Austria - Caviar à la carte
Walter Grüll Fischhandel GmbH at Grödig, near Salzburg
" When you eat Walter Grüll's caviar you notice the soft consistency of the grains, which means that the caviar hasn’t been pasteurised, plus a hint of hazelnut and a touch of saltiness "

Back in 1981, in Grödig near Salzburg, Walter Grüll started breeding rare freshwater and sea fish, crustaceans, six different varieties of oyster and caviar. He also became the first person to make white caviar from white sturgeon: a zoological rarity, for the benefit of the culture of gastronomy.

“The quality of caviar was becoming increasingly poor, and the prices were creeping up. So I decided to make caviar,” he explained.

This was a long-term project, as it takes between eight and ten years to ‘harvest’ caviar from sturgeon.

In 2002, he was finally able to sell his ‘Austrian Caviar’. His production process is totally artisan, with no machines, just hard work. The sturgeons are reared exclusively in open-air enclosures to ensure the best quality. His clients include the finest restaurants and luxury hotels with his biggest customers in Asia and Arabic countries.

Today, most caviar comes from China. It is pasteurised and preserved with borax and other products. This is allowed, but it doesn’t bring out the natural flavour of the caviar. When you eat Walter Grüll’s caviar you notice the soft consistency of the grains, which means that the caviar hasn’t been pasteurised, plus a hint of hazelnut and a touch of saltiness.

Walter Grüll doesn’t follow a make-to-stock approach, he practically makes to order, which gives the caviar its exceptional flavour. White and black caviar are both finely ground and dried which produces a very specific, strong taste to spice up certain dishes.

In December 2012, he opened a small bar on the same site as his shop and production site where customers can taste his products as soon as they come out of the water.

Chaîne members and guests attending the ACCR Charity Gala in Salzburg in October 2015 were lucky enough to try his caviar. It was a real treat!

Günter Albert
Member of the Conseil d’Administration
Bailli Délégué Honoraire of Monaco

Photos courtesy of Constantin Fischer (www.constantin-fischer.at)