Homless and vulnerable people at hostels and care homes for the elderly in Milan are in line for a luxury Christmas lunch after officials donated £350,000 worth of seized caviar to them.
The 40kg haul of top-grade Beluga caviar was discovered during spot checks on strictly controlled foodstuffs.
Authorities decided there was too much of the delicacy to dispatch to restaurants quickly so it was given to the canteen of a hostel to be served up on Christmas Day.
Juri Mantegazza, a spokesman for the Italian Forestry Corps in Milan and who seized the caviar, said: “Tests carried out on the caviar showed it was edible, but as it does not keep very long and there was not enough time to arrange for it to be distributed elsewhere, we donated to a local charity. We have, however, kept a small amount as part of the investigation.
“I understand that the charity will distribute the caviar to various hostels in the Milan area and they will serve it as part of the Christmas Day lunch for the homeless.
“It’s a little Christmas present for those who wouldn’t normally eat caviar.”
Father Virginio Colmegan, of the Casa della Carita (House of Charity) said: “Every gift we are given is warmly accepted even if the majority of our guests don’t even know what these little black balls are. What is important to remember is that even the poor have rights and dignity, more than the desire for luxury items.”
Father Roberto Davanzo, of the Carita’s charity in Milan, said: “We are against all forms of waste and if this was the only alternative then it is warmly accepted. Even homeless and tramps have the right to try at least once the food of the rich.”
Beluga caviar is found in the Beluga sturgeon in the Caspian Sea, but it is considered an endangered species and there have been several trade bans in an attempt to save the fish.
Source: The Scotsman