It is a delicacy enjoyed by some of the world’s most affluent diners and served at some of its most exclusive restaurants.
Now caviar has found its way to Yorkshire as a new sturgeon farm has been established to ethically produce the luxury dish and restock depleted fish reserves in European lakes.
South Milford-based KC Caviar Limited is the only company in the world licenced to remove the sturgeon eggs used for caviar without harming the fish, which will eventually “retire” to lakes in Hungary and Bulgaria when they reach middle age.
Director John Addey, 63, who set up the company with son Mark, 37, and his daughter Kacey, 15, said: “It was Mark’s idea initially as sturgeon were being depleted and he wanted to help. We set up the farm to make some money and help to restock.
“That started more than six years ago and it led us to where we are now.”
Each of the fish has a name and a QR code, which means that customers can find out specifically where their caviar came from.
Mr Addey said: “People can trace the history back and order more caviar from one particular fish. When we expand and have 500 fish that might be quite interesting!”
He confirmed that one of the sturgeon was called Nicola.
Mr Addey said: “She’s quite a beautiful little fish. We thought in the future we might send the First Minister a picture of her. We haven’t yet named a fish after Mrs May but we are working on it.”
He said the firm would work with schools in the area to name fish and that tours around the factory would be held for pupils.
“Schools can effectively come and have a look at dinosaurs as sturgeon were basically around at the same time.”
The farm consists of several large insulated polytunnels while a nearby stream provides clear spring water that runs through 28 stock holding tanks.
The fish currently at the farm are around 4ft-4.5ft long but will grow to 6ft-7ft.
Mr Addey said KC’s process were tied to a surgeon’s natural four season’s egg production cycle, culminating in a controlled ovulation.
He said this ensured that the eggs or fish were not harmed in any way, unlike the traditional method of forced stripping, in which the fish are killed.