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6 Aug, 2007 03:27

Tsars' delicacy now loved by all

Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi is known for its subtropical climate, but there's something else which sets it apart. It's home to the biggest trout farm in Russia.

You used to have to be royalty in Russia to have a chance of eating trout. Nowadays the delicacy has become a family favourite, and at the Adler breeding farm they sell over 700 tonnes of it a year. That makes it the largest trout farm in Russia and the main supplier of roe for breeding purposes.

“Our farm is special in many ways. The main thing is that we use the cleanest mineral water – that is why the trout never get ill,” says Victoria Yanouskaya, the farm main specialist.

And the water's not only clean, but it's running constantly.

Another thing which makes the farm distinct is the fertilisation process. When the female trout reach about three years old, their eggs are carefully squeezed out and put into one of incubators for artificial insemination. 40 seconds later, about 85% of the eggs are fertilised – compared to 5% in the wild. Once the eggs become tadpoles they're moved to another pond and checked regularly.

In total the farm breeds seven types of trout. One – the Adler Amber – was actually created there and is now patented.

“It is a very healthy fish we are trying to do everything so that our trout with our name on is known not only in Russia but also abroad,” says Igor Aganov, Director.

But it's not all about breeding. The farm is also a popular tourist attraction. People can tour round the different ponds and even have a go at catching fish themselves. If you're one of the lucky ones you get to keep what you catch, but if not, a shop is on site with all the different kinds of trout for sale. And if you can't wait to get home and cook or simply want to try before you buy – a tasting room gives you the opportunity to sample.