Caviar alternatives

26 January 2006
Caviar alternatives

Spain's Pescaviar developed Avruga, a product made from wild herring with a little added salt and lemon juice. The black beads have a smoky flavour and have no colourings, so won't bleed colour. It costs less than 10% of the price of the cheapest Sevruga and, once opened, a jar can be used for up to 15 days.

Price about £5-£7 for 100g
Available from WG White, MacKenzie Bros

Made in Spain from herring, Onuga has small, shiny black beads with a smooth texture and a clean, fresh, salty flavour, no artificial additives or preservatives, and a long refrigerated shelf-life. Available in 50g, 100g and 500g jars.

Price about £3.50 for 50g
Available from Land & Sea, MacKenzie Bros

Keta is from the roe of the Pacific salmon which produces eggs slightly larger than the sturgeon's. The firm, juicy beads are bright in colour, ranging from red to pale orange and have a delicate salmon flavour.

Price about £5-£9.90 for 100g
Available from Leathams, MacKenzie Bros , WG White

Lumpfish caviar is from lumpfish harvested in the North Atlantic. The very small, crisp eggs have a salty and strong fishy flavour and added colour. The product is available in black or red.

Price about £2.50-£3 for 100g
Available from Leathams, MacKenzie Bros, WG White

Used in Sushi dishes, Tobiko is the roe harvested from the flying fish of Iceland. The small eggs have a crunchy texture and are slightly sweet and mildly salty in flavour. The natural colour is orange although it's available in other colours, including green, flavoured with wasabi, and black.

Price around £20-£25 for 500g
Available from MacKenzie Bros, Tazaki Foods

Cavi-art A vegetarian product approved by the Vegetarian Society, Cavi-Art is made in Denmark from seaweed. It comes in red or black and the small beads are mildly salty in taste and will not bleed colour. It is 100% cholesterol-free, has a low salt content and a 24-month shelf life.

Price about £1-£1.20 per 100g
Available from The Orkney Herring Company

There's not a great deal of farmed caviar around and it's not cheap. Farm-raising sturgeon is a long process but it is being done in France, Italy, Israel and California. White sturgeon seems the most popular for farming, but there is a company using Russian sturgeon. The eggs from the white surgeon tend to be similar in size to Oscietra and dark grey.

Price about £1,000 per kg
Available from WG White, King's Caviar and Fine Food


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