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Caviar has a long and illustrious history, the matter of just how long it’s been around is remarkable. Sturgeon fossils have been found dating back to the late-Cretaceous period 100 million years ago.

Whilst we can be sure that caviar originated from the Caspian Sea, calculating even an approximate date for its discovery proves tricky, it was simply that long ago. We know that its first written reference was made by Aristotle all the way back in Fourth Century Greece - by which time caviar’s export routes were clearly extending over 2,000 km.

Caviar was enjoyed by the most powerful people in history throughout the reigns of the Persian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman Empires, becoming a key commodity on the Silk Route and creating an industry with whole regions devoted to its production.

Although caviar was originally a food of the local people - in fact within the Orthodox Church caviar and sturgeon were the only proteins allowed at times of religious fasting - further afield it was a different story. During the Middle Ages caviar was known as ‘The Royal Fish’ in Britain, with the kings keeping any imports exclusively for themselves. So enduring was its rarity even after Venetian ships started shipping barrels across the Black Sea, that Shakespeare made a joke out of it in Hamlet - using the phrase ‘caviare to the general’ as a metaphor for something being obscure enough to go over the heads of the everyday people.

It stands to reason that this ‘black gold’ also became a treasured delicacy at the courts of the Russian emperors from the 16th to 18th Centuries. In fact, when Ivan the Terrible conquered the The Khanate of Astrakhan, including the region north of the Caspian Sea, he demanded its annual tribute to Moscow be paid in caviar. Its popularity spread to the French Imperial courts (even though Louis XV is rumoured to have spat out his first taste of caviar, proffered by Peter the Great) and between the two they created the aristocratic connotations linked with caviar to this day.

CROE is the next generation of caviar - an exceptional product which embraces its heritage, whilst looking to the future. Whilst produced in the homeland of caviar, it is done so as sustainably as possible , and consumers are encouraged to enjoy CROE whenever and however they prefer.

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