Commonly associated with luxury in the West, due to its heftier price tag, red caviar is considered a common item in the Russian and Japanese cuisine, but full of nutrients, nonetheless. Red caviar is made from the roe of several species of salmon from the Pacific, Atlantic and certain inland waterways. It is also known as Russia’s red gold, or ikura in Japan. The Japanese usually use it as topping on rice dishes or placed in sushi rolls, giving them a distinct taste.
Salmon roes come highly recommended by nutritionists. Why take dozens of omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 (polyunsaturated fatty acids) pills for months when you can have one ounce of red caviar a day? It has more omega-3 than any other food, an ounce a day containing 1,800mg of healthy fatty acids, more than 3.5 times the amount found in salmon.
Salmon caviar is also an effective aphrodisiac due to its high concentration of vitamins A, B2, B6, B12 and zinc which promote blood flow, especially useful for men. It also increases fertility in women, as stated by Weston A. Price, a nutritionist from the 1930’s, who studied the diets of indigenous people and branded salmon as one of the most nutritious foods he had ever seen.
Besides being full of healthy fatty acids, red caviar is also rich in antioxidants and contains high levels of vitamins C, D and E, selenium, folate and thiamine. It has a high concentration of proteins, one ounce of salmon roe containing almost 6 grams of protein, more than 25%. What sets it apart from many foods is it has no carbs, making it very useful in low carb diets.
Being a very nutritious meal, many would think it has a lot of calories, which is not true at all. For every 100 grams of salmon roe, you can expect to find only 240-260 calories, a lot less than most things you see on the shelves of your local supermarket.
Red caviar is an excellent source of vitamins for kids over 1,5 years, something natives from the Tlingit tribe in Alaska make use of since hundreds of years ago. It promotes healthy brain development in children, thanks to the high omega-3 DHA levels, while the omega-3 EPA is needed for an optimal immune and metabolic system. People who lack this type of fatty acid are confronted with hypertension, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, diabetes and deficient development of the reproductive and nervous systems. Besides giving your child a head start and making him more resistant to diseases, salmon roe will also teach them to love seafood, in general.
It can be used to impress your guests by treating them to a splendid hors d’oeuvre, made of salmon rolls, filled with goat cheese or cream cheese and red caviar placed on top. Or you can borrow a Russian custom and serve them with vodka on the rocks.