TODAY'S SPECIAL: Iranian caviar back on U.S. menus after 13-year absence

Posted: Thursday, December 28, 2000

NEW YORK -- In a cold, gray building, lost among dozens of warehouses and auto-parts dealers in outer Queens, Hossein Aimani keeps an immense treasure -- billions of tiny, glistening eggs smelling of sea and salt that have been packed into blue-and-gold metal tins stamped ''Paramount Caviar.''

A few miles away in midtown Manhattan, a very different scene. Le Bernardin chef Eric Ripert serves Paramount's golden ossetra with warm crepes, toast and creme fraiche to a caviar-savvy clientele.

The holidays are high caviar season, and this year American devotees are getting reacquainted with Iran's version, back on upscale menus after the lifting of a 13-year trade embargo.

BC-Caviar's Return. 1,200 words. Moving Tuesday on financial wires as f7002 for weekend editions, Dec. 30-31.

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