The white sturgeon belongs to the sturgeon family Acipenseridae. Not only is it the largest sturgeon species in North America, it is also the largest freshwater fish species.
The sturgeon spends two years in the St. Lawrence estuary before growing to full size in the ocean, though it returns to fresh water to spawn.
From Old French esturgeon. Acipenseridae family
In the 17th century, sturgeon, identifiable by the five longitudinal rows of bony plates on its sides, was the most commonly-eaten fish in Quebec. The tail end and the belly were favored parts, flavorful brown flesh that was first poached in white wine and milk, then breaded and grilled. The sturgeon was then served with a piquant sauce of anchovies, capers, parsley, green onions and garlic. During Lent, cooks competed to see who could come up with the most inventive "mock" dishes - sturgeon prepared to imitate some other food. The English transformed it into mock veal cutlets: the flesh was flaked, bound with egg and flour, formed into a cutlet shape, cooked in butter and served with tartar sauce.
Nutritional values per 100 g
Calories: 125; carbohydrates: 0 g; fat: 5 g; protein: 20 g. Rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and vitamin B.
Fresh sturgeon is a seasonal product. However, smoked sturgeon is available from most fish sellers.
A firm-fleshed fish, rich in collagen, sturgeon is well-suited to simple pan-cooking: it releases all its juices to become slightly crunchy on the surface and deliciously moist in the center.
It can also be grilled or barbecued without drying out.
In the oven: cut out pavés (square-cut portions), brush with mustard and place them, covered, into a 185° C (375° F) oven for about 7 minutes. Drizzle with a warm vinaigrette (walnut oil and balsamic vinegar).
Braised or roasted with its skin and cartilage, it retains the maximum flavor.
On the other hand, it becomes more delicate when steamed, poached or cooked in court-bouillon.
Hints & Tips