7 guidelines for buying seafood

If you are a regular on this blog, you know I do a lot of seafood dishes. When I was a young adult, I worked for Superior Fish Co. in Royal Oak, MI for 4 years and delivered fish to some of the best restaurants in the Detroit area. While I was there, I cut, scaled and handled a lot of fish. I also got to take home a lot of great fish. I learned a lot of things while I was there. I thought I would share some of those items.

  1. What is the freshest fish? The one you catch of course. Not many people get that opportunity, so the fish you buy should share as many of those characteristics as the fish you just caught. So look at the eyes and the gills. Cloudy eyes means days old( select something else. The gills should be red; if not, pass.
  2. A fresh fish should smell like nothing or the body of water it came from. If it has a strong fishy smell, you might think twice.
  3. Ask what is the freshest thing in the display case. Now, sometimes it’s something I can’t afford, but it’s still helpful to know. The folks at Crosby’s Crabs know I’m going to ask, and they just steer me to what is the best. Sometimes it’s a whole fish that they will take in the back and fillet for me. Ask your fish folks to do that.
  4. Shiny is good; if the fish looks dry in the case, it usually will be bad on the plate. Fresh fish has moisture; old fish looks, well, old.
  5. Frozen is not always bad. Certain fish does great frozen; restaurants have been using frozen shrimp, cod, scallops and catfish for years. They are restaurant staples – you just don’t know it. Cooked correctly you won’t know the difference.
  6. Look for displays with ice for shell fish, not just steel trays. It means they are keeping them cold but also adding moisture.
  7. Always buy from a trusted source. Much like a wine guy, they yum TVs will get to know your preferences and make better recommendations for your enjoyment.

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