Robin Leech gave everyone “Caviar Wishes and Champagne Dreams,” which are two of our very favorite things. But while everyone knows real Champagne only comes from France’s Champagne region – did you know that some of the best caviar also comes from France? Indeed, France is not only the number one consumer of caviar worldwide, it is also a producer of excellent caviar. Most of this caviar is served in the grand hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants.
One of the best is Caviar Neuvic made at Huso Estate in the Aquitaine region of France, a stone’s throw away from the country’s most intense gastronomic region known for the best fois gras, Bordeaux wine, and charcuterie. A relatively new company, Husto is bringing sustainable caviar cultivation back to the region it was known for hundreds of years ago. This time they are doing it in a facility that is simultaneously pastoral yet state-of-the-art.
The sturgeon are raised off the crisp, clean waters of the River I’Isle and extra deep man made reservoirs that circulate the river’s waters and maintain optimal oxygen levels. The proprietor even has an alarm to awake him in the night should the levels fall or deviate too much. At Huso Estate the sturgeon eat the best mix of high-quality fish food and are left in peace as much as possible in their first eight years because they know that happy, healthy fish make eggs good enough to become Caviar de Neuvic.
Unlike in other caviar-producing countries, the use of hormones are prohibited, so this caviar is as close as you’ll find to what the czars actually ate. All of these fun facts are things you’ll learn should you ever have the chance to take a tour of the estate, a bucolic piece of land with miniature and full-sized horses, an affable Great Pyrenees and two German Shepherds who keep the prized fish safe from any would-be heists.
After a tour of the grounds, comes the tasting where you’ll be served Cavair de Neuvic bubbly with their special caviar butter, and two varieties of caviar, Réserve for $455 per 100 grams and Signature that is $235 per 100 grams. Both feature perfectly round eggs that burst with flavor on the tongue, but the Réserve is made with larger, lighter colored eggs which have a delicate briny flavor with hints of butter and hazelnut. I bought one of each, a perfect cadeaux for my Périgord hostess.
For more information check out www.caviardeneuvic.com