Caviar has been associated with luxury and success ever since these divine eggs were discovered in Astrakhan five hundred years ago. Originating from the “City of Caviar”, Volzhenka is driven by three key values – quality, authenticity, and sustainability – creating the world’s most exquisite caviar.
Caviar, an expensive delicacy that is known worldwide, is made by sieving and salting large fish roe. This dish has a grainy texture and it is usually served as an appetizer, garnish or spread. It is extremely perishable and must be refrigerated at once after getting the eggs from the fish. The caviar, according to those who have tasted it, has the consistency of butter that melts in your mouth and leaves a taste of fresh ocean. Good quality of fish roe for caviar can be found in the Caspian Sea, which is surrounded by Iran and Russia. The oldest Caviar fisheries, as much as 200 years old, are located in Astrakhan, Russia
The sturgeon fish existed on earth 250 million years back. They even outlived the dinosaurs. Currently, we have 20 major species of sturgeon. Sturgeons can be located in the northern hemisphere. They usually thrive in saltwater, but spawn in freshwater. The three well-known sturgeons can be found in the Caspian Sea. These are the Beluga, Russian and Stellate sturgeons. The three most expensive caviars are derived from these fishes. They are the Beluga, Osetra and Sevruga caviars, respectively.
Volzhenka Caviar: For generations, Volzhenka farm has been producing the best caviars and supplying purveyors of fine foods. Today, spearheaded by Ekaterina Bataeva, the family business is ready to launch its own brand: Volzhenka Caviar.
Praised by the Tsars
It all started in Astrakhan, on the river Volga, where Russian caviar was first extracted in the 16th century: praised by the Tsars, it came to be produced in large quantities and exported worldwide. The biggest farms were then run, under the Soviet Union, using wild-caught fish – which is now a forbidden process – ensuring a unique level of quality. Since a private take-over in 1991, the Volzhenka family farm is the only remaining one on the Russian Caspian Sea producing world-class Caspian Beluga caviar.
Rooted in history, the family farm draws its expertise from decades of seamless production. A role-model, Ekaterina Bataeva’s grandfather remains a celebrated figure for his outstanding contributions to the development of the Russian fishing industry as well as Sturgeons preservation in both Russia and the Caspian region.
Truly exceptional, Volzhenka Caviar stands out for its unique taste: one that recalls wild caviar.
“Our fish always stay in the natural vicinity, which is key to keeping quality exceptional. During winter months, the waters freeze and the fish hibernate close by: the hibernation process matures eggs that are altogether bigger, creamier and lighter in colour. If the fish are kept in tanks, or shallow waters, hibernation never occurs, thus killing the taste”, Ekaterina Bataeva explains.
Acquired through generations of family experience, the Volzhenka farm uses meticulous processing techniques and cutting-edge equipment. Sitting on the banks of the Volga River, a giant water divider is turned on every five years to refresh and protect the fish’s natural habitat. All sturgeons are also kept in half-open tanks: 11-metres deep, they welcome the flowing waters of the Volga River; “this ensures that sturgeons feed on natural fodder and spawn, like in the wild”, Bataeva adds.
Sustainability at Heart: Driven by ecological responsibility, the Volzhenka farm has become known for the authenticity of its product and sustainable approach. Committed to producing the highest quality caviar, the farm breeds some of the world’s rarest sturgeons (Beluga sturgeon, Russian Oscietra, Siberian sturgeon and Sevruga). Long lineage and pure heritage are at the heart of the brand’s culture. With many species becoming endangered like the Sevruga sturgeon, Volzhenka safeguards future generations of wild sturgeons: part of the produced roe is given away for cultivation. To this date, Volzhenka has also released over 44 million juvenile sturgeons into the Caspian Sea basin, thus regenerating the species’ wild population.
Named after the female inhabitants of the banks of the Volga River, Volzhenka embraces its region and Russian heritage. Suppliers of the best Russian caviar, the brand accounts for 30% of Russia’s production: “While other retailers are recognized for the quality of their products, they source it from producers. At Volzhenka, our seal of quality and expertly controlled production enables us to stand out on the global market”. Today Ekaterina Bataeva is eager to introduce Russia’s finest luxury caviar brand to the UK and grow internationally.
The luxury brand, produces a family of caviar that includes Beluga caviar, Russian Oscietra, Siberian sturgeon and Sevruga.
- Beluga caviar is considered the Queen of the Caspian Sea and the best caviar in the world. It is produced by a rare breed of fish (Beluga sturgeon), which only gives caviar every 3 to 4 years once it has reached 17 years of age. The eggs are big (3.6 millimetres) and bear a unique grey colour. Tasting note: The eggs are smooth with melting creamy texture, lightly buttered, soft with a medium lasting taste. Beluga is the most exclusive caviar on the market at only 10% of the global production. The ultimate indulgence, it is cherished by caviar connoisseurs across the globe.
- Russian Oscietra is produced by Osetra sturgeons when they reach 15 to 20 years. The eggs are smaller and can be recognised by their distinctive golden and amber reflection with pleasantly firm texture. The taste is rich and creamier with long-lasting hazelnut-infused flavour.
- Siberian sturgeon reaches maturity at 10 or 15 years old. Considered a great caviar, Siberian sturgeon varies from a dark grey to light brown colour; the eggs are smaller and taste saltier.
- Sevruga caviar reaches maturity around 7 or 9 years old. Previously it was considered a cheap caviar due to its tiny eggs, but with such a world shortage of Sevruga sturgeons, the caviar is now priced higher than ever. Bearing a light grey to charcoal colour, it is salty and full in taste.
Each variety of caviar is available in traditional sizes of 30g, 50g, 125g, 250g and 500g.
OPULENT BOILED OYSTERS WITH BELUGA CAVIAR AND CHAMPAGNE SAUCE
- 125 grams Beluga caviar
- 12 raw oysters in shells
- 300 ml fish stock (broth)
- 300ml champagne
- 2 tablespoons of cream, suitable for whipping
- 50 g of butter, divided into blocks
- Salt and pepper
Wash the oysters and open them above the plate to save as much oyster juice from the shells as possible. Cut the oysters from the shells. Pour the oyster juice from the shells, add fish stock and champagne into a saucepan and sprinkle in some spices of your choice. Boil and simmer until the volume is reduced to approximately 300ml. Add two tablespoons of cream and stir until boiling. Dip the oysters in the sauce for one minute, remove with a slotted spoon and keep them warm so that the oysters cool down slowly. Strain the sauce, pour it back into the saucepan and boil again. Remove from the heat, add the butter and beat until the sauce is sumptuously smooth. Pour in a glass of champagne and continue whipping until the sauce becomes light. Put a layer of rock salt on a serving dish. Spread half of the pre-washed shells on the salt and place the oysters on each of the shells. Pour the sauce over each oyster and garnish the top with a teaspoon of divine Beluga caviar.
For further information: www.volzhenka.com