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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!