The Siberian sturgeons at Tropenhaus Frutigen originally came from Russian Siberia, and primarily live in fresh water. Siberian sturgeon can reach an age of up to 60 years, measure up to 2 metres in length and can weigh almost 200 kilograms. The elongated, spindle-shaped body is held by five rows of bony plates on the side of the body. The symmetrical tail is also an indication of the remarkable age of the sturgeon family, which has been in existence for more than 200 million years. It detects its food, mainly insect larvae, worms and small crustaceans with its four barbels (taste buds) and takes them up through its beak-shaped, extended mouth. Its colour is a uniform brown to greyish-black, while the underside is mottled yellow to grey. It can be found in almost all the rivers of Siberia and in Lake Baikal. Sturgeon are considered to be migratory fish, who swim upstream to spawn. The Siberian sturgeon only spawns every 2 to 5 years.
As a result of the hunt for caviar and the obstruction of spawning rivers, most of the 26 sturgeon species are currently threatened with extinction worldwide. The fish farm that has been established at Tropenhaus Frutigen is considered to be a pioneering effort for sustainable breeding of Siberian sturgeon. The World Sturgeon Conservation Society, together with which the Tropenhaus Frutigen works closely, has dedicated itself to the protection of sturgeon living in the wild, and the sustainable breeding of sturgeon.
In addition to caviar, sturgeon also provide delicate meat. Sturgeon meat has a mild taste, and its many advantages make it an attractive choice. It has a firm consistency, doesn’t flake and remains juicy for a long time. Therefore, it is ideal to portion and prepare for visitors. Moreover, a fascinating characteristic is that sturgeon meat has no bones. Fresh fillet of sturgeon direct from the barbecue is particularly tasty. When smoked, sturgeon makes an excellent tartare or mousse, and goes really well with pasta or salads. Smoked royal sturgeon fillet is a special delicacy. It is carved out of the loin of the caviar fish and is the highest quality and most tender part of the fish.