Today, most caviar and fish roe (regardless of quality) are cured to the model of the malossol process. This processing model is the highest quality method of preserving caviar and fish roe.
But what is the definition of malossol?
Malossol is a Russian word that literally translates to "little salt." When the word malossol is used to describe caviar, it is defined as the idyllic salting process used to increase the shelf life of the highly perishable fish roe. A salt content of 3-5% is considered ideal because it not only preserves the roe but allows for enhancement of the product's natural flavors. The term malossol was traditionally reserved for only the highest grade caviar, with this one word signaling to consumers that what they are buying is quality in taste and has not been over-salted.
The malossol process is not the only method of preserving caviar. Aside from malossol caviar, there is pressed caviar, semi-preserved or "salted" caviar, and pasteurized caviar.
Have more questions about caviar? Visit our caviar FAQ page.