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sustainable American caviar & sturgeon North Carolina | U.S.A

NO HORMONES • NO BORAX • NO ANTIBIOTICS

Osetra caviar comes only from the Caspian Sea native Osetra sturgeon (species: acipenser gueldenstaedii).
In the traditional caviar hierarchy, the Caspian Sea sturgeon species produce the best caviars in the world.
Of these, the top 3 are Beluga, Osetra and Sevruga.

All Caspian Sea Sturgeon Species are critically endangered, leaving aquaculture the only source of caviar.


TODAY'S CAVIAR no more wild caught

Caspian sturgeon species are critically endangered in the wild. Due to over-fishing, virtually all caviar from Caspian Sea sturgeon species is currently farmed.  More than 80% of caviar sold in the US is imported from Chinese farms. Unlike China, the U.S. enforces strict food, safety and environmental regulations. Unlike imports, U.S. aquaculture farms can not use hormones, antibiotics or borax. Our fish are fed a high quality diet designed for Russian Sturgeon, made in the USA. Our processing facilities are HACCP-approved by the FDA and USDA.

 

OUR FACILITIES pioneers of r.a.s.

 Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) are the newest way to raise fish without negatively impacting the environment. More like a multi-million dollar water treatment plant than a fish farm, our RAS facilities provide the highest filtration possible in modern aquaculture. Although this is the most expensive way to raise fish, it is also the most responsible. Over 80% of caviar consumed in the US is imported from farms that would not pass US environmental regulations. Caviar from an RAS facility is considered the best option for both sustainability and purity. More about our facilities >

STURGEON & AQUACULTURE hatch to harvest

Today, Osetra caviar is produced exclusively though aquaculture. In addition to being the primary source of caviar today, aquaculture of sturgeon is presently considered the most important component of wild sturgeon conservation programs. By providing a superior supply of sustainable meat and caviar, we positively impact endangered wild sturgeon.

 

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED crisis in the caspian

Prehistoric survivors of the ice age, sturgeon are among the largest freshwater fishes in the world, with some individuals exceeding 2,000 pounds. Sturgeons grow slowly and mature late, making them particularly vulnerable to man-made pressures, including overfishing, poaching, habitat loss and pollution. The Caspian Sea and its rivers are highly polluted from the oil industry and once abundant spawning grounds for sturgeon have been ruined by dams. The few remaining Osetra Sturgeon are being caught illegally. Populations of valuable caviar-producing species have dropped to as low as 5% of historical levels worldwide.  This is particularly evident in the Caspian Sea region, which has traditionally been the source of most of the world’s caviar. In fact, as of 2013, all species of sturgeon native to that region, as well as several from other continents including North America are currently listed as endangered or critically endangered.

Above: Astrakhan, Russia - June 17, 1985: Some of the last Russian sturgeon, caught in fishing nets on the river Volga. This fishing area called "The 9th AAAAAAA" was not far from the Caspian sea.
Above: Astrakhan, Russia – June 17, 1985: Some of the last Russian sturgeon, caught in fishing nets on the river Volga. This fishing area called “The 9th AAAAAAA” was not far from the Caspian sea.

CONSERVATION hope for sturgeon

In addition to being the primary source of caviar today, sustainable aquaculture of sturgeon is presently considered the most important component of wild sturgeon conservation programs. 

Early conservation efforts of sturgeon include the establishment of hatchery operations along the Volga River by the USSR in the early 1950s. Modern day sturgeon aquaculture traces its roots to the efforts of those Soviet biologists.

U.S. farmed Russian sturgeon is a “Best Choice” for sustainable seafood by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch.
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ABOUT

Marshallberg Farm is a family operated sturgeon farm, started in 2010. With over 80% of caviar distributed in the USA being imported from Chinese farms, Marshallberg Farm aims to break the mould and sustainably produce Osetra caviar right here in the USA.

Using new, state-of-the-art R.A.S. (recirculating aquaculture system) technology, we are able to raise our sturgeon without being dependent on an outside body of water (lake, river, pond, etc.). We recycle over 95% of our water, responsibly containing our waste instead of releasing it into the environment. We are the only full RAS sturgeon farm in the USA, ranked a “Best Choice” for sustainability by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch (seafoodwatch.org).
 
By using a recirculating system, we are not at the mercy of outside pollutants, and maintain full control of our water quality. This system is more like a water treatment plant than a fish farm. We filter about 1 million gallons a day, giving us the highest filtration possible for our fish. High filtration = clean water = happy fish = better caviar!
 
Unlike imports, we do not use borax or any other chemicals in our caviar production. We follow strict U.S. regulations for environmental, health and food safety.

BENEFITS OF BUYING CAVIAR DIRECT FROM MARSHALLBERG FARM

Did you know over 80% of caviar consumed in the United States is imported from Chinese farms?
Skip the middle man; buy direct from Marshallberg Farm. As your U.S. producer, we can offer exclusive benefits:
• Small batch, freshly harvested caviar that has never switched hands or been in transit
• Higher grades of caviar that are packed direct to final tin on harvest day, never repacked or exposed to air
• Caviar made by an American business, strictly regulated by U.S. health and safety standards
• R.A.S. sturgeon farming methods that are ranked a”Best Choice” for sustainability by Seafood Watch
• No borax, hormones, antibiotics or other illegal food additives
• The best product for your money – our pricing is competitive with middle men

WHAT IS OSETRA?

