NY1 by Lindley Pless

Aug 13, 2007


08/13/2007 02:16 PM

Marketplace: Paramount Caviar

By: NY1 News

From paddlefish and sturgeon to salmon and trout, the Zagat Gourmet Shopping and Entertaining Guide says Paramount Caviar is "*the destination" for "great caviar."

Zagat adds that this Long Island City company distributes to top restaurants and marketplaces, and premium stock is also available to walk-ins. NY1 sat down with owner Hossein Aimani to learn all about this delicacy.

"Caviar is, simplest terms, a fish eggs,” says Aimani. “When they take the sturgeon out of the Caspian Sea, they cut it and they wash the roe two times. And they salt it, then it becomes caviar."

Growing up in Iran near the Caspian Sea, Aimani says caviar has always been a part of his daily diet. And the Caspian Sea is one of the main areas that Aimani gets his caviar from. Sturgeon fish are the popular choice in that region.

"The Caspian Sea was the only place that has the true sturgeon,” says Aimani. “These fish are dinosaur fish, they are over 250 million years fish."

But Aimani says sturgeons from the Caspian Sea are a threatened species. So now, people are farming those fish all over the world in places like France, Italy and Bulgaria.

"They're farming all types of sturgeon in different areas of the world to come up with alternative wild caviar,” says Aimani. “Because the sturgeon are now put on the endangered species act. Since 98, the fish on wildlife took over this production and mandating how much sturgeon should be cut or not cut."

The company also sells caviar found here in the United States, like salmon and paddlefish.

When purchasing caviar, Aimani says you should look at the firmness of the eggs along with the freshness. And he adds, you should always taste the caviar before buying it.

As for keeping it fresh when you get home, Aimani says, "Take your caviar out of the bag. Put it into the coldest part of your refrigerator and the household refrigerator. In a household refrigerator, you are able to keep the caviar up to two weeks."

And when it comes to serving, Aimani suggests using a gold, wooden or mother of pearl spoon.

"Mother of pearl is the best because it does not do anything to the taste of the caviar,” says Aimani. “It's neutral verses the silver spoon. Other spoons has a metallic taste to it, you don't want to taste the metallic."

Paramount Caviar has yet to be rated in the Zagat Guide, but prices are expensive.

- Lindley Pless