Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
How Russian Sturgeon Caviar Is Farmed and Processed — How To Make It

How Russian Sturgeon Caviar Is Farmed and Processed — How To Make It

– Today we’re learning how caviar is made. From Sturgeon! Ooh. Russian sturgeon produce
one of the most expensive and sought-after caviar,
and it’s almost always imported from Russia and Europe. You usually don’t find it
raised in the US at all, but Marshallberg Farms is
producing top quality caviar in North Carolina, using
sustainable aquaculture to raise the species,
decreasing the demand on wild populations for this most profitable and high demand delicacy. – Hello! – Hi Sabine nice to meet you! – Hi nice to meet you,
welcome to Marshallberg Farm! – Thank you! – This is product from
four different females, so you can see how different. This is the same species for
all the Russian sturgeon, that’s a superior grade right
there that you’re having. – So this is the top grade, superior? – Yeah. – I mean for people that
have not had caviar, it’s sort of what you’d
expect by looking at it. They’re these tiny little
burst in your mouth eggs that are just so fresh
and delicate and firm and just kind of pop. It’s so delicious. – We raise Russian sturgeon in here. Russian sturgeon is one out
of 27 species of Sturgeon. – Beluga is top tier, and
this is Ossetra, right? – Ossetra, correct. – Which is still up there,
really highly regarded. – So those are fingerlings right here. This is where we first add the fish into. It’s better to put them in a smaller tank, because you have better control over them. – How long does the process
take from start to finish? – About seven years,
it’s a very long process. – So, does that essentially
mean that every seven years you are starting over? – Well out of a whole tank
of females at seven years, we may harvest 10 or 20
percent that have the quality and the standard that we
want, the rest we will let go into another cycle, and then
look at them the next year. – They start in here, and
then once they’re big enough they’re transferred to the
tanks in the other room? – Yes, and then when they’re
ready at about seven years, then we can take some females
out, stage them and harvest. And we try to harvest only
what we feel is the top quality that can compare to wild-caught product. That’s essentially what
we’re trying to do, we want to counter wild-caught Sturgeon. Marshallberg Farms believes
that farming sturgeon can help wild populations survive. So you can’t see from the
outside what a sturgeon is, if it’s a male or a female, you know. – Interesting. – It’s just a mystery, so
you have to look inside of the sturgeon, you have to
screen them with ultrasound. – You’re pulling fish
out by hand, one by one, and ultrasounding them? – Yes? – They’re huge, they’re like mini sharks. And I have to stick my
hands in there. (laughs) – Walk like a farmer. (laughs) – Like. – Yeah there you go. (laughs) This is James Harwick from Metallica. (laughing) – Decided to take up fish farming. (laughing) – So we’re just kind of like, taking the nose up, super easy. – Just like that. – I’m terrified I’m gonna drop one. – You got it. Pick it up, pick it up. – Go go go go! Don’t give up. – Hold on hold on. – I don’t wanna drop it! Five hours later. – Quick quick quick quick quick! – Now hold it tight, hold it tight! – Woo! (cheering) – We use an electric current
to calm the fish down, it’s a little tingle. – Yeah it’s so slight. – You take them out and
they’re awake, so that’s why we don’t like to use sedatives or CO2, this is really the best method. – There you go, good job. We’re looking at the muscle,
right here, that’s the muscle. Underneath is the gonad, right there, so that shows me the white
frickly stuff is that that female is not ready yet. That one might have something, maybe. You stick a little, you
see the eggs right there? So that one’s not ready
yet, but she’s close. – She already has eggs,
they’re starting to get some coloration to them, so we’re
gonna probably look at this one again in two to three months. – Big fish. – Here you see the eggs,
see how this is all the way filled, on the
other one it was kind of ended here and you saw all
the guts on the bottom. Here this fish is completely
packed full with eggs. So now we’re gonna do
a biopsy here as well. You see, this one is more
of an amber color here. – So the color’s different. – Oh it’s always different. It’s nothing that we can really influence, the color is what it is. And you can see egg size
is nice, we want them to be more than two and a half. They’re good. They’re good to go! So this is our staging
facility, staging meaning purging the fish from any adverse taste that may be present in the eggs. – So they’re being put
in cleaner water or? – Yes. There’s always a concern
about animal welfare in fish farming, you will
not achieve your goal of a high quality product
without keeping your fish happy. They’re ready to go pretty
much, we make sure that throughout the staging process
they have not reabsorbed their eggs and the quality is still good. If they have, it’s not a
huge deal, we put them back into the conduction
tank, we feed them again, and we just have to wait
another year or two. – So you are saying that
if they’re stressed out in any way, they will reabsorb their eggs? – Exactly. – So how are they euthanized? – So we use stunning,
remove them from the tank, we use a hammer and we
hit them right away. So it’s a matter of five seconds
and the fish is euthanized, so if you think about
it, in wild fisheries, how do they do it? They throw them on a
boat, and they suffocate. And we’re going to transfer
this to a bowl of ice. That is the row. – So then what do you do with the fish? – We try to use everything. – That’s really important. – First thing, is the
swim bladder right here, you can use that for isinglass. It’s very popular in beer filtering and also restoration of paintings. And then we utilize all
other kinds of parts, you know the whole fish, the meat. – You’re selling the
meat of the fish as well, – Yes. – How many will you harvest within a day? – Up to 14. – Oh wow. It’s more firm than I thought. What’s the grading system? – We only have two major
grades and that’s the superior that’s our highest grade and the classic. The superior has the largest
egg, typically lighter shades, and a very firm texture after salting. Now the classic still, they’re
just a little bit softer in texture and they tend to be
a little darker in egg shade. – How much do you sell your premium? – So the at whole sale price
we sell it for $1300 a kilo, and then retail it’ll be much more. And then the classic goes for $950 a kilo. Some distributors, some restaurants, and then we have a retail
shop for customers. Now we are going to rinse this. Lisa over here is gonna calculate salt. 80 and I wanna verify that. 80, verified. – And what kind of salt is this, it’s super fine. – Its a mine salt. And now its the time
when you kind of decide the initial grade. – It’s so, so good. It’s firm and like, tiny little bursts. Amber, 2.5. So it has kind of a brownish touch to it, and firm that’s just for the texture, ’cause it does pop in the mouth, it doesn’t like easily mush. – You were mentioning some
people like to age their caviar. – Mhm, yes so the aging process
does make quite a difference in the flavor of the product. That is very typical,
that the caviar gets aged to about three months typically. – How much does that sell for? – Will go for between $950 and
$1300, so this is a kilogram. You don’t absolutely do not
want any air in this tin. If that happens, what’s
gonna happen a month later is it’s going to literally
start tasting very fishy. – This is like a caviar snow cone. – It is. (laughing) – Thank you so much for taking me through your facility today, it was a really rewarding special day. This has just, in a way
changed my view on farmed fish. – I think you did really well today. – Oh thank you. – You did a very good
job, you handled the fish. – Took a little while to
get those fish out of there. – You didn’t drop a fish. – For more How To Make It, click here.

