How old is the trade of Caviar?

7th November 2010

From the book “Caviar, a history of desire” available from December 15 2010

I am often asked how old the Caviar industry really is. Even if we do have proof of earlier consumption of sturgeon meat and its roe depicted on the walls in the Luxor temple of the Egyptian Queen Hatchepsout, I have always believed that my profession as a Caviar trader must have its roots in the year of 1675. The Cossacks, notoriously known for their resistance to ruling authority, had in the 1660s attempted to storm Moscow but were crushed by the army of Tsar Alexei. Legend states that as proof of their surrender the defeated Cossacks offered to the Tsar a bowl of Caviar.

Peter the Great, the first Tzar to have created a Caviar trading office in the Russian City of Astrakhan in 1695

Tsar Alexei Michailovich Romanov had recognized the potential value of the Caviar trade and in a decree dated 1675, edict number 7183, Caviar became a monopoly of the state and its commerce under the exclusive authority of the Tsar. Russian Caviar’s first letter of noblesse had been written.


  1. great post, thanks for sharing

  2. Michele Novak-Moser

    When will you make a movie about this?