National Geographic : 1961 Jan
KODACHROME(ABOVE)AND HS EKTACHROME© NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICSOCIETY Gill nets of Caspian fishermen capture sturgeon ranging from 25 to 2,500 pounds. Gour mets the world over prize the fish's eggs, known as caviar. Different kinds of caviar take their names from the species of sturgeon that yield the roe-sevruga, assetrine, beluga. These seiners stake their net a few miles offshore to trap fish heading upstream to spawn in cold rivers of the Elburz Mountains. Chief taster at Bandar-e Pahlavi packing station ex amines a tin of the golden imperial caviar, which the plant reserves exclusively for the Shah. Last year this expert sampled 146 tons of caviar, determining its qual ity by taste, look, or feel. After extracting the stur geon roe, processors gently force the eggs through a coarse sieve, wash them carefully, and add salt. Packed in ice and saw dust, the delicacy is shipped at temperatures just below freezing.