Red caviar is the caviar of humpback salmon, silversides, chinook salmon, red salmon and chum salmon. It is cheaper than black caviar, palatable and healthy. In Russia, no holiday meal is complete without a jar of red caviar. During Maslenitsa (the national winter farewell and spring welcome holiday) it is traditionally served with pancakes, and it is just impossible to imagine a New Year's Eve table without red caviar. It is produced mostly in Sakhalin and Kamchatka (in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea, and the Pacific Ocean).
Essential details to look at before you buy:
• You can buy caviar both in bulk and canned. Glass jars are preferable so that the grains can be seen. If you buy a tin can, shake it to make sure the contents do not make a “gurgling” sound.
• Packaging and expiration dates should be embossed on the lid from the inside, not printed over it.
• The ingredient list should be as follows:
• Caviar itself (with the fish’s species specified), salt, and 1-2 preservatives.
• Fresh-grain caviar is better than pressed, it is only worth buying granular caviar.
• There should be one species’ caviar in a jar;
• Humpback salmon’s caviar is orange and medium-sized; trout caviar varies from yellow to bright orange and has smaller grains; chum salmon has bright orange caviar with a reddish shimmer and is very large (up to 7 mm); chinook caviar is deep red and large; red salmon caviar varies from bright red to dark red and is medium-sized (2-3 mm); silversides salmon is burgundy and medium-sized;
• The caviar should not be mushy and sticky.
The manufacturer’s address, GOST, and TU should be specified on the jar or tin can.
You may export up to 5 kilograms of salmon (red) caviar and 250 grams of sturgeon fish caviar in their original packaging (without declaring) from the Russian Federation for personal consumption. To avoid having it taken don’t carry the caviar in your carry-on luggage, and for safety you should pack it in a thermal bag before placing it in your checked baggage.
If you export sturgeon caviar in excess of 250 grams you will need a license from the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia.
Important note: You may import up to 125 grams of sturgeon fish caviar per person to the US and the EU countries!