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All About: Marshallberg Caviar

Let’s get real – Caviar is awesome but also intimidating.

Like choosing a bottle of wine from an extensive list, the choices are confusing and the often-steep price tag can mean that the stakes are HIGH. Add to that a history of smuggling, overfishing, and environmental degradation – it’s like, why bother with caviar at all!

At Island Creek, we’ve spent the past year dedicated to making sustainable caviar more approachable, affordable, and easier to slather on top of literally anything you can put in your mouth. Our first foray into the caviar world was with Sterling Farm’s earthy White Sturgeon caviar. A year later, we are now thrilled to introduce our second partnership with Marshallberg Farms and their osetra caviar!

Here’s everything you need to know about this beautiful product:

 

HOW IT TASTES

TASTE: clean and grassy, delicate like ocean mist, floral like jasmine, light mushroom umami

LOOK: glossy, lustrous pewter gray

TEXTURE: a bouncy ‘pop’

CURE AGE: 1-3 months (protip: the younger the caviar, the snappier the texture)

 

WHO IS MARSHALLBERG?

Marshallberg is the largest producer of Russian sturgeon and Osetra caviar in the country is located in North Carolina.

 

WHAT IS OSETRA CAVIAR?

Osetra is one of the most prized and finest-quality caviars available. Osetra comes from Russian sturgeon which is one of twenty-seven varieties of sturgeon.

 

FARMING METHOD

The aim of farm-raised caviar is to produce a product that is on par with the pristine quality of wild caviar. Therefore, Marshallberg strives to make the growing environment in their hatchery is as close to the fish’s natural habitat as possible.

-Marshallberg’s fish are kept at low densities in small tanks, making them easier to control and keep calm.

-Sturgeon can be harvested when they reach maturity at around 7 years of age

-Only 10-20% of mature fish are selected to ensure quality

-The sturgeon are purged in smaller, super clean tanks. This process results in an even cleaner tasting egg and is better for the wellbeing of the animal

-Killed via stunning which is the quickest and most humane method

 

CAVIAR MAKING PROCESS

1 – Rinsed – the eggs are harvested and cleaned

2 – Culled – sorted by size

3 – Mixed with fine salt

4 – Graded before being packed in tins – an airtight seal is important so that no air bubbles form, resulting in a fishy flavor

5 – Cured for 1-3 months (aging time effects flavor and texture)

 

SUSTAINABILITY & ANIMAL WELFARE: Happy fish equal happy caviar.

Not only is a peaceful growing environment humane, but it also positively impacts the quality of the caviar. A stressful environment can result in the sturgeon reabsorbing their eggs and delaying the harvesting process by months.

-The farm uses the whole animal and nothing goes to waste 

-No hormones, antibiotics, or preservatives

-Recirculating Aquaculture System –  minimize wastewater

 

The lengths that Marshallberg Farm goes through to provide perfection are thoroughgoing. Marshallberg is a no waste, no impact farm that controls the entire cycle of farming from start to finish. This is transparent farming at its finest, now available for overnight delivery from our Shop!