Often called the world’s most expensive seafood and once reserved for royalty, according to the Caviar Guide the term caviar comes from the Turkish word havyar, which in turn was derived from the Iranian word khayah. While many people use “caviar” to describe any kind of fish egg, true caviar comes only from sturgeon —a group of about 25 species of fish including Beluga, Osetra and Sevruga— which produce some of the finest varieties in the world.
One purveyor providing unsurpassed collections is The Caviar Company. Founded in 2015 by entrepreneurial sisters Petra and Saskia Bergstein, the San Francisco based company distributes some of the best hand-selected and sustainably harvested caviar currently available. With several years experience representing the industry at prestigious culinary events such as Pebble Beach Food & Wine, 34th America’s Cup, and an E! Network special, “Billionaire’s Toys”, Petra was determined to study caviar farming “from the ground up” before founding the company.
“Saskia and I are committed to sourcing caviar of the highest quality and consistency, so it was important for me to understand the entire process first hand.” Working on an aqua farm Petra learned sturgeon processing and spawning —from hatching, swimming into the tanks and maturing at 1-2 years old, to determining sex and performing biopsies. Today, the Bergstein sisters source their caviar from premium aquaculture farms, including a White Sturgeon farm just outside Sacramento, California and an Osetra farm in Israel, to guarantee consistently superior caviar.
At The Caviar Company we deem it our duty to conduct business with absolute transparency, great care for the planet and undeniable reliability.
Creating collaborative partnerships with chefs to build brand exposure, Saskia says that coming from Texas as ‘steak with sauce on the side girls’ they are thrilled to be working alongside talents such as Chef Bam Liu of Leo’s Oyster Bar and Chef Val Cantu of Californios in San Francisco to expand caviar’s culinary potential. In addition to partnering with fine dining establishments Petra says the ultimate goal is really about making caviar approachable for everyone. “Caviar still has somewhat of a stuffy reputation – we want to make it light, playful and modern. It doesn’t have to be unduly expensive either. We offer a 10 gram sized tin, which is a more affordable option than buying an entire ounce. With so much variety she says it’s important to explore color, texture, and flavor profiles in order to find out which selections you prefer. “We also offer caviar flights where customers can pick three different varieties which interest them, all for a similar price as a 1 oz. jar.”
Our mission: to start a trend for modern, sexier caviar.
The eleven varieties currently featured on The Caviar Company Selection Sheet (Osetra, Kaluga Hybrid, Imperial White Sturgeon, Royal White Sturgeon, Classic White Sturgeon, Hackleback, Paddlefish, Whitefish, Trout Roe, Salmon Roe, Smoked Trout Roe), can be hand delivered in the San Francisco area or shipped across the country. In addition, the Bergstein sisters offer a bespoke Caviar Concierge service, where guests enjoy a personally curated and hosted event by the sisters themselves with personally tailored caviar tasting flights, pairing notes and wine.
Petra’s Favorite Selection & Tasting Notes:
My top three caviars for a tasting would be Imported Russian Osetra, Royal California White Sturgeon, and Paddlefish. Each product has very different characteristics from the other. I start with the Royal California White Sturgeon, which is a nice entry product with beautiful, easy to enjoy flavors. From there I go to Paddlefish, which comes from the Tennessee River – the eggs are noticeably different in size and color and because they eat off the bottom of the river. You can taste those earthy notes, which are very different to the creaminess of the White Sturgeon. I always finish with the best, the Imported Russian Osetra. The Osetra is rich and decadent with oils and flavors – I call it the ‘Kobe Beef’ of caviar. It is certainly an indulgence that makes you feel like you are treating yourself.
Saskia’s Favorite Selection & Tasting Notes:
My favorite flight is the Classic White Sturgeon, the Paddlefish, and the Kaluga Hybrid. It offers the perfect preview of a domestic farmed, domestic wild and an imported farmed. The Classic White Sturgeon is mild, creamy and easily enjoyed by all levels of caviar expertise and sets a wonderful baseline for everything else that follows. The Paddlefish is a wonderful follow up to the Classic: it has a very distinctively different look and flavor profile which offers a bolder, more mineral forward flavor. To finish the Kaluga Hybrid is the ultimate palate pleaser. It boasts complex flavors and a bold texture that creates a feeling of decadence and luxury.
In celebration of National Caviar Day on Monday, July 18 The Caviar Company will be holding a special event at Twenty Five Lusk in San Francisco for industry, influencers and media between 6 – 8 p.m. Partnering with Dom Perignon and Ruinart, who will be pouring from magnums of champagne throughout the event, guests will also sample caviar bites from Twenty Five Lusk’s new caviar menu. While this year’s party is invite-only, the Bergstein sisters aim for it to become an annual event with tickets available to purchase in advance.
For additional details about The Caviar Company, their Caviar Concierge and bespoke Caviar Delivery Service please visit thecaviarco.com, or call (415) 910-6774 for more information.