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“Caviar is a delicacy consisting of salt-cured fish-eggs of the Acipendseridae family. The roe can be “fresh” or pasteurized (pasteurization reduces its culinary and economic value). Traditionally, the term caviar refers only to roe from wild sturgeon in the Caspain region (Beluga, Ossetra and Sevruga caviars).
Depending on the country, caviar may also be used to describe the roe of fish such as salmon, steelhead, trout, lumpfish, whitefish, and other species of sturgeon. Caviar is considered a delicacy and is eaten as a garnish or a spread.
What about the fresh roe from wild bluegills in the D’Arbonne Region of northern Louisiana? I call it bluegiliar.
That’s right, the roe (okay, it’s fish eggs) of a fresh caught bluegill right along the banks of Lake D’Arbonne. I know. I’m going to hear about this. Who eats fish eggs? Well, I learned this family tradition from my dad. When you are cleaning bream in the summer, you often find them with healthy egg pouches. You can clean those up, salt them overnight and fry the little morsels in corn meal right along with your fish. Yes it has a salty taste with a mealy texture, but it’s better than a lot of those things you see them have to eat on CHOPPED on the food channel. Or goo balls. Bream spawn several times a year, so there are multiple opportunities.
Two quick notes:
1. Safety warning: Frying bream eggs, I mean bluegiliar, requires a little extra care. They pop in the grease because of the high water content. But the real pop comes when they hit your mouth and you wish there were more.
2. If you throw these tasty morsels away, first consider this: The most expensive of all caviaris ‘Almas’, from the Iranian Beluga fish. A pound of this fresh regularly sells for $10,000 a pound or more. Almas is produced from the eggs of a rare albino sturgeon between 60-100 years old.