Of the 27 species of sturgeon, Osetra caviar is roe that comes specifically from the sturgeon species acipenser gueldenstaedii, native to the Caspian Sea. Osetra caviar is known for it’s nutty, buttery flavor, and roe color ranging from deep umber to light amber and gold. Osetra caviar is particularly coveted for it’s golden color. In the olden days, sturgeon flourished in the Caspian. If one was caught with golden roe, it was immediately reserved for the king. This tradition reflects in today’s market, as prices are much higher for lighter colored Osetra – up to $13K per kilogram!

OSETRA IN THE CAVIAR HIERARCHY

In the traditional caviar hierarchy, the top 3 caviars come from sturgeon species native to the Caspian Sea. In this hierarchy, Osetra caviar is shadowed only by Beluga caviar. Since the species that produces Beluga (Huso Huso) is virtually extinct in the wild, fiercely regulated and impossible to farm in any capacity, you could deduce that Osetra is the top caviar available today.

HOW IS OSETRA MADE

It takes 7-10 years until our sturgeon females produce their first batch of roe. This is a long investment, so we are in no rush to harvest caviar that isn’t up to par. If we check a fish (via ultrasound and biopsy) whose eggs are too small or too soft, we return the female to the tank so we can check it again the following year. Alternatively, if the roe passes our quality tests, it is harvested, graded and immediately sold through our retail shop. Typically, our sturgeon roe is about 12% of the female’s total body weight. We use the traditional Malossol method in making our Osetra caviar. This means that we use 4% salt per volume of roe presented from the female. So, if we harvest a female with 2000g (2kg) of roe, we would mix it with 80g of salt. The goal in this recipe is to use the least amount of salt in order to properly preserve the caviar. In the olden days before refrigeration, much more salt would have been used, resulting in very salty caviar. We are required by the FDA to have our caviar routinely tested for proper salt content.

DIFFERENCES IN BATCHES

Each batch of Osetra caviar is unique in flavor, color and texture. Since we do not genetically alter our fish in any way, a wide variety of Osetra caviar can be observed. Some roe seems to absorb salt differently than others, resulting in different sensations on the taste buds. The structure of some roe seems to allow salt to pass through the entire orb evenly, while other roe tends to hold more salt in the outer membrane. So, even though every batch uses the same amount of salt, some Osetra will taste initially saltier but with a buttery finish, while others will have a more even sensation. Since nuances exist from one tin to the next, I always recommend tasting your caviar alone before deciding what to serve it with. Caviar that tastes initially salty is excellent with a little creme fraiche, while Everyday caviar that exhibits some bitterness (like olives) will do well with lemon and creme fraiche.

THE “POP”

Maintaining firmness is the biggest challenge in the aim of producing the perfect caviar. Firmness is determined by the individual female’s genetics. Some batches of Ostra exhibit more firmness than others. On harvest day, caviar has the most “pop.” As the salt passes through the roe, the eggs soften and lose much of the initial pop (similar to cucumbers becoming pickles). Beluga was known to have the most “pop.” When still prevalent in the wild, the Huso Huso sturgeon was much bigger than other Caspian sturgeon, yielding roe with a harder outer membrane – hence relatively more “pop” after salting. Today, caviar made in China is said to have “pop.” This is a result of using borax as a firming agent, creating homogeneous texture between batches. Borax is banned in the US in food production due to risks of fetal harm in pregnant women.

R.A.S. – IT’S NOT A FACTORY FARM

Raising sturgeon for caviar is possibly one of the most complex farming challenges in operation today. In an effort to be an environmentally sustainable caviar producer, we are using aquaculture technology that does not rely on bodies of water (lakes, rivers, ponds). This means we depend on our staff’s expertise in all things mechanical; pumps, filters, plumbing and electrical challenges. In fact, our facilities are more of a water treatment plant with sturgeon in the middle. We even have an ex-municipal water treatment plant technician as our facilities manager. By recycling all of our water the same way a water treatment plant does, we internalize pollution problems, therefore minimizing environmental impact. This is an expensive, labor intensive way to farm, but it is the only sustainable option in the future of aquaculture.

Over 80% of caviar consumed in the US is imported from farms that would not pass US environmental regulations. Caviar from a US RAS facility is considered the best option for both sustainability and purity. More about our facilities >

TODAY’S CAVIAR | NO MORE WILD CAUGHT

Caspian sturgeon species are critically endangered in the wild. Due to over-fishing, virtually all caviar from Caspian Sea sturgeon species is currently farmed.  More than 80% of caviar sold in the US is imported from Chinese farms. Unlike China, the U.S. enforces strict food, safety and environmental regulations. Unlike imports, U.S. caviar farms can not use hormones, antibiotics or borax. Our fish are fed a high quality, custom designed diet, made in the USA. Our processing facilities are HACCP-approved by the FDA and USDA.

