Grown in a unique and exemplary ecosystem, Switzerland’s own Tropenhaus Frutigen presents a very exclusive brand of black caviar called OONA, the first of its kind in their native homeland. We contacted the CEO of the company, Mr. Baillods, to get to know a little bit more about this fabulous product.
How did you come up with the idea to create such a unique product?
When a long train tunnel was constructed through the Swiss Alps, warm water flowed from the mountains from underground springs. Because we didn’t want to waste this thermal energy we thought of building a green house for tropical plants and fruits. The warmth of the water is hence used to heat the green house and is then cooled down through a heat exchanger. Furthermore we wanted to use this now slightly colder water in a profitable and unique way. Before diverting the water into the local rivers, it first flows through our basins. These basins contain Siberian Sturgeons (Acipenser Baerii), and we use our special water in order to harvest their caviar – the first and only caviar harvested in Switzerland. We wanted to create something sustainable and unique, achieving international prestige and earn money.
What makes your caviar different from the others?
The clear spring water gives the caviar a very pure taste. This creates a freshness much like a mountain wind. The nutty aroma will remind the consumers of an alpine hayfield, which is precious to the culture of the Swiss Alps. It is an amalgamation of all that is offered by the mountains.
Which philosophy did you use during the creation process?
Sustainability is at the top of our priorities list. We use electricity produced from fluid energy created by the water similar to a hydroelectric dam, and also from solar power gathered from various panels. We reap the benefits of the water’s warmth, and the organic waste. We believe that it is very important our customers get the full picture and thus we ensure great transparency. The public is more than welcome to visit our location as guests.
What inspired you to create the extraordinary design for the “Ice Cube”?
Our inspiration for the design of the “Ice Cube” glass container came from three things: the ice which delivers the pure water, the mountains, and of course the caviar. The black bowl within the “Ice Cube” is a representation, is a symbol of a single Sturgeon roe found within a dish of caviar.
Caviar combines the qualities of a luxurious artisan’s product. What traditions and knowledge have you followed to create such a kind of standard?
Our Oona Caviar stands for the finest craftsmanship. The “Ice Cube” shows our uniqueness as well as luxury. The Caviar is produced in a very traditional way, step by step and through careful work by hand. Each batch is individually controlled, evaluated and filled. Every tin is unique, pure, and absolute.
What experience in authenticity will the clients have after degustation of OONA caviar?
Pure pleasure. Being able to feel and experience how caviar can and should taste. A piece of clarity and birth of something unique. The perfection of millions of years of production – and a little bit of Switzerland.