Luxury food in Asia: Bijoux Caviar, harvested in China, supplied to the world
From China to the world, we take a look at what makes this caviar brand stand out from the rest
Caviar farming began in China in the 1970s. Before that, in Imperial China, wild sturgeon were caught and harvested for caviar in the Heilongjiang or Black Dragon River in the frigid northeast of China, bordering Russia. Sturgeon is rigorously protected in China under the CITES convention since the 1980s, and is cherished and regarded as the “panda of the seas”. There are farms all across China producing caviar of varying qualities, but the global fine dining elite unanimously consider high-quality Chinese caviar to be the best in the world at this point in time, and its quality is only set to improve further.
Many renowned caviar brands actually get 100 percent of their caviar supply from China. Bijoux Caviar, one of the rising stars in caviar suppliers to high-end restaurants, hotels and other establishments in Europe and the Middle East, harvests its sturgeon in four enchanting locations in western China: Pengzhou, Xinjiang, Xichang and Dujiangyan. The first three farms are new and use large lakes to rear the sturgeon in semi-wild conditions. Dujiangyan is a protected compound due to its historical importance. Here, 2,500 years ago, the world’s oldest continuously used irrigation system was created and is set amidst ancient architecture. The sturgeon farmed are from the Kaluga and Amur breeds and a small amount from Almas Beluga. Almas Imperial, which means “diamond” in Persian, comes from the Beluga Sturgeon and is by far the most exclusive breed.
It can cost twice as much as gold and almost all of it goes to Middle Eastern royals. Bijoux Caviar typically attains one to two kilograms of this per year. Both Kaluga and Amur caviar from Bijoux Caviar are of extremely high quality and can be considered the best in the world. The main reason for the difference in price lies in the greater rarity and demand for Kaluga caviar, the longer maturation period for Kaluga sturgeon as compared to Amur, and the larger size of the Kaluga pearls and slightly richer.
Both Kaluga and Amur caviar from Bijoux Caviar are of extremely high quality and can be considered the best in the world. The main reason for the difference in price lies in the greater rarity and demand for Kaluga caviar, the longer maturation period for Kaluga sturgeon as compared to Amur, and the larger size of the Kaluga pearls and slightly richer flavour, which can best be appreciated when tasted alongside the brand’s Amur caviar. Kaluga is the exemplar of Chinese caviar and produces the largest pearls available, due to Beluga becoming extinct and illegal to source. The Amur breed is similar in flavour to Kaluga and is named after the Russian name for the Black Dragon Lake where they originate from. Both offer a rich and full taste and are excellent to pair with gourmet chocolate and Champagne.
What makes Bijoux Caviar unique is the pearl’s colour being of a glistening emerald shade and the shape being large and well rounded. They have a rich, multi-layered and multifaceted aroma while being tight and pert which means they burst open, rather than inferior caviar which is soggy, wrinkly and indistinct in shape and semi-watery. Finally compared to many inferior types of caviar currently available, Bijoux Caviar has a buttery taste and is not too salty due to being 100 per cent malossol. The processing facilities where the caviar is extracted from the sturgeon is of a standard of cleanliness that rivals surgical theaters and watchmaking facilities. Add to this the fact that they are raised in unparalleled terroir, in unspoilt nature away from any hint of pollution, and you get the high-quality pearls and sturgeon meat that can be eaten raw after they are harvested.
When eating this fine delicacy one should use a mother-of-pearl or horn spoon as you do not want the metals leaving a metallic taste in your mouth. Bijoux Caviar commissioned the French Haute orfèvrerier Christofle to produce a sterling silver Caviar Server and horn spoon with silver handle, with the Bijoux Caviar seal engraved by hand on them, specifically for their clients to fully enjoy the caviar at home. The brand’s caviar also has to be kept between negative three degrees and three degrees Celsius, and thus should be served in a crystal bowl atop ice. One then takes the spoon and scoops it onto the outer palm of their hand to eat, essential for getting the full flavour. You can also eat it accompanied by bread, crackers, and truffles.
For those of you who need more of a reason to consume this fine food, it is also said to be great for your skin, as well as lowering one’s heart rate and with just one serving you’ll have all the vitamin B12 needed for an entire day. However, you must consume caviar regularly for these benefits, so talk to the guys at Bijoux Caviar to get your daily fix started today.