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Worldchefs News letter , take a look at

Have you read WORLDCHEFS Magazine issue 17?

If not start reading here.

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Following  Article is from Publication "Saveur" Thanks saveur.com  for Information only.

HOW AMERICA'S FINEST CAVIAR GETS MADE

In Idaho's Snake River Valley, local white sturgeon swim happily in a shining example of fish farming done right

from

Thomas Schauer

The pools at Leo Ray's sturgeon farm in Hagerman, Idaho are fed by crystal clear spring water.

"They like to have their noses rubbed," says seafood trader Rod Mitchell about the six-foot-long white sturgeon he held in his arms at a farm in Idaho’s Snake River Valley. “But they do not like to be lifted out of the water.” His cohort in this season’s caviar harvesting, chef Daniel Boulud, discovered this soon thereafter, as the sturgeon tail-splashed him in the face.

But for Boulud, it’s worth it: “It’s the finest American caviar you can get.”


Thomas Schauer

Chef Daniel Boulud and seafood trader Rod Mitchell nuzzle up to a white sturgeon in Idaho's Snake River Valley. The white sturgeon may be black in color, but they're so named for their pale white underbellies.

At aquaculturist Leo Ray’s sturgeon farm in Hagerman, Idaho, these otherwise gentle giants are well accustomed to such star treatment. “It’s a small, boutique-type farm,” says Boulud, “much like a small winery. It’s all very hand-crafted and they don’t produce a lot.” In addition to ample nose rubs, the sturgeon are treated to pools fed by a mix of glittering mountain streams and hot geothermal springs that cycle through and refresh themselves every five minutes before returning to the river.

The effect is twofold: The crystal-clear waters are never still or recirculated, so there’s never any algae build-up (which can result in a muddy-tasting caviar) and the sturgeon produce perfectly clean, rich roe.

Most sturgeon spend a good part of their life in brackish waters, like the osetra, sevruga, and beluga in the Caspian Sea, but the white sturgeon, native to the Pacific Northwest, has evolved to live out its days in freshwater rivers like the Snake. Due to extinction-threatening population levels, wild sturgeon are very rarely legally hunted for their caviar, but farming them offers a solution that also, at its best, merges effortlessly into the existing ecosystem. Because of the constant fresh water flow Boulud says, “it’s as if they’re swimming in the river.”


Thomas Schauer

At Leo Ray's sturgeon farm, a worker sucks the eggs out of the sturgeon's belly with a plastic tube to assess their ripeness.

The sturgeon here live pampered lives for often more than 12 years before they’re mature enough for their roe to be harvested. That’s a long wait for a return on investment, since you have to kill a sturgeon to extract the roe. The membranous egg sacs run all along the belly of the fish and in some cases can account for up to 25% of the sturgeon’s body weight. But at Leo Ray’s farm, and most sturgeon farms, any fish that are killed for their caviar are also processed and sold to fish markets, so nothing is wasted.


Thomas Schauer

Roe that is not quite ripe will have an undeveloped, fatty flavor—none of the crisp, clean brine that caviar enthusiasts prefer.

There is a sweet spot in timing too, usually about three days before the sturgeon would naturally lay the eggs herself. Wait until she lays them and the caviar will be too soft—the firm, poppable membranes caviar lovers prize so much break down to facilitate fertilization after the eggs are laid. But if you harvest too soon, the eggs will be undeveloped, too small, and overly fatty.


Thomas Schauer

The sturgeon eggs are lined up against a rule to measure for size and consistency, ensuring that they're ready for a proper harvest. The mature sturgeon is killed when the eggs are harvested, so there is no room for error.

To make sure they’re ready, the harvester must make a small incision in the sturgeon’s belly, insert a length of plastic tubing, and, using their mouth, suck a gloopy bundle of eggs out into the body of the tube. They’ll then spit them out into their hand and conduct an inspection, measuring them against a rule for optimum shape and size.


Thomas Schauer

A cut down the entire length of the sturgeon reveals the sacs of roe; the egg sacs can sometimes account for 25% of the full weight of the fish, and the percentage increases with the sturgeon's age.


Thomas Schauer

Daniel Boulud and Rod Mitchell examine a gigantic roe sac.

