Caviar (Hardcover) by Saffron, Inga
Hardcover; Published 10/4/2002; 256 Pages; ISBN 9780767906234
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An exotic, captivating history of this most glamorous of gourmet delicacies.
Today caviar is renowned as a gourmet delicacy, but few realize that is became a luxury food only in recent times. In Caviar, Inga Saffron tells, for the first time, the story of how virgin eggs of the prehistoric-looking sturgeon were transformed from a humble peasant food into a czar's delicacy--and ultimately a coveted status symbol for a rising middle class. She explores how the glistening black eggs became a culinary extravagance, while taking readers on a revealing excursion into the murky world of caviar on the banks of the Volga River and Caspian Sea in Russia, the Elbe River in Europe, and the Hudson and Delaware Rivers in the United States. Saffron describes how the complex caviar industry has spawned, illustrating the unfortunate consequences of mass marketing such a rare commodity.
The story of caviar has long been one of conflict, crisis, extravagant claims, and colorful characters, such as the Greek sea captain who first discovered the secret method of transporting the perishable delicacy to Europe, the canny German businessmen who encountered a wealth of untapped sturgeon in American waters, the Russian Communists who created a sophisticated cartel to market caviar to an affluent Western clientele, the dirt-poor poachers who eked out a living from sturgeon in the aftermath of the Soviet collapse and the criminal gangs that have risen in their wake, and the committed scientists who sacrificed their careers to keep caviar on the table.
Filled with, lore and intrigue, Caviar is a captivating world of culinary, natural, and cultural history.
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