Caviar is a particularly valued (and expensive) delicacy – actually, the fish roe. There are several sorts of caviar, but the Beluga from the sturgeon is considered the best. Although it isprimarily a Russian delicacy, its production is linked to the Danube, i.e. to a special type of fish from which caviar is obtained – the sturgeon. The sturgeon group of fish is a very unusual, quite primate, but old species, with cartilaginous bones, bony plates on its head and all over the body. They are characteristic for their long noses. Sturgeon is the biggest fresh water fish and may be up to 9 m long, weigh 1,5 t with up to a hundred kilos of roe. Its meat is also very tasty.
The word caviar comes from Persian khav–yar – cake of strength.
Sturgeon lives in the waters of the northern hemisphere, but mostly in the Caspian and Black Sea and in the rivers of their watersheds, including the Danube. Three years after they hatch in the river, the fish go to the sea, and at the time of spawning they come back to the place they had hatched – to the river, swimming upstream even a thousand kilometres. They used to swim upstream the Danube, into Serbia, but the power plant Đerdap now prevents them from going farther. All the sturgeon species, except for the sterlet are under constant protection and its fishing is banned. Up to 120 tons of sturgeon a year used to be fished in Serbia, thus almost made extinct. Today they are farmed in special hatcheries, so that the production of the famous Kladovo black caviar is slowly being restored.