About Caviar and the History of Caviar


It is said that the first people tasting caviar on the shores of the Caspian were the Azeri and Persians living at the Kura River on the area of the former Persian Empire. They called it khaviar from the Persian dialect (khya meaning egg). The Persians believed that caviar was a medicine, which can cure many diseases, and also a source of energy. Aristotle, the Greek scholar in the 4th century B.C., described caviar as a delicacy made from the roe (eggs) of the sturgeon fish.

In the times of the Roman Empire, caviar was regarded as such a cuisine that it was presented among garlands of flowers, and trumpets heralded as it was presented to the royals. The main consumer of caviar in old days other than the nobles around the world was the shah and his revered friends around the world during the Persian Empire. Every year the Shah would receive tones of the best caviar as an annual tax from the fishermen and lavish the royals and their friends with the best the Caspian Sea has to offer. The Shah’s caviar would be the prime selected Golden Ossetra, a favorite of the Imperial dynasty; Hence the name Imperial Ossetra.

Various specialists insist that even though beluga varieties are the most expensive, they do not always taste the best. Beluga sturgeons are up to 20 feet long and can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. Their eggs are larger than those of any other sturgeons, and the rarest as the Beluga is a diminishing creature in its habitat of the Caspian Sea.

In Europe, the food standard laws state that only the processed roe of sturgeon can be called caviar and the other fishes simply called fish roe. In the US; however, various kinds of fish roe can be sold as caviar as long as the fish type is indicated. The major sturgeon species used to produce true caviar today are Beluga, Ossetra and Sevruga. Sturgeon is nearly extinct due to over poaching and a diminishing environmental habitat within the Caspian Sea. The source of the prized “Golden Imperial caviar of the Shah” which got its name from its golden color is still a favorite amongst caviar lovers.

Caviar is graded by its color and size, taste, firmness of the pearls, amount of juice and salt, and host country. The lightest, largest and rarest today is considered the best and therefore the most expansive is Beluga as it meets these standards. The sturgeon eggs are graded for color, with 000 indicating the lightest colored and 0 the darkest. The US and other countries also produce caviar from the roe of salmon, paddlefish, whitefish and lumpfish and mush more non-sturgeon fishes. Each type has different standards and the price is much lower than true caviar from the Caspian Sea.

Main Producers of caviar today:

As more than 95% of the worlds actual caviar comes from the Caspian sea there have been two main producers; Iran and Russia with its former satellite states. After the collapse of the USSR, Russia is no longer in control of its former states such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and these countries are also producers of caviar as they are countries located in the Caspian basin. Due to Iran’s strict control of its caviar production, its consistency and high standards, and lack of pollution on the coast Iran’s shores on the Caspian Sea, the quality and consistence of Iranian caviar is paramount. The consistency of salting is uniform and done in a professional manner that follows the methods of the ancient Persian tradition unlike the other Caspian basin countries which do not follow a set procedure and have many different processing methods which lack in performance and consistency. The result of this is a great difference in quality and pricing. As one can see today, that the price of Iranian caviar is double than the caviars of all other Caspian countries.

What Are Truffles?

A truffle is a rare, edible mushroom that is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. Generally harvested in the wild, they are quite expensive. Truffles are often confused with chocolate-covered truffles, a confectionery that has no relation to mushroom truffles.

Requiring climates with mild weather changes, truffles grow in a limited number of places including France, Italy, Croatia, and Slovenia. Truffles are also collected in the United States, in states like Oregon and Washington, as well as parts of the Middle East and North Africa. They grow approximately one foot (30 cm) underground among the roots of oak, elm, chestnut, pine, and willow trees where they form a symbiotic relationship with the environment.

There are dozens of different types of truffles ranging in size from a walnut to an apple. Truffles are irregularly-shaped with sometimes smooth, though usually bumpy or wrinkled caps.

Truffle hunting is big business during truffle season, which generally lasts from fall to spring. Each year, trufficulteurs use specially-trained dogs that find the buried treasures, usually at night. In the past, female pigs or sows were used to hunt for truffles, as the pungent odor that the truffles emit is similar to that of a male pig. The sows were difficult to hold back once the truffle was located, however, and would readily consume the expensive delicacy. For this reason most hunters now use truffle dogs.

The taste of a truffle is often compared to garlic blended with an earthiness or pungent, mushroomy flavor. They are most often served uncooked and shaved into foods like pasta, salads, or omelets. They are also served in light sauces, on fondue, or even on pizza.

Of the many varieties of truffles, some of the most famous are the Italian white truffle, the French black truffle, the summer black truffle, and the March truffle. The white truffle, often referred to as the white diamond, is considered the rarest type of truffle, demanding one of the highest prices. In general, truffles are among the most expensive natural foods in the world, selling for hundreds or thousands of US Dollars (USD) per pound (0.45 kg).

Many species of mushrooms look similar to truffles but are actually poisonous. Avoid eating wild mushrooms of any kind without the highly-educated guidance of an expert who can positively identify the species as edible. The safest way to taste a truffle is to order it from a menu.

French Summer Black Truffles Whole
French Winter Truffles Whole
Italian Summer Black Truffles Whole
Italian Summer White Truffles Whole
Italian Winter Black Truffles Whole
Italian Winter White Truffle Whole
Morel Mushrooms
Porcini Mushrooms

Foie Gras


Over the centuries, foie gras has become one of the icons of French gastronomy.

Foie gras is so versatile that it has found its place in a variety of other cuisines, including Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Thai and contemporary American to name a few.

