Hackleback caviar originates from a species of sturgeon native to the Mississippi River region of the United States. The hackleback, also commonly referred to as “shovelnose sturgeon” or “sand sturgeon”, is a small species of freshwater sturgeon that remains relatively plentiful, making it one of the few options for wild-caught caviar.
Shovelnose sturgeons produce inky-black roe with a pronounced, nutty flavor tinged with sweetness. Caviar enthusiasts who are versed in other roe varieties will be impressed with hackleback caviar’s robust taste, even within its smaller pearls. The flavor profile of hackleback caviar has been compared to that of Russian Sevruga caviar— doubtlessly adding to its caché.
Khavyar’s hackleback caviar is sourced from Illinois and Kentucky, where it is sustainably wild-caught with environmental approval. A shovelnose sturgeon reaches maturity more quickly than foreign sturgeon varieties, which is better suited to the regular harvesting of caviar; however, female shovelnose sturgeons only are able to produce eggs once every 3 years.
Enjoy Hackleback caviar as you would any sturgeon caviar variety— it is well-suited to pairing with blini or tasting from the tin, where its robust flavor can be shown off.