Curious facts about Caviar

Did you know…?

  1. The consumption of caviar dates to the Persians, who believed it had medicinal properties. The word “caviar” can be traced back to the Persian “chay-jar”, which means “power tart”.
  2. The exclusivity and gastronomic appreciation of caviar dates to the beginning of the XIV century, when King Edward II of England proclaimed all the kingdom’s sturgeons as part of the Crown Estate and property of the Royal Family.
  3. On one occasion, the Russian ambassador in France, on behalf of Tsar Peter the Great, offered caviar as a gift to the Sun King, Louis XIV. The king did not like it and spat it on the floor of the Palace of Versailles.
  4. During the XIX century, caviar became popular in Russia as an alternative to fish and meat during Lent, being consumed by those who could not afford to pay for the price of fish. It then gained popularity in the Russian court and while receiving supplies from the Cossacks of the Volga River, Catherine the Great spread its popularity in European courts, thus obtaining its current status and glamour.
    Engraving of sturgeon fishing at the Volga River, 1676.
  5. In Italy, caviar used to be sold in apothecaries, and in the United States it was so common that it used to be sold in bars to make customers thirsty (which is the purpose of peanuts today).
  6. In the middle of the XX century, sturgeon exploitation to obtain caviar was so high that they were on the brink of extinction. Russia began with captive breeding systems and Iran took the first steps towards preserving the species, being today one of the largest caviar producers in the world.
  7. In the year 1968 in Paris, during a party at the famous cabaret Auverge D’Amaille, a 28-year-old singer, Dominique Varga was crowned as “Caviar Queen”. The price was her own weight in caviar!
    Dominique Varga tasting her price

Did you know that Kenoz produces the southernmost caviar in the world?