When the eggs are ripe, there’s no way around what comes next: A mallet to the head stuns the fish, and while it’s still alive, a slit is made all the way down the belly, exposing the bulging egg sacs. The sacs are stripped from the flesh and gently massaged into a sieve to separate the eggs from the membranes. After a quick rinse, the results are heaps of pearly forest-green proto-caviar, and impurities and imperfections are meticulously extracted with tweezers.


Thomas Schauer

The egg sacs are rubbed through a sieve to separate the roe from the membrane.


Thomas Schauer

Once the membrane is shedded, imperfections are meticulously culled with tweezers.

Once they’re perfectly clean, they’re salted and canned; caviar’s distinct brininess comes not from the salt water in the eggs themselves (which, in the case of Snake River’s white sturgeon, is none), but from a salt cure of 3.75% by volume. “Without the salt cure,” says Boulud, “the taste is a little too fatty and bland.” The curing time is up to the producer, but once the salt is folded into the roe, the resulting brine is drained, and the caviar is cured for a minimum of two to three weeks in the can before going up for sale.


Thomas Schauer

Gently salted caviar is packed into tins to cure.


Thomas Schauer

The shimmering mountain streams of the Snake River Valley contribute to the sturgeon roe's crisp, clean flavor.

The final product is, as Boulud says, America’s finest. The eggs are medium to large in size, and even at the one farm can range in color from slate grey to light amber to black. With the sturgeon fed on crustaceans and greenery, the body is distinctly bright, without a heavy fattiness, and the flavor is as clean and pure as the water that feeds them, a “delicate mushroom flavor,” according to Boulud.

Nearby, Boulud says, “a stream shoots out through the side of a mountain—the purest water I’ve ever seen, cascading down—it was surreal, and this is what feeds that farm.”



CAVIAR FARM VISIT

 

A little group of 3 cordon noireans from Thailand went last weekend to Chiang Mai to visit the Siberian sturgeon farm in the Royal Project ad Doi inchanon Mountain

 Our team at the view point all a bit chilly from lefts to right

Cindy, Nico, Hannes, Tanya, Kurt and Myself, pictures taken by my wife chitthip

This project was initiated by the King of Thailand over 25 years ago with the aim to provide a living for the hill tribes that were formerly farming Opium

Since 16 years they are having a Rainbow trout farm with an average of 6000 trout’s on hand and since 10 years they are farming also Siberian Sturgeon with the first results on Caviar last year. They are producing about 70-80 kilo caviar per year do to the poor marketing system.

The caviar is freshly taken from the fish once they have and order and will have about 900 – 1000 gram of caviar from each fish, them brined with only 3 % of salt, very mildly but have only a shelf life of 30-45 days

Our team got up 05. 00 in the morning and was driving almost 2 hours to the 2500 highest mountain in Thailand to see the sunrise at around 07.12 by only 0 degrees.

 But as soon the sun went up temperatures were raising to 16 C within 4 hours

After the visit we brought some sturgeon of rainbow trout caviar and sampled them at the restaurant on 2000 m above sea level, they also served sturgeon with garlic and pepper Thai style, and sturgeon with fruit salsa, as well as smoked rainbow trout

I brought along buckwheat blini’s and sour cream for the sampling and brought over 100 small blini’s and thought I made to many but all were eaten by us the manager of the farm and her colleague

We can only thank the Farm team for their great engagement to explain and showed us the farm, as well as Hannes Landolt for 

the great planning and organization of this trip, and we can only recommend this to anyone that may interested to do so, please 

let us know, we will give you more details

 




Rainbow Trout and White Russian Sturgen


Trout and Sturgeon Caviar

documentet by Cordon Noir  Executive Gourmet Marco Bruschweiler




Malaysia

13. December 2014


Cordon Noir Christmas Dinner
at the first Sturgeon Farm in Malaysia

take a look at this Link



Thailand
12 September 2014


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Cambodia

20-27 July 2014


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Christmas 2013



x mas suisse chalet 2013.html


Scotland


August 2013


1st Taiwan Cordon Noir Dinner
January 2013

taiwan.html



 Christmas Dinner Kuala Lumpur 57 Floor
take a look December 2012

cnchristmas12.html



Bangkok September 2012



4 Days 23-27 May 2012 Cordon Noir Abu Dabi
Cordon Noir at the F1 Course Yas Viceroy by Heiner Werdeling
see pics

http://www.cordonnoir.com/heiner.htm


click here
for Cordon Noir Spring Dinner
Kuala Lumpur
11.2.2012




link to our Caviar Media Page

 

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