June 01, 1998

The Tsar of Russian Fish


Sturgeon (in Russian, osetrina) tends to best-known for its unhatched offspring, otherwise known as caviar. But in Russia, where fish has long been a valued part of the diet, the 24 types of sturgeon (some of which can reach 30 feet in length and weigh up to a ton and a half) are themselves a treasured delicacy, if properly prepared.

And proper preparation is everything. In Anton Chekhov’s famous short story, The Lady with a Dog (Dama s sobachkoy), the protagonist, Dmitry, aches to tell someone about a woman whom he is infatuated with:

 


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