After Almost 40 Years, the World’s Best Caviar Is Back in America

Gabriel Goldfine is the first American purveyor of Black Russian Caviar in a generation. Yeah, he’s pretty happy about it.

For the past 39 years, the most expensive part of dining on Black Russian Caviar has been the plane ticket to Moscow. The real black stuff, the rare and quasi-mythical sturgeon roe taken from Suda River and the Caspian Sea, hasn’t been available stateside since the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species went into effect in 1975. Regardless of the restrictions, the Russians maintained a strict quota system for their sturgeon, and the quota for the U.S. was exactly zilch. Until this week. Caviar lovers, take out your spoons. The Russian Caviar House in New York is now selling Black Russian Caviar direct to consumers. Brand Ambassador Gabriel Goldfine couldn’t be happier.

“We’ve been doing business in Russia for years and we’re all about luxury,” he told Maxim. “When we got the call about the Black Russian Caviar, we jumped at the opportunity.”

How much better does $135-an-ounce Black Russian Caviar taste than a run-of-the-mill, $95-an-ounce Caspian Sea Sevruga? It is more buttery and nuttier, with a medium grain that crumples into a smooth, salty finish. The flavor is delicate, with just the right taste of fish. You can try it with crèmefraiche and a cracker, but a spoon would be a better bet. Black Russian Caviar is an experience unto itself.

That singularity is precisely why the Russians have been hoarding it for so long. And even though shipments have arrived, the market isn’t exactly flooded. Goldfine has some Black Russian Caviar, but won’t say how much.

“Annual Black Caviar consumption in Russia is in the vicinity of 100 tons a years,” Goldfine explains. “It’s at a lot of high-end catered banquets. It’s a statement, so it’s popular with the oligarchs—kind of like champagne: If you want champagne you get champagne. You don’t get sparkling wine.”

The caviar is now available at and will soon start appearing in big-name, big-city eateries. Was it worth the wait? The only way to find out is to order it.