What's the difference between "roe" and "caviar". Wikipedia has two different articles, however, the difference is not explain in the either one.

  • 1
    Caviar is roe from sturgeons. This is explained in the first sentence of the Wikipedia article. – Peter Shor Aug 29 '15 at 12:37
  • 1
    Caviar refers to the salted eggs or roe of the sturgeon. Roe is the generic term for fish eggs. – Graffito Aug 29 '15 at 12:38
  • 4
    Caviar is more expensive. – Hot Licks Aug 29 '15 at 13:02
  • @HotLicks - :) :) – brilliant Aug 29 '15 at 13:04

From an article on “What is the Difference Between Caviar and Roe?” at www.culinarylore.com:

They refer to the same thing: fish eggs. However, the term roe refers to the fish eggs (or male fish sperm) themselves while caviar is roe that has been salted or "cured" and then placed in tins for storage and aging. In the United States and Canada, any product that is only labeled caviar must come from sturgeon roe. If it contains the roe from any other fish, such as whitefish, it must be labelled with the name of the fish, such as whitefish roe, salmon roe, carp roe, trout roe, etc. The roe of shellfish is also used. In Europe, however, the term caviar is reserved exclusively for the roe of sturgeon. Roe from other fish must be called caviar substitute.

Here is a pictorial comparison of them, with salmon eggs on the left and sturgeon caviar on the right:

image of salmon eggs left and sturgeon caviar right

  • 3
    In the United States and Canada, [...]caviar must come from sturgeon roe. [...] In Europe, however, the term caviar is reserved exclusively for the roe of sturgeon. ?!? Culinary Lore needs better writers. – Jim Aug 29 '15 at 19:05
  • @Jim: I agree. It sounds though that the difference is that in NA, you could legally sell something as "salmon roe caviar" while in Europe, you'd have to call it " salmon roe caviar substitute." – sumelic Aug 29 '15 at 22:42
  • Yes, the picture compares salmon and sturgeon caviar. Thanks for sharing the article. I would like to point out the source of the picture (as given in the article) so the owner of the image gets proper credit: Image by Thor via flic.kr/p/7ByGkK Eric from CulinaryLore :) Sorry to reply as a new answer..this was meant as a comment. You'd think I'd know better. – Eric Troy Nov 22 '16 at 20:31

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