Seafood Species Definitions
(Acipenser Guendstanddi) Osetra Sturgeon
The Osetra Sturgeon (Oscietra, Ossetra, Asetra) is the second most well-known caviar-producing sturgeon, after the famed Beluga (Huso huso).
Along with the Beluga, the Sevruga, and the Sterlet, the Osetra is one of the original Caspian Sea caviar-producing sturgeon.
A prehistoric fish
The Guedenstadii is a member of the sturgeon (Acipenseridae) family. An ancient fish that hasn’t changed in appearance for millions of years.
The Osetra is a medium-sized sturgeon (growing to 300 pounds) when compared to the Beluga which can grow to 2000 pounds and 20 feet in length. Because the Osetra is a smaller fish than the Beluga, their eggs are smaller.
A female Osetra sturgeon can reproduce between the ages of 10-16. A lengthy period, which explains why wild stocks of this fish have been particularly vulnerable to overfishing.
Wild osetra stocks
Due to overfishing and the loss of breeding sites, the wild Osetra sturgeon population has plummeted. In the last 50 years, the wild stocks of the Osetra have declined by 90%, placing the species on the critically endangered list.
Attempts have been made to help repopulate the species. Russia and Iran released millions of osetra fingerlings into the Caspian Sea starting in the late 1970s. In part because of poaching, however, the wild stocks have not bounced back.
Where does osetra caviar come from now?
Aquafarms are now the source of osetra caviar on the United States market. Many of these caviar-farms raise fingerlings of osetra sturgeon directly taken from wild Caspian Sea broodstock.
Examples of farms producing osetra caviar include:
- Royal Belgian Caviar Company (Belgium)
- Caviar Galilee (Israel)
- Giaveri Caviar (Italy)
- Imperial Caviar (China)
The osetra sturgeon produces caviar of exceptional quality.
The color can vary from bronze to striking gold, to even black. For example, our Imperial Osetra caviar has a rare bright gold color, whereas the Prime Osetra caviar from Galilee has a much darker pearl.
The texture of the Osetra caviar is firmer than that of other sturgeon species, such as the Siberian. You should be able to feel each pearl individually burst on your tongue.
Typically described as having nutty overtones and a smooth finish, the Osetra has an especially pleasing taste.
Browne Trading Osetra
Browne Trading currently offers 5 Osetra caviar varieties: