Sturgeons have been farmed in North America for caviar production since 1994. Today, many varieties of sturgeons are sustainably farm-raised in the United States in an effort to satisfy demand for the luxury of fine caviar while also remaining environmentally responsible. By not contributing to wild fishing of sturgeons in the Caspian Sea region, where overfishing has put sturgeons in a population nosedive, these American sturgeon farms are opting to take an environmentally friendly route to producing fine, gourmet caviar.
There are currently 8 known species of American sturgeon, making their homes throughout the United States from Mississippi River basins, to the rivers of Idaho and Montana, to the San Francisco Bay Estuary, and beyond. Hackleback caviar, harvested from Shovelnose sturgeons that originate in Illinois and Kentucky, is a favorite variety owing to its deep black pearls and dry, accessible flavor. In addition to U.S.-based farms raising some native varieties of sturgeons, recent years have found these farms raising non-native varieties as well, including the Siberian sturgeon, in an effort to sustainably and responsibly raise the most desirable imported sturgeons here in the United States in environments created specifically to mimic their foreign waters.
American sturgeons have been part of this country’s history since time immemorial. The natives of North America were known for fishing sturgeons as a source of both meat and roe, a practice that later caught on with European settlers. It is even documented that George Washington fished sturgeon for sport in the Potomac River in the 1700s. Indeed, the story of America is significantly intertwined with that of domestic sturgeons.
Today, you can buy American sturgeon caviar online— American caviar is enjoyed both throughout the country and abroad as a luxury product. In fact, some varieties are becoming widely sought-after due to their rich flavor profiles that mimic those of Sevruga caviars. While American sturgeon caviar remains a lesser-known cousin to those imported from abroad, it is nonetheless an exquisite treat that brings the best elements of foreign caviars together with a dedication to sustainable farming practices.