Yarra Valley Caviar (YVC) is an export-approved boutique freshwater aquaculture farm located at the base of the Rubicon River in the Yarra Valley ranges in rural Victoria.
The farm produces predominantly Atlantic Salmon, but also Rainbow Trout and Brooke Trout.
Unlike most salmon and trout farms, which produce the fish for flesh, at YVC production is based primarily around the removal of eggs from the fish.
The fish are milked for roe entirely by hand, once per year, under a completely natural anaesthetic of clove oil.
They are then gently placed back in their ponds to spawn again the following year.
Yarra Valley Caviar has recently gained export certification and is sending product to the Maldives, Singapore and Hong Kong as well as all capital cities in Australia.
More recently they have gained their BAP certification (best aquaculture practice).
This is an internationally recognised organisation dedicated to advocacy, leadership and education in aquaculture.
The stringent audit process ensures companies such as YVC are performing best practice methods in aquaculture and delivering the best fish husbandry they can.
Alongside this, YVC owners Mark Fox and Nick Gorman already have a strong focus on sustainability.
This is reflected in their refusal to use chemicals at the farm and low stocking densities of fish.
This consequently leads to no disease issues and happy fish.
This year a team of 25 staff milked around 20,000 Atlantic Salmon and Trout over the course of three to four weeks in May.
This work equated to a harvest of well over 10 tonnes of product.
The roe is salted, jarred and pasteurised before been sent out to over 50x wholesalers Australia wide.
It can also be found for retail purchase at places such as Prahran market, Sydney Fish Market and specialty retailers around Australia.
YVC now have an online store offering all their different products, plus imported black caviar from Europe.
Caviar recipe to tempt palate
Yarra Valley Caviar’s recipe for buckwheat blinis. These are flat out amazing, simple to prepare and are harnessing some great flavours.
45g buckwheat flour
225ml warm milk
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Add to the flour, buckwheat flour and salt then add the egg yolks.
Cover and prove for 15-20 minutes. Whisk egg whites fluffy and fold into the flour mixture. Cook in a non-stick pan until golden each side. To finish top the blinis with creme Fraiche and add a dollop of Yarra valley salmon pearls
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