MAG­NIF­I­CENT OB­SES­SION

ThePeak looks at some of the world’s best in­gre­di­ents that should be the high­light of your plates.

The Peak (Malaysia) - - Contents - TEXT NEDA AL-ASEDI & SWA­ROOP­INI NAIR

ThePeak looks at some of the world’s best in­gre­di­ents that should be the high­light of your plates.

Al­mas Caviar

Caviar is not a new ad­di­tion to the realm of high-value foods, as this in­gre­di­ent has long since graced the ta­bles of the most ex­clu­sive fine din­ing es­tab­lish­ments. But cer­tain strains of caviar prove more valu­able than oth­ers, and Al­mas Caviar is the most valu­able of all. WHAT? Al­mas caviar, also some­times known as golden or white caviar, is the roe of the al­bino bel­uga stur­geon. Named af­ter the old Per­sian word for di­a­mond, Al­mas caviar ranges from white to golden yel­low to a light grey colour, de­pend­ing on the age of stur­geon it is har­vested from, in stark con­trast from the dark black of bel­uga caviar. Al­mas is rec­om­mended to be served on its own, eaten off the skin be­tween the thumb and fore­fin­ger, to prop­erly ex­pe­ri­ence the del­i­cate flavours. WHY? Al­mas is so valu­able mainly be­cause it is so hard to find. This rare strain of al­bino stur­geon is said to only oc­cur once in ev­ery 6000 stur­geon, and the dwin­dling num­bers of stur­geon in the re­cent years makes it an even rarer find to­day. To add on, Al­mas caviar is only har­vested from el­derly al­bino stur­geon that are be­tween 60 to 100 years old, which is more than four times the nor­mal in­cu­ba­tion pe­riod of the sec­ond most valu­able caviar, Bel­uga, which come from stur­geon that take 15 to 25 years to ma­ture. The older the stur­geon, the lighter the colour of the caviar, and hence the more ex­pen­sive it be­comes. WHERE? The al­bino stur­geons that Al­mas orig­i­nates from are na­tive to the south­ern re­gion of the Caspian Sea, near the shores of Iran. This re­gion of the Caspian Sea are said to be less pol­luted, pro­vid­ing a suit­able habi­tat for th­ese rare stur­geon to grow, while also pro­duc­ing a bet­ter qual­ity caviar. HOW MUCH? The Guin­ness Book of World Records lists Al­mas caviar as the world’s most ex­pen­sive food, which, at record-set­ting time, sold for GBP20,000 per kilo­gram. Authen­tic Al­mas caviar is one of the rarest forms on the mar­ket to­day, so sup­plies of this edi­ble gold is a rare find.

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