21 May 2019
The best caviar in the world? It is Italian and produced in Lombardy
Mariah Carey's preferred caviar doesn't hail from Russia, but rather from Adamas Caviar in Lombardy, Italy, a choice shared by top chefs like Marcello Trentini, Ernesto Iaccarino, Alberto Faccani, Pietro Volonté, Lorenzo Cuomo, Angelo Carannate, and Massimo Riccioli. Adamas Caviar, derived from sturgeon eggs, is sourced from Lombardy, Veneto, and Piedmont, where roughly 20 sturgeon farms are found. Sturgeon, a fish that can thrive in fresh and brackish waters, is globally distributed and now endangered due to overfishing. In the Po Valley, Salmo-Pan Srl, established in 1988, specializes in sturgeon farming, fostering sturgeon in the pristine waters of the River Tormo using GMO-free feed and eco-friendly methods. Adamas is renowned for its rare white caviar from albino sturgeon. Italian caviar was once the world's leader in both quantity and quality. Although China now surpasses Italy in volume, the quality of Italian caviar remains unmatched. Italy produced 51 tons of caviar in 2018, maintaining its top position in Europe. Sturgeon, the source of caviar, is now a protected species, making farmed sturgeon the primary source of caviar in the market. Italian caviar production is valued at over 25 million euros, with prices ranging from 400 to 500 euros per kilogram at the source. One of the world's largest caviar production facilities, Agro Ittica Lombarda in Calvisano, Brescia, collaborates with Feralpi, an Italian steel company, utilizing steel furnace energy to rear sturgeons on over 60 hectares dedicated to aquaculture, contributing over 15% of global farmed caviar production. While 85% of Italian caviar is exported to the USA, Japan, Russia, and Singapore, it's interesting to note that China does not import it, thanks to a unique exemption. Caviar, steeped in history and opulence, sees Italy at the forefront of crafting this delectable luxury.