100 comments on “How Russian Sturgeon Caviar Is Farmed and Processed — How To Make It

  1. I think she just ate $50,000 U$ worth of fish eggs on that cracker. I go and catch some carp and get my caviar for free.

  2. “You have to make sure the fish are not nervous so it doesn’t prolong the process” *stabs fish with screwdriver.

  3. They run a current of electricity through the fish so it can stun them ultra sound them?🤔 that's kinda fuked up. Why can't they jus do it the same way they do woman..

  4. Why TF do they actually kill the fish, they could save more money and life if they squeeze the eggs out…

  5. I love how calm they are about this procedure yet when you think about it they are killing a fish that was stuck in a tank for 8 years, basically a prison cell, stabs it whit a screwdriver to check for eggs, and if they have eggs, they gut the mother and eats its children or babies, thank god they are farming them because I don’t want to think that they fish them out of the wild to do the same thing

  6. I cant relate, I dont eat rich people food, I eat poor people food, not because I'm poor or anything 😅😬 ha ha ha ha😭

  7. If EA owned this company

    company: so do you want a little taste test

    Girl: yes please

    Company: 20 quid now

    Girl: bu..

    Company: you want it you buy it

  8. people are complaining about how this is harsh but they probably never learned how animals are being treated in factory farms

  9. It's amazing what they like to call a biopsy!!! WOW! I would love for her to get stabbed in the stomach while she was pregnant with her babies and then let's just call it a "biopsy"! No big deal!

  10. Why the metal spoon, its very wrong to use any kind of metal to put the Caviar in a can…… to maintain the perfect taste

  11. Where I live the type of sturgeon we have are protected and it’s illegal to kill them, you can only catch and release them.

  12. Luckily what people don’t understand is fish do not actually have the capacity to feel pain so though cramped they aren’t hurt

  13. I’m sad that fish die and that they are going extinct because of this. I almost started crying. I hate people that do this to fish.

  14. When you think about it the fish kinda get a better life rather than having to be attacked by predators and having to look for its own food

  15. "Euthanasia (Wikipedia) – is the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering."….No comment.

  16. This video contains animal abuse. I am fine with farming and then quickly killing an animal (with minimal to no pain caused to the animal) but a video of someone stabbing an animal in the belly with a screw driver should not be on this website.

  17. I wonder what happens to the male fishes are they euthanized at birth just to keep the population in check

  18. I think it’s gross to eat eggs from fish 🤢 secondly I hate what they are doing with the fish they get it from 😡

  19. Wow that's absolutely fascinating. I'm glad there are sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions to problems. The thing is, if you take away something like this, even worse happens to the environment long term.

  20. 1:36 I’m a fish biologist and aquatic toxicologist and in all the years I’ve kept fish in large aquaria I’ve never heard anyone say keeping fish in a smaller tank gives better control. Normally everything that can go wrong in keeping fish (healthily) does when stocking density is high. Such as stress, disease, infestations, skin erosion, deformity, reduced growth rates & poor performance in other nutritional parameters such as feed efficiency, changes to behaviour (inc. bullying, swimming and quiescence), poor water quality etc etc.

  21. aaaand I'm never gonna sample whatever 'exotic' dish that some chef is gonna offer. Five star or not, just give me my chicken.

  22. I remember watching a video about a Russian method or company that would harvest the caviar in a more humane way. Instead of killing the fish they would press the fish’s belly and the eggs would come out through the fish’s hole at the rear end. This is not the video but the process is the same

  23. They say that if you use a metal spoon to eat caviar it will change the taste…

    Uses metal in almost every step…

  24. When we have a lot of sturgion farm it will be removed from endangered specie list. Just like pigs which is farmed and has a number so far away from endangered levels

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