Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams
‘Tis the season to celebrate. Parties. Invitations coming and going. Friends from near and far.
Cocktail parties and dinner parties, lunches and brunches, menus to plan. How can we add excitement to our tried-and-true favourites with one special item that will make everyone say WoW!! This is the year for Caviar.
Caviar is the king of culinary indulgences. The pride of Canadian caviar is Acadian Sturgeon Caviar from New Brunswick. World-renowned. Totally unique. It is a Canadian specialty, and is the perfect gift or hors d’oeuvre for the holidays.
There are three types of caviar at Acadian Sturgeon from two species: one is wild, and two are farmed in protective natural environments. Atlantic Sturgeon is the only wild caviar harvested in the world and Shortnose Sturgeon is a rare genetic varietal. Sleek packaging for customized orders includes mother of pearl spoons, temperature-control gel packs for different sizes and a printed booklet of information for how to serve caviar, like the classic little blinis and paired with Champagne; a teaspoon on eggs at brunch, with potato pancakes and sour cream. Wherever these pearls of Caviar appear, they take centre stage. And a bonus: this amazing food experience is also a sustainable product.
When we want quality ingredients, we have to consider quality control, and “Where does it actually come from?” There is no more wild-caught sturgeon caviar anywhere in the world outside of Canada. None in the Caspian Sea or the Black Sea. None in Iran. None in Russia. None in France. Nowhere. What we find in specialty food shops is farmed, and in places you might not expect. Their quality is neither transparent nor traceable. Now since it’s produced in Canada, in the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s right here, and we can be informed with confidence.
We appreciate that Acadian Sturgeon caviar demands sustainable practices in order to maintain the population of sturgeon. That means not only caring for existing fish and their existing environment, but giving back to it, to nourish and replenish their positive growth. Even if you’re purchasing sustainable product from the other side of the world, there is a big carbon footprint in their transport. So, we have to consider that responsibly. Where its coming from, and how it’s made. Trust is everything.
Wild sturgeon must be thirty years old, before it’s fished. Farming takes a minimum of ten years, and the water must be clean, cold, well nutriated and oxygenated. The farmed environment must by clean and provide the same life as the wild environment, and has to respect the same temperature cycles, and sleep cycles (dormancy phase.) It’s about quality over quantity.
Beyond that, sustainability is not merely maintaining a quality of condition, it’s also a way of living.
You can’t rush nature. “Let nature and time do its thing. We don’t interfere or push,” shares founder and owner of Acadian Sturgeon Caviar, Cornel Ceapa. He tells me that “Aquaculture has to respect the fish and their environment. If they are farmed in an environment where they are not traditionally native, that’s not a good thing. This is our passion. It is very important that the fish are happy and healthy. Happy fish, happy life.”
The Atlantic and Shortnose sturgeon are unique, and live only in the area off the coast of New Brunswick. Ceapa tells me, “We are producing the most unique, cleanest and best sturgeon caviar in the world.” For Ceapa, flavour is what matters, because that is the indicator of nutrition and quality, and it is from this that we get the wow factor!
Ceapa is vigilant about transparency, because that is what local food and local tourism requires to distinguish itself. Through daily social media posts, Ceapa shares how food is made and the conditions of the ingredients twelve months of the year.
🎶 Let’s Go Baby, Sturgeon Safari 🎶
You cannot do this anywhere else in the world! Acadian Sturgeon’s food tourism experiences are once-in-a-lifetime adventures.
The Sturgeon Safari is for groups to boat-out to see the wild sturgeon in their own habitat, learn what sustainable fishing actually looks like, and work with the sturgeon fishermen on their harvest.
Foodies and Chefs take note. The Sturgeon and Caviar Academy is a high-end multi-course sturgeon and caviar dining experience in which each dish focuses on sturgeon or caviar in a variety of global cuisines from Japanese to European.
The inevitable question when we travel to other countries is, “What’s Canadian cuisine anyway?” Today, the answer my friends is not blowing in the wind, it is Sturgeon, swimming in the sea. The unique and memorable Two-Day “Cooking for Education” Experience that includes Acadian Sturgeon’s Executive Chef, who shares how to enjoy and pair sturgeon and caviar, with dishes ranging from Sturcuterie Boards (three types of sturgeon charcuterie); Sturgeon Wellington; Sturchetta—sturgeon made porchetta-style; and desserts like white chocolate panna cotta with caviar or smoked sturgeon ice cream with caviar. If you are under the impression that you have tasted everything Canadian, you are in for a luscious treat.
Acadian Sturgeon Caviar is a special Canadian product that is reviving the caviar industry through sustainable practices. It’s the catch that’s netting the attention of the world.
Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Publisher of DINE and Destinations magazine.