January 11, 2016
This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Fish roe is on the rise. I’ll tell you more after this…
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For centuries caviar has been known as a delicacy worldwide. It’s been mainly eaten as special hors d`oeuvres or spreads, but its use in is what has pushed its popularity throughout America. The roe comes from a variety of different fish from beluga sturgeon eggs to the more affordable salmon eggs.
“Sturgeon is probably the most famous but, you know, in the last 20 years roe from chum salmon and from pink salmon has had a huge demand and has grown significantly, particularly in Eastern Europe, not so much in the United States. But, of course, it’s been a delicacy in Japan for decades. But that demand has spread across the world as the world has come to know that product of ikura, chum caviar, and it’s a high in protein, high in fat, it’s a delicacy. I love it myself.”
Steve Reifenstuhl, is the general manager of the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association-
“Pink Caviar is also considered a delicacy. It’s just the best of the Salmon is the chum because it’s a larger egg and I think the ‘pop’ that occurs when you turn it in; you know, salt it and turn it into a caviar product. Pink salmon is a smaller egg and for some reason is not quite as desirable so doesn’t have the price that chum salmon caviar has”
From caviar to Uni (sea urchin), a new category called Beyond the Roe will feature all types of fish egg products at the annual Symphony of Seafood.   Julie Decker is the executive director of the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, and is hosting the event.  
“With this we are trying to bring attention not only to the value of roe, but also the nutritional benefits that the roe presents.”
Decker says that fish eggs are quickly becoming main stream in the U.S.
 “I think a wider variety of people are starting to eat products like sushi and roe. So we want to further encourage product development. And what that does is diversifies the markets available to companies selling Alaska seafood.”
The staff at KCAW Radio did some taste testing of their own.
Oh, it’s very salty. It’s pretty good, it’s like mushy sushi…
It’s kind of funny, they do roll around in your mouth a little bit…
They are very squishy. That’s okay. I wouldn’t go out of my way…
Kind of like fishy blueberries…
New roe products will be judged for the first time ever at the biggest seafood bash, Symphony of Seafood’s next month in Seattle, Juneau, and Anchorage. Check out the line up at www.alaskafishradio.com.  And thanks to the assist of KCAW in Sitka.
  Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.  Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America. www.oceanbeauty.com      In Kodiak, I’m Stephanie Mangini.