It is traditionally served hot (pan-seared) or cold (terrine or “torchon-style”) but there are hundreds of ways to prepare it. It is all up to each Chef’s creative talent.


Founded in 1875 and based in the medieval town of Sarlat in the beautiful Périgord region of France, Rougié is the world’s #1 producer of foie gras and moulard duck specialties with farms located both in France and Canada.

Rougié is the active partner of award winning restaurants around the world, always bringing innovative culinary solutions for consistently outstanding duck and goose delicacies.

Our products are also available in duty free outlets and selected gourmet shops worldwide.

Rougié is a proud member of the Artisan Farmers Alliance www.artisanfarmers.org

Product Description
A specialty of Gascony, foie gras is one of the world’s great gastronomic delicacies. These fully cooked foies gras from Rougié, France’s leading foie gras producer, have a wonderfully rich flavor and silky smooth texture, and contain the finest liver, seasonings, and port wine. Foie gras should be served chilled. Enjoy it on toasted bread with a glass of Sauternes, or on a baguette with a glass of California red.

Rougie Block of Goose Foie Gras 5.1 oz

Rougie Block of Goose Foie Gras 5.1 oz Rougie, One

Block of Goose Foie Gras

Rougie Block of Goose Foie Gras, 2.6 ounces Tins ~ Rougie

Rougie Block of Goose Foie Gras, 5.1 ounces Tins ~ Rougie

Rougie Block of Goose Foie Gras, 7.4 ounces Tins ~ Rougie


Rougié Block of Goose Foie Gras with 3% Truffles (Paté)

Rougie Block of Goose Foie Gras with Truffle, 2.6 ounces Tins ~ Rougie

Rougie Block of Goose Foie Gras with Truffle, 5.1 ounces Tins ~ Rougie

Rougie Block of Goose Foie Gras with Truffle, 7.4 ounces Tins ~ Rougie

Fresh Black Winter Truffles from Italy


Fresh Black Winter Truffles from Norcia, Tuber melanosporum, are a prized delicacy, a great ingredient to create high flavored luxurious dishes. We import round, smooth and generously sized pieces that deliver nice slivers for your dishes. Use to concoct delicious sauces, sliver over pasta or meat dishes, expertly garnish your plates.Instructions for use and storage: Don’t cook for long periods of time or excessive heat. Store in the refrigerator wrapped in moist paper towel.

$173.25 – $1,512.00

Buy from amazon.com

Winter Black Italian Truffles – Brushed Extra


The black truffle is adored for their intense flavor, deeply musky with hints of fresh wine and chocolate flavors. Truffles graded “Extra” are larger than most, the second highest in truffle quality. Best when used at the conclusion of the cooking process, to release all their aroma and perfume. Chefs suggest to slice or shave thinly over pastas, risottos and omelets. Whole -entire truffles- are marked “brushed (which means they have been cleaned of any soil or dirt), preserved in brine or truffle juice -which can be discarded or use to flavor sauced or broths -and are ready to use. Magnificent cooking creations await.

$43.58 – $1,852.20

Buy from amazon.com

Winter White Italian Truffles – Brushed


The Italian White Alba truffle – the winter white truffle – is celebrated around the world for its superb gastronomic qualities, particularly its aroma, reminiscent of fresh cloves of garlic mixed with creamy and rich parmesan cheese. The little pebble-sized truffles are preserved in their own juices or brine, and are ready to use. In order to help reconstitute their original flavor and aroma from being preserved in brine, chefs suggest to first lightly sauté them in a truffle butter or oil, and then use at the end of a preparation (like risottos and pastas) to release the full potency flavor and scent as they are served.

$61.42 – $2,598.75

Italian Summer Whole Brushed First Choice White Truffles 2.00 oz.


Product Description
This bianchetti has a captivating aroma with a characteristic hint of garlic. Mild and subtly fresh and aromatic, the summer white truffle delivers a pleasant muted garlicky flavor. Gathered during the summer, when truffles are more plentiful and available, summer white truffles fetch a much more reasonable price the winter variety. Graded “First Choice” – a grading that indicates a smaller size – these winter white truffles have been “brushed” (cleaned of soil) and are preserved in brine, also known as truffle juice, which can be used for other preparations such as sauces and broths. These truffles emanate a delightfully subtle perfume that is conveyed into any dish. Sliver and shave over pasta, meat and poultry dishes, risottos and sauces.

Summer White Italian Truffles – Brushed First Choice

Italian Summer White Truffles Whole 0.73 oz

Italian Summer White Truffles Whole 0.73 oz.

Italian Summer White Truffles Whole 2 oz

Italian Summer White Truffles Whole 7 oz (Free Standard Shipping!)

Italian Summer White Truffles Whole 7 oz.

White Turf

Cresta Run Clubhouse


Badrutt’s Palace Hotel

Leaning Tower

View from the Corviglia

Our Suppliers

Touch of Europe has been in business for 8 years providing European products directly imported from France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy and more. In addition, we offer specialized products to care for the high end linens we sell and items that have a 'European feel'. If we like the look and feel of something, we'll buy it! We travel to Europe 2 or 3 times each year to bring you the newest and best finds, shipping items to our warehouse in Georgia in container loads. So you never know what you will find! From skin care to linen care, gourmet foods, luxury linens, home accessories, gift baskets and more. We bring you new, unusual and fun products for gifts, for yourself, for your home and your family.
For fine gourmet foods, browse our mouth-watering selection of fine international gourmet food products, including pasta, olive oil, cheeses, rice, and sauces. Almost everything the gourmet loves to eat -- direct from the place that makes the best.