|Headquarters||Kecheng District, Quzhou, Zhejiang, China|
Kaluga Queen is a Chinese brand of caviar made by the caviar company Hangzhou Qiandaohu Xunlong Sci-Tech Co., Ltd. The company produces 60 tonnes of caviar annually, making it the largest producer of caviar in the world and responsible for 30% of world production.
Kaluga Queen was founded in 2003 by Hangzhou Qiandaohu Xunlong Sci-Tech Co., Ltd., a caviar company affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences. The caviar processing facility was constructed in 2004 and the Kaluga Queen brand created in the following year.
Several years after the founding of the company, CITES imposed a severe curtailment of wild caviar from the Caspian Sea region, creating an opportunity for caviar farming startups to take market share from the traditional caviar powers of Russia and Iran.
The sturgeon are farmed at Qiandao Lake, a man-made lake surrounded by little in the way of industry. There are about 50,000 sturgeon maturing at the farm. At age 6 when the sex of the sturgeon becomes apparent, the males are separated from females for immediate processing while the females continue to be nurtured in pens.
The mature sturgeon are shipped in water-filled trucks from the lake to a processing facility in Quzhou. At the facility the sturgeon's eggs are taken out and "checked, re-rinsed, salted, and sealed in tins in less than 10 minutes". The sturgeon without eggs is smoked and exported mostly to Russia.
Kaluga Queen's caviar has been favorably reviewed. A writer for Newsweek praised the brand's Schrenckii caviar as having peerless "power and intensity". French chef Alain Ducasse serves it at his portfolio of restaurants.
Media coverage of Keluga Queen has often focused on the Chinese origins of the brand, noting the lack of association between China and caviar. A piece in that's magazine noted that while Kaluga Queen is "hugely successful", the brand still finds it difficult to gain recognition in the international community.'"
At the 2016 G20 Hangzhou summit, which was held in the company's home province of Zhejiang, world leaders attending the summit, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, were served Kaluga Queen caviar.
- "China's Growing Appetite for Caviar and Truffles". Newsweek. December 5, 2015.
- "The World's Best Caviar Doesn't Come From Russia Anymore". Bloomberg. September 19, 2017.
- "Fishy business". China Daily. December 9, 2016.
- "A Sturgeon Story: Chinese Caviar's Global Rise". FineDining Lovers. April 26, 2016.
- "China's Black Gold". The Peak. June 1, 2016.
- "The World Is Eating Chinese Caviar (And Doesn't Know It)". that's. February 4, 2017.