November 28, 2021

Carlson’s Whitefish “Caviar” at MAWBY

By Emily Tyra | Oct. 9, 2021

Suttons Bay sparkling wine producer MAWBY has teamed with Carlson’s Fishery of Leland to offer a taste of a Great Lakes delicacy available locally for the first time. Fishmonger Mike Burda explains that typically Carlson’s only processes and ships the golden-orange whitefish eggs (technically the term caviar only applies to fish roe in the sturgeon family) frozen for the European market. “It’s really popular there, and at peak season we ship a couple hundred pounds a week.”

Luckily for us locals, the 5th generation fishery started selling the roe — fresh from the lake — to MAWBY this fall. The winery is serving it in the tasting room as a causal $10 “snack” alongside water crackers, sour cream and fresh chives. “It is a beautiful color, about as local and fresh as you can get,” says Mawby’s Claire Lepine.

Don’t sleep on this caviar dream, though: “We basically see whitefish eggs for a short season in the fall when they are ripe — from late September through October,” says Burda. Taste it at MAWBY, 4519 Elm Valley Rd., Suttons Bay, (231) 271-3522 or


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