France and caviar is a love story! After all, the modern international fashion of Russian caviar was launched in Paris… France has even been producing caviar for over 100 years. Anecdotal in the 20th century, this production is now part of the world references!
France and wild caviar
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Gironde estuary was one of the last places in Western Europe populated by the European sturgeon (Acipenser Sturio). It is commonly fished between March and May and is a great delight for fishermen in the villages.
According to legend, around 1917, a Russian princess passed by Royan, hidden under an umbrella. She was scandalized to see a fisherman getting rid of the precious eggs. She gave him a recipe for caviar, which the fisherman immediately put into practice.
Initiated or not by this mysterious princess, several preparers then began to collect the sturgeon eggs and to salt them to transform them into caviar.
In the 1920s, under the aegis of Émile Prunier, a Paris restaurateur, Aquitaine caviar was delivered 24 to 48 hours after it was made and was enjoyed by the Parisian elite of the Roaring Twenties.
Following the testimonies of the time, this French caviar is of a great gastronomic quality – probably because of its freshness. Its price is almost equal to that of Russian caviar.
Caviar became more and more famous and the sturgeon gradually became an endangered species. Intensive sturgeon fishing soon depleted the natural resources. Russian and Iranian Beluga caviars have almost disappeared as well. A ban on capture in the Black and Caspian Seas was introduced in 2008 on these species (Washington Convention on endangered species).
This has allowed to develop another sector, that of farming, but not just any farming…
France and cultured caviar
Although wild caviar from Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran and Armenia made caviar’s reputation, this era is now over.
A victim of over-fishing and smuggling, wild sturgeon is now protected and the sale of its caviar has been banned. France pioneered sturgeon farming and has emerged as a major producer on the world caviar market. Some 25 tonnes of caviar are produced in France every year, which is highly prized by the world’s top restaurants.
The Aquitaine region, which produces almost 24 tonnes a year, is at the centre of this production. Six of the eight French caviar producers – including Sturia – are located in this region.
Sturia is the flagship brand of Sturgeon – the leading French caviar producer.
The company was set up near Bordeaux 20 years ago and has pioneered sturgeon farming in France. It produces around 12 tonnes of caviar a year, which is sold all over the world. Sturgeon is thus promoting French gastronomy’s international influence.
The Sturia caviar range offers a wide variety of sensations and the fresh, natural flavour of a remarkable product.
A tin of caviar on a bed of ice is all you need – Sturia caviar can be eaten on its own. You’ll love caviar’s roll-in-the-mouth eggs when you taste it in small spoonfuls.
Used in cuisine, caviar really enhances your dishes with the subtle iodine hints that have made its name with the greatest chefs.
Sturia has developed a whole range of caviar, from Jasmine, which is softer and less salty in the mouth, to Classic with a soft texture, to Primeur Vintage, roundness and firmness of the grains, and Origin, a powerful caviar.
Last week in Phnom Penh, Laurent Duleau, CEO of the Sturgeon company since 2011, knows what he is talking about when he mentions caviar…
Having imported Sturia exclusively for Topaz Restaurant for the past 12 years, Thalias Hospitality has strongly established the notoriety of Sturia in Cambodia, and welcomes the distribution at present by our partner Indoguna.