If you are a caviar fan, then you probably know by now that caviar comes in a whole range of colours - orange, red, brown, black and even blue. Black beluga sturgeon caviar is often cited as the most expensive caviar in the world, but for a truly exclusive caviar experience, you're going to want to try the ultimate of all caviars: white caviar.
What is white albino sturgeon caviar?
White caviar is the roe of albino sturgeon. A few types of white caviar can be found, the most precious being Iranian albino beluga sturgeon caviar, often referred to as 'Almas' caviar.
The roe for Almas caviar is extracted from the rare albino beluga sturgeon that is only found in the pristine waters of the Caspian and black seas. These sturgeons are usually between 60 and 100 years old, the older fish preferred for having a more aromatic and softer roe.
Caviar from albino sterlet sturgeons caught in Belgium is also white, similar in appearance to white beluga caviar. Sterlet sturgeon roe is usually ranked second to that of beluga sturgeon's which tends to have a creamier and richer taste; the same applies to the white variation from albino fish.
The most expensive caviar in the world?
Albino sturgeons are a rarity in the wild, occurring to a small percentage of sturgeons due to a genetic disorder that inhibits the production of melanin. The scarcity of albino sturgeons has made it a delicacy enjoyed by just the few who can afford its exorbitant price tag that can run up to tens of thousands of dollars a kilo - almost three times the price of black beluga sturgeon caviar.
But the official record at Guinness didn't stop a father and son duo in Austria from making it even more ridiculously unaccessible - by lacing it with 24-carat gold they have come up with a cool price tag of $100,000 for anyone willing to have a go at it.
Don’t get this precious caviar confused with white snail caviar - opaque, pearl white in colour, snail eggs are also used in gourmet dishes but are an entirely different beast. Packaged and sold in similar caviar tubs, snail caviar has an earthy, mushroom-like flavour with beads that are slightly larger than trout roe and a firmer texture.
Love caviar? You ought to know how to treat it properly. Check out our piece on how to eat and serve caviar correctly.