near Sacramento. “There are no boundaries with caviar.” So what’s going on? The growing popularity of caviar—as well as trout, salmon and other roe—can be explained in part by the enthusiasm to explore global flavors that began in the 1980s. The rise of fusion dishes has relaxed culinary traditions. But the biggest reason people are more willing to play with the coveted dish is its availability and reliability, thanks in part to California sturgeon farms committed to more sustainable and environmentally friendly production methods. In the past, roe harvested from wildcaught sturgeon was most prized, and the term “caviar” was applied only to product from the Caspian and Black seas. Due to overfishing, however, both the quantity and quality can suffer. In fact, uncertainty over the quality led to the caviar crisis of the early 2000s. A global ban on wild-caught sturgeon went into effect in 2011. The U.S. has banned the importation of beluga caviar. Meanwhile a few intrepid producers began sturgeon farming operations in Europe, Asia and in California (it is estimated that 80 percent of American caviar comes from the Sacramento area). When Keane began raising sturgeon in 2004, there were six farms in operation. Now there are some 2,000 active around the world. Today the caviar tag applies to eggs from North America’s white sturgeon, as well. “Back in the ’80s, no one thought California produced caviar of the quality coming from overseas,” Bolourchi points out. For that reason, Tsar Nicouli was founded in 1984 with a name that sounds Russian. Twenty years later, when Keane started California Caviar Company, however, such association was no longer necessary. “The consistency is next to none,” Rodriguez says of California Caviar’s Queen’s Reserve, the label preferred at Salt Wood. The roe melts on the palate, revealing as it does a nutty, creamy brine with just a notion of gaminess. Tsar Nichouli holds an EcoCert designation for environmental practices. WWW.MONTEREYCOUNTYWEEKLY.COM 33 Catalina Perez An Award-Winning Mortgage Loan Originator Catalina Perez’s exceptional performance has earned her prestigious awards, including recognition By The Scotsman Guide and numerous Readers’ Choice Awards for client satisfaction. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, seeking to refinance, or in need of expert mortgage advice, Catalina Perez is the trusted professional you can rely on. Her proven track record, industry recognition, and unwavering commitment to client success make her the ideal partner to guide you through every step of your mortgage journey. Choose Catalina Perez for unparalleled expertise and personalized assistance in achieving your financial goals. Whether you’re looking for your dream home or seeking the best mortgage solutions, Catalina is here to help you thrive. Catalina Perez Mortgage Loan Originator DRE#341394 NMLS#014595909 catalinaoriginator@gmail.com (831) 212-6888 SteinbeckRealEstate_2-3v_Haven23_KB.indd 1 8/3/23 2:42 PM 33_haven23.indd 1 8/3/23 2:43 PM