Member of the Week | Exmoor Caviar
Exmoor Caviar, the UK’s first sturgeon caviar farm, has been operating in Devon since 2012 and now supplies products to the kitchens of 67 Michelin-starred restaurants including The Fat Duck, The Ledbury and The Araki.
Before launching, CEO Ken Benning sought permission from Queen Elizabeth II to be able to farm sturgeon in the UK. He received a letter from Buckingham Palace stating that Her Majesty would not extend her royal prerogative relating to the ownership of all sturgeon in the realm and further confirmed that the sturgeon on the farm would indeed remain his property. Exmoor Caviar has previously been supplied to Buckingham Palace as well as Chequers.
The picturesque farm, located in the foothills of the Exmoor National Park, has an ancient water right allowing 45 million litres of fresh water to flow through the raceways every day. This unique access allows the sturgeon to swim in an abundance of fresh, cool water 24 hours a day, enabling them to grow at the pace that nature intended. This has a definite impact on the quality, flavour and freshness of the product, separating it from caviar produced from sturgeon reared in recirculated farms.
Exmoor Caviar is made with Cornish Sea Salt, the preferred choice of many chefs at Michelin-starred restaurants. The addition of this naturally produced sea salt rather than standard food grade salt lends itself perfectly to the caviar, helping to bring out the renowned clean and creamy taste of Exmoor Caviar, which is now also available as a limited-edition Smoked Caviar.
Sustainability is a key pillar to the success of the Exmoor Caviar brand; to ensure minimal wastage from production the sturgeon meat is sold fresh and is also offered as both hot- and cold-smoked sturgeon.
Using any broken caviar eggs, Exmoor Caviar has created a Caviar Infused Sea Salt. This product was used in a recent collaboration with Chantal Coady at Rococo Chocolates to create Exmoor Caviar Salt Infused Chocolate Pearls.
A further very exciting new product that Exmoor Caviar has developed with its sister company Caviar Biotec is the world’s first Pure Caviar Oil, which is produced alongside the main caviar production. This is an edible oil that pairs beautifully with light fish dishes and salads, lacing them with a rich buttery caviar taste. It also has uses as a nutraceutical and the base of caviar skincare.