpfish, whitefish, and carp is also referred to as roe. Some of these animals may be found in the United States. To produce ‘caviar,’ the roe must then be salt cured. Taking roe from a catfish, bass, or other fish is unlikely to yield satisfactory results. There would be a bustling business and caviar would be less expensive if any fish roe functioned.