Long associated with the affluent lifestyle in the West, this luxury delicacy is noticeably absent in gourmet banquets in China. Wealthy Chinese consumers have always had a taste for expensive delicacies, but the foods that impress are shark’s fin, birds nest, and abalone.
While caviar has not gained the level of cache in China as elsewhere in the world, that is changing.
Many Chinese know of caviar as the “preferred delicacy of elite society”, but very few have the chance to try it themselves, nor have the desire to. Given the growing young and wealthy consumers who are more willing to try new things, the demand for this exotic delicacy should pick up as they discover the taste for caviar.
Founded in September 2009, Holland & Wilde is making caviar available to some of the finest chefs in Shanghai and Beijing. Its Black Pearl Caviar, a local brand of the finest farmed caviars including Russian Osetra and the world famous Kaluga, is starting to attract the palates of wealthy Chinese.
The product is 100 percent Chinese, sourced from the Tianxia sturgeon farm in Hubei, which exports four tons of caviar a year to Europe and the Middle East according to Steve Hinchliffe, co-founder of Black Pearl Caviar.
Black Pearl Caviar has won over some champions among high-end restaurants and clubs that cater to the Chinese elite including the Puli Hotel Shanghai’s Jing’an Restaurant, Bar Rouge, M1NT and the new Waldorf Astoria.
The company expects to see many more caviar creations on the menus of both foreign and local chefs who are experimenting with caviar, pairing it with a wide range of foods to create different taste sensations. Some of the specials seen recently in Shanghai include Caviar Gazpacho, Caviar & Mango and even Caviar Fried Rice.
photos courtesy of black pearl caviar