Certain words and phrases are synonymous with Kentucky: bourbon, Derby, Bluegrass music, and caviar. Wait — what?
That’s right. There’s caviar being harvested in the Commonwealth, and it’s manufactured two hours from Louisville at America’s Best Caviar in Grand Rivers, KY.
Owner and operator David Fields has been running the business since 2012, and his products come from all over the state.
“It’s in just about every body of water,” he says, adding that the Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland rivers are his primary fish sources. The caviar from the Ohio River comes from either paddlefish or hackleback sturgeon, but most of Kentucky caviar is sourced from paddlefish.
David says there are two differences between his caviar and the really expensive stuff. Rare caviar is larger and firmer, with beads that will pop in your mouth. “Ours is more delicate,” he explains. “It’s more creamy — and there is a pop there, but it’s not necessarily that hard pop.”
It’s difficult to determine which restaurants are serving Kentucky caviar at any given time, especially since it’s often offered only during special events. David thinks LOU will see an uptick in caviar dishes soon, though, as sales usually spike just before Derby.
We were able to confirm one restaurant in town that keeps America’s Best Caviar on its menu: Nostalgic, located in Tyler Park at 1306 Bardstown Rd. The chop house serves caviar potato skins, made with Kentucky paddlefish caviar, chives, shallots, and parmesan.
If you’d rather whip up caviar creations at home, America’s Best Caviar sells directly to consumers — and it offers recipe ideas, too.
David adds that unlike his product, most caviar on the market is farm-raised. “The taste and the flavor that you get from our caviar — because it’s wild in nature — is almost second to none,” he says.