Is only roe from sturgeon considered caviar? As sturgeon can only survive in cold waters it cannot occur naturally near the equator. What are substitutes for the sturgeon caviar so that one would be able to utilize fresh unpasteurized caviar in a country like pakistan?

1 Answer 1


It's even more specific than that: traditionally, only eggs from the sturgeon of the Caspian or Black Seas are considered caviar.

Other fish eggs that are eaten in the same manner as caviar are: sturgeon eggs from elsewhere, paddlefish eggs, salmon eggs, trout eggs, carp eggs, or lumpfish or whitefish eggs. Of these, only the carp is adaptable to warm climates; all of the others are cold-water fish.

So, if you want fish eggs that you can use as "caviar" that you raise & eat fresh in the hot areas of Pakistan, you'd be limited to carp eggs. That said ... Pakistan has high mountains and cold areas as well, presumably you could raise salmon or trout in mountain streams/lakes for their eggs, which are enjoyed by more people than carp eggs.

  • There is no regional appellation for caviar, as such any sturgeon roe/eggs can and are sold and transported internationally as "caviar". For what it is worth, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iran farm sturgeon and sell caviar internationally, there is no reason to suspect this is not possible in at least some parts of Pakistan.
    – crasic
    Nov 26, 2018 at 23:43
  • I know the folks who run Tsar Nicholas "caviar" in California. On the international market, they have fought (and lost) against Caspian Sea providers for the right to use the term caviar. So while there may not be a DPO, there certainly seems to be legal limits around using the term.
    – FuzzyChef
    Nov 26, 2018 at 23:46
  • Agreed that farming sturgeon in Pakistan doesn't seem impossible (although expensive).
    – FuzzyChef
    Nov 26, 2018 at 23:47
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    From your own source, international, US, and European regulators have a species rule without a place of origin for labeling, however I am certain that in some markets where caspian producers have influence this has other considerations. That being said, capture of wild sturgeon from feeder rivers of the caspian sea (e.g. Volga) that are traditional sturgeon fisheries has been illegal for many years. In that sense of the word there is no more real caviar left for sale in the world.
    – crasic
    Nov 26, 2018 at 23:49

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