Caviar Dreams

15 min. Video Project. 2017. $69. ISBN unavail.
Gr 9–12—Incorporating archival film footage and photographs, this short documentary explores the history of a luxury delicacy. Once plentiful, caviar was at one time considered food for the poor. Talking-head comments by a historian, as well as a fishmonger, caviar farmer, and consumers, discuss the love of sturgeon roe, now a scarce and endangered commodity. Since sturgeons are very long lived and may take decades to mature, the over-harvesting of the fish eventually led to a ban on sturgeon fishing. The embargo then resulted in massive poaching and a rise to astronomical heights in the cost of the product. Today, sturgeons are farmed for their eggs, a process which is considered more environmentally sound. Although the program offers some historical and environmental background, its scattershot approach to the information provided makes it somewhat questionable for classroom use.
VERDICT Although touching on historical and environmental issues, the narrowness of the topic and the unsystematic presentation make this less than useful for a curriculum-related classroom application.

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