The Beluga Blues

America's craving for salty, sexy caviar has pushed an ancient sea creature to the brink of extinction

Some people spread it on lightly buttered toast as a holiday treat. Others wrap it in blinis with a dollop of sour cream. But purists insist that the best way to eat beluga caviar is straight off the spoon, followed by a shot of vodka or a sip of ice-cold champagne. For those who can afford to shell out $100 or more an ounce, these precious salted sturgeon eggs are a taste of what life was like for the Russian czars and czarinas who feasted regularly on fine caviar.

Better get your last licks in soon, however. The beluga sturgeon...

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