A Global History

Nichola Fletcher

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Nichola Fletcher

Distributed for Reaktion Books

136 pages | 40 color plates, 20 halftones | 4 3/4 x 7 3/4 | © 2010
Cloth $19.00 ISBN: 9781861896506 Published May 2010 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $15.95 ISBN: 9781861897312 Published May 2010

Served up with a mother of pearl spoon and alongside a crystal flute of champagne, caviar is the ultimate culinary symbol of wealth, luxury, and decadence. But how did tiny fish eggs—which many might regard as an unwanted, throwaway food—become such an international delicacy? In Caviar: A Global History, renowned food writer Nichola Fletcher answers this curious question, examining the rise of caviar as an indulgence and its effect on the lives of the people who seek and sell it today.

            Fletcher takes the reader on a tour of the main areas of caviar production—Russia, Iran, Europe, and America—and investigates how the industry has contributed to the decline of the sturgeon population, the fish most associated with caviar. As Fletcher details, many efforts are underway to create sustainable sturgeon farming, which would make it possible to enjoy caviar with a clear, environmental conscience.  

Featuring vibrant illustrations and many fascinating anecdotes, Caviar also offers advice on purchasing and serving caviar. This is the perfect food book for everyone in need of a little opulence and glamour.

Introduction: Why Caviar?

1    Sturgeon: The Jurassic Fish
2    Ikra: The Soul of Russia
3    Châv-jâr: Iran’s Story
4    Caviales Comes to Europe
5    An American Caviar Rush
6    Crisis in the Caspian
7    How to Make a Sturgeon
8    Roe on Roe: Alternative Eggs
9    Caveat emptor: How to Buy It
10  How to Enjoy Caviar

Select Bibliography
Websites and Associations
Photo Acknowledgements
Review Quotes
Susan Salter Reynolds | Los Angeles Times
"Each book in the Edible Series describes a food or drink—its history, how it has evolved and how it has figured in various cultures across civilization. . . . Printed on heavy, rich stock with drawings and color photos, they are an appetizing bunch."
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