If you're going to give in and celebrate Valentine's Day, and you are determined to impress your honey, sweetie, or mate, your heart might say, "caviar". Your conscience? Well, that might say otherwise. Beluga sturgeon, you know, is almost extinct. Even though the US has officially listed beluga sturgeon as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, it has not enforced a ban on the import of beluga caviar. The Natural Resources Defense Council even sued the U.S. government for its failure.
But it's not all bad news. While SeaWeb, the NRDC, and the University of Miami's Pew Institute for Ocean Science fight for regulation under the moniker Caviar Emptor, Tsar Nicoulai is producing premium caviar using sustainable environmentally sound practices. Their fish are fed organic feed, their water comes from deep wells and is cycled with the most ecologically safe methods, and well, basically, they care.Tsar Nicoulai is farming in California, but don't pull up your nose at American caviar. It has been making quite a name for itself in recent years. And there are some nice lower priced options, as well. It might not sound sexy, but paddlefish caviar is excellent. Hey, wherever it comes from, it's still an aphrodisiac. Happy Valentine's Day and beyond.
::Tsar Nicoulai [by Tamara Holt]