Caspian Sea caviar is the most superb and expensive food in the world. It is the roe of certain species of fish, which are called sturgeon. The process to catch and harvest caviar is very time-consuming and difficult. Caviar is also known as a black pearl because of its appearance and high-price. It is famous as one of the Iranian dishes because the Caspian Sea is the largest source of sturgeon in the world. Iran supplies about 90% of the world's caviar.
Sturgeons are special and rare species of fish that are descended from the Acipenseridae family that dates back to the Jurassic period some several hundred million years ago; therefore they are called live fossils. They encompass 25 species which only three of them are harvested for their roe. These tree species are Beluga, Ossetra, and Sevruga which are inhabited in the Caspian Sea. The weight of Beluga, which is one of the largest economical fish in the Caspian Sea, reaches 1,500 km, and sometimes up to 100 kg of caviar is obtained from each Beluga. At present, artificial reproduction methods are used to increase the number of Caspian sturgeon in Mazandaran. But the important thing is that it takes 15 or 16 years for a fish to reach the proper stage of caviar harvest, so young artificially produced fishes are returned to the sea to return to their normal growth stages.
Iran is a suitable country for fishing because it has 2700 km of Maritime boundary in the north and south. Sturgeons live in the temperate waters of the northern hemisphere in the Caspian Sea. The Caspian Sea has suitable conditions for breeding the best types of sturgeon because it has a good depth and water temperature. Caviar is rich in energy and every 100 grams is equivalent to 2800 kcal of nutritional value. This delicious food contains vitamins A, PP, B12, B6, Be. This product prevents depression and is a very useful food to prevent cardiovascular disease.