You had to think about it: East of Antananarivo, French entrepreneurs have started producing sturgeon eggs, now exported under the Rova brand to luxury hotels and restaurants.

Its banks are refuges for the happy few of Antananarivo who are lucky to be able to escape the stress of the capital. Surrounded by small hills, the artificial lake of Mantasoa, 60 kilometers east of Tana, has become a privileged vacation spot for the political and economic elite.

Luxury, calm, relax and, now, caviar. It is in this natural setting, at 1,400 meters above sea level, that the French Delphyne Dabezies Guiraud, her husband Christophe and their partner Alexandre Guerrier set up their sturgeon farm.

“There is no industry, so no pollution. The water of the lake, mainly fed by the rains, is of great purity”, explains the founder of the Acipenser farm, from the name of this family of fish whose eggs have is the heyday of imperial Russia.

The fish farm of the three French is one of only two to produce caviar in the southern hemisphere, along with that of Baygorria, in Uruguay.

A new black gold

“Madagascar caviar has excellent characteristics. It has a certain resistance under the palate, offers beautiful shades of color, a taste with touches of hazelnut (which fades after salting) and a good length in the mouth. This is very promising” explains Jérôme Bastide, site operations manager.

The Rova brand is named after the Queen’s Palace in Antananarivo, an iconic monument in the history of the country. Rova means “Palace”.

In 2019, half of the production was sold locally. This new Malagasy black gold is also already distributed in the best hotels in Mauritius, in the Seychelles, in Dubai, in South Africa and in France.

[Source: Jeune Afrique of 25 February 2020]

Boogie Pilgrim offers food tours in Madagascar during which you can taste local caviar: more information