The Cayman Islands are booming again and living on Grand Cayman these days is bringing back memories of Champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Tibor Hollos of Caribbean Beverages Cayman is making those wishes and dreams come to life.
At a unique tasting event at LUCA Restaurant on March 15, Hollos offered his new line of caviar and fish roe to leading chefs and food purveyors on Grand Cayman. He paired it with A. Bergère Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, a name that sounds like it’s made for the rich and famous, but is actually a Champagne that offers fantastic quality-to-price ratio. For those who were a little more adventurous on a Thursday morning, Hollos had some chilled Russian vodka shots to wash down the salty caviar.
Hollos said he sources the opulent fish delicacy from Imperial Caviar in Berlin, Germany. The fish are farm-raised in a man-made lake in China.
“Forty per cent of caviar production in the world comes from China,” Hollos said. Rather than killing the sturgeon to harvest the fish eggs, a sustainable method developed by German marine biologists is used whereby a signalling protein is administered to the fish to induce labour and then the caviar is gently massaged out of its body.
The caviar is sent in chilled containers from China to Germany, where it is packaged, Hollos said. It then goes from Germany to Cayman, through London, via British Airways.
In order to import the caviar to the Cayman Islands, Hollos had to go through several regulatory steps, including getting a licence from the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture and getting CITES approval for every shipment.
Caribbean Beverages Cayman carries four different types of caviar that come from four distinct species of sturgeon. The Baerii, Imperial Gold, Ossetra and Beluga caviar vary in size and colour and all have different flavours.
Hollos also offered a less-expensive selection of roes from fish like salmon and trout. The caviar is sold in tins of 30 or 125 grams.
The caviar has a shelf life of three to four months if properly refrigerated, Hollos said.
Although restaurants are likely to be his main market, Hollos is targeting some food stores like Bay Market. Store Manager Stephen Wagner, who attended the tasting, msaid Bay Market would likely carry some of the caviar. Petit Paris in Camana Bay will also sell the product.
“I have had people come in and ask for it,” he said.
Hollos said the caviar and roe could also be bought directly through the company.