Before the ban on wild sturgeon caviar, Browne Trading was directly importing wild caviar from the Caspian Sea. Included in Browne Trading’s wild caviar selection was the Ossetra, Sevruga, and of course the famed Beluga Sturgeon caviar.
So, where does caviar come from today? The short answer is, nearly all sturgeon caviar available on the market today comes from sturgeon farms.
Browne helped pioneer the sourcing of farmed caviar in the mid-2000’s and brought much of it to the U.S. market, becoming, in the process, the only company in America that co-brands with caviar producers.
Located around the world, some of these sturgeon farms are producing caviar of quality that is getting close to the wild standard. Many of these farms have broodstock of sturgeon that originated in the Caspian Sea.
One of these sturgeon farms is Royal Belgian Caviar Company. Located in Belgium, Royal Belgian Caviar has become known for producing some of the highest quality caviar on the world market.
Who is Royal Belgian?
Royal Belgian began as a fish feed production company in the 1980s. When the company, in the late 80s, decided to specialize in sturgeon feed, the foundations began to be laid for what would eventually become the world leading caviar farm that exists today.
It was just a few years on, in the early 1990s, that head biologist Dr. Willy Verdonck, engaged in the breeding of sturgeon for caviar at the facility. The first results were yielded in 2002, which gave Royal Belgian the accolade of being the first caviar farm in Belgian.
Through years of intensive research, Dr. Verdonck managed to completely control the breeding cycle of some sturgeon species. From the fertilization of the egg up to the production of caviar, every step in the farm is meticulously controlled and monitored. This ensures an unrivaled and consistent quality to the Royal Belgian Caviars.
Dr. Verdonck is considered an international authority on the production of caviar, and it is his wife, Mia, that is entrusted with the final production of their caviar.
What makes Royal Belgian Caviar “Royal”
Producing pristine quality caviar that will satisfy even the most demanding of customers or chefs is not a simple task. Over the decades the experts at Royal Belgian have been perfecting their process. From the breeding to the feed, to the harvesting of the eggs, the Royal Belgian team have developed into world leaders in caviar cultivation.
A fundamental factor to the success of Royal Belgian has been their extensive knowledge and research on the optimal nutrition of sturgeon. This research was being refined in the late 1980s and, after decades of work, is now perfected. With the ideal feed, Royal Belgian sturgeon produce an egg quality that can compete with the traditional wild Russian caviars.
Another factor which ensures the quality of Royal Belgian’s caviar is the advanced methods they utilize to harvest and prepare their caviar. They begin the process by performing an ultrasound on the sturgeon. This ensures the sturgeon’s roe is of optimal quality and readiness.
Royal Belgian only harvest non-ovulated eggs, this is a traditional method which has been practiced over the centuries in the Caspian Sea region.
Once the caviar has been harvested, the team at Royal Belgian, in a specially designed production area, sieve, rinse and measure the eggs. They take extra care to ensure that the caviar from each sturgeon does not get mixed.
The Royal Belgian Caviar Selection
Browne Trading currently offer 4 different caviar selections from Royal Belgian.
- Siberian Caviar: Mildly sweet, almost buttery flavor
- White Pearl Caviar: extremely rare caviar which has a rich, buttery, creamy taste.
- Platinum: malossol (slightly salted) traditionally prepared caviar.
- Osetra: striking color with a pronounced and pleasing “nuttiness” to the taste.
We also offer the elite range of caviars as gift sets: