Tsukiji Seafood Market and FoodEx 2018 in Makuhari, Japan

by Olga Schafranek |

Some exciting things have developed over here at Tsar Nicoulai Caviar...

In late September we had a chance introduction with a distributor for Tsukiji who directly imports fresh fish from the Tokyo auction for sushi restaurants in the Bay Area. Yoshi, a former chef of Sushi Ran, along with his associates, explored the opportunities for Tsar Nicoulai in Tokyo. The initial impression was favorable.

We hosted Yoshi and Kiochi who represent Sakasyu (the parent company of Tsukiji Market Auctions) at the farm and office to learn about the great stuff we do at our Sturgeon Farm and about all our daily operations. We sent them off with some caviar samples to scope out the local response. 

Our connection with the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) helped us secure a booth inside the USA Pavilion at FoodEx 2018 in Makuhari, Japan in early March. WUSATA is the foreign trade arm of the USDA that helps to promote overseas agricultural export via trade missions, exhibitions, and focused meeting. Tsar Nicouali's Vice President, Ali and Brand Manager, Ryan, ventured out to Tokyo to exhibit. The overall response to our caviar was very positive, and created a substantial amount of excitement for our upcoming initial shipment.

In addition to the FoodEx event, Ali and Ryan also visited Tsukiji, the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. There they met with Hicho, Tsukiji's top dealer, over some freshly cut Maguro (fatty tuna). Hicho always purchases the most expensive tuna at the market. This Maguro was $500/lb. Pictured below, Yoshi garnished the Maguro with Tsar Nicouali Caviar. Hicho said he had never seen caviar on Maguro before, but that he found the pairing outrageously good. 

Historically it is believed that the Japanese Sturgeon (Acipenser Schrenkii) inhabited the sea of Japan, but the concept of custom inspired caviar is a new one. We plan to export a Japan market-specific caviar cured with one of the worlds finest salts harvested in Okinawan, launching an expansion of the concept we first cultivated in Sonoma working with the team from Jordan winery.

Ali, Ryan, and the team are working out the final details for the first shipment and are excited for orders to start coming in. We hope to follow the export of award winning California wines with award winning California caviar. 

We expect a successful first launch sometime before the Summer! Stay tuned...