THE STURGEON SAGA

Prehistoric survivors of the ice age, sturgeon are among the largest freshwater fishes in the world, with some individuals exceeding 2,000 pounds. Sturgeons grow slowly and mature late, making them particularly vulnerable to man-made pressures, including overfishing, poaching, habitat loss and pollution. The Caspian Sea and its rivers are highly polluted from the oil industry and once abundant spawning grounds for sturgeon have been ruined by dams. The few remaining Caspian Sturgeon are being caught illegally. Populations of valuable caviar-producing species have dropped to as low as 5% of historical levels worldwide.  This is particularly evident in the Caspian Sea region, which has traditionally been the source of most of the world’s caviar. In fact, as of 2013, all species of sturgeon native to that region, as well as several from other continents including North America are currently listed as endangered or critically endangered.

CONSERVATION EFFORTS

In addition to being the primary source of caviar today, sustainable aquaculture of sturgeon is presently considered the most important component of wild sturgeon conservation programs. Early conservation efforts of sturgeon include the establishment of hatchery operations along the Volga River by the USSR in the early 1950s. Modern day sturgeon aquaculture traces its roots to the efforts of those Soviet biologists.

U.S. farmed Russian sturgeon is a “Best Choice” for sustainable seafood by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch.

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      Caviar Reviews

      Marshallberg Farm

      Verified Owner Reviews

      JLossada 04/14/22

      Royal Osetra
      Simply sublime in terms of taste, color and texture! Overall, it exceeded my expectations. I look forward to my next purchase. The value of this product is amazing.

      Stephen Anderson 02/20/22

      Royal Osetra
      Excellent. My wife and I had the royal ossetra in a three-way test against two top-shelf imported caviars (another ossetra and a beluga hybrid), and this one more than held its own. Nice firm eggs, with a distinct flavor and just a little saltiness.

      Matt F. 01/03/22

      Premium Osetra Sampler
      We received our caviar delivery in anticipation of making our New Year’s Eve an unforgettable evening. Even with high expectations, we were absolutely blown away with the quality and flavor of everything we received. It was truly one of the greatest at-home food experiences we’ve ever had. I also highly suggest the smoked sturgeon filet. It will not get better than a bite of Caviar on Sturgeon! I will be dreaming about this until we place our next order!!

      Viktoria Sikora 01/01/22

      Classic Osetra Caviar
      This product EXCEEDED my expectations! It matched my memories of the "real deal" from many years ago and definitely exceeded all the other tries to duplicate that experience since. I brought it to a NYE party which proved to be a HUGE hit among very discriminating friends. Thank you and I look forward to celebrating with your product again. Worth every cent. Viktoria Sikora

      Joy 12/26/21

      Classic Osetra Caviar
      We did a Christmas Eve caviar tasting. 2 grocery store roes, one French caviar, and 2 from The Caviar Farm. There was a night and day difference. The NC caviars were by far the best. I highly recommend their products !

      B Buckley 12/21/21

      Classic Osetra Caviar
      Every product is delicious. I will never order Russian caviar again. What a pleasure to find such quality in a NC product. The Ossetra is the best I have had including the Russian Tea Room and Petrossian in NY.

      David Greenblatt 11/26/21

      Gold Reserve
      The golden was the best caviar we have had!!! Agreed by all, truly the golden was amazing!!! We have been eating Marshallberg’s for years. We have compared it to the best we have had. Hands down Marshallberg’s the best!!! We have shared it with Michelin chef friends and industry experts, The vote is always the same, the best. I have Persian friends that bring us caviar from Iran. This goes toe to toe.

      Ron 10/29/21

      Premium Osetra Sampler
      I have tried many different sources for caviar and Marshallberg Farm is simply the best. The flavor was what I was looking for and the texture was magnificent. The product came arrived at the perfect temperature because the packaging was the best I have ever seen. A terrific experience from start to finish.

      Julie Klaz 09/27/21

      Classic Osetra
      Excellent caviar! I used to have Russian Beluga caviar delivered by the kilo when I lived in Europe… This is just as good & no strange additives like borax and it’s made in the USA!! Excellent !!

      James Moseley 07/08/21

      Classic Osetra
      If you ever wondered what the fuss about (good) caviar is all about , then order some from Marshallberg Farm and you will find out . I acquired a taste for it back in the 60’s & 70’s , when Russian Beluga was still available , but have not been able to recreate the experience until now . I ordered my first tin from them about a year ago , curious to know if the product measured up to my expectations which it did beyond my wildest hopes . I admit to being a ‘ Caviar Snob ‘ and shamelessly want nothing but the best when I indulge in it . Marshallberg Farm delivers the goods every time . You can pay a lot more from other vendors with fancy names and New York addresses but the taste and quality will not match the freshness and integrity of this . Take it from a food snob , this caviar rocks , you won’t be disappointed .
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