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Saturday, May 12, 2018

18 Ways To Buy Fish Without Getting Soaked

1.Take a whiff as you approach the counter You should smell ocean brine or
nothing at all.  If you smell a fishy odor, walk away. The store does not pay attention
to freshness or cleanliness.

2. Examine whole fish on display even if you only want fillets -The fishes eyes should be
bright and clear, not cloudy. Scales should be shiny and metallic looking, not dull. If you can touch the fish, gently press its flesh. If it is fresh, the depression you create will quickly disappear. It’s not a good store if there are past their prime fish on display.

3.Look for liquid in packaged fish fillets Tip a few packaged fish fillets to one side. If you see liquid sloshing around, the fillet had been sitting around too long. Those juices that have escaped the fish as it aged and dried out.

4. Eye the ice in the fish display cases - The ice should look clear. If its cloudy or yellow, it’s likely not changed very often which is not a good sign.

5. At the supermarket, ask to speak to the fish manager - If the manager is summoned from the meat department, it’s another sign to shop elsewhere. If the store has a separate fish manager, ask,
“What’s the freshest fish you have today?”

6. Notice fish department traffic - The more customers a seafood department has, the faster it turns over inventory and the fresher the seafood.

7. Seek out fish markets that cater to immigrants from seafood loving nations-If there is a market in the area that cater to people from Portugal, Korea, Vietnam or Italy, it’s likely a great place to buy seafood.

8. Look for a slight blue tint in white flesh fish- A white flaky fish such as cod, flounder or haddock should be translucent or such brilliant white that it seems to have a bluish tint.

9. Watch the sell by date- Prepackaged fish should have a sell by date. You want to buy fish that’s at least 2 days or more away from that date.

10. Don’t be afraid of frozen - When it comes to seafood, fresh is best only if you live near the fish was caught. Otherwise, you’re better off buying frozen. especially when the fish is vacuum packed and flash frozen. That means it was frozen immediately after coming out of the water.

11. Lean towards seafood that is sold in thick steaks -The higher a piece of seafood ratio of volume to surface area, the better it’s likely to hold up over time whether fresh or frozen. All else being equal, that means the best bet for freshness often is large fish that’s cut into steaks, which might include
tuna, swordfish, salmon or Chilean sea bass. To a lesser extent ,tuna and Chilean sea  bass have  high
mercury levels so they should not be eaten frequently. They should be avoided by children and pregnant women.  

12. Avoid seafood imported from Southeast Asia - Fishing industry standards are not as reliable as in North, South and Central America. So avoid seafood from Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and China.
Also, mostly all tilapia and shrimp sold in the US comes from Southeast Asia. So it should be avoided.
Yet, it is possible to find shrimp from Mexico, Venezuela or the US Gulf coast. You should also avoid exotic or obscure fish unless you have great trust in the store.

13. Don’t skip fish that’s on sale - Sometimes fish that’s on sale is the freshest fish in the store because there have been big recent catches and distributors must slash prices to move inventory.

14. Only buy shell fish that grew up in northern waters This is important if you plan to eat it raw.
Oysters and mussels from Atlantic Canada and New England are excellent options.

15. Ask for ice for the trip home - Seafood can degrade quickly in the time it takes to get home from the store especially on hot days. Most stores will provide a bag of ice on request.

16. Store seafood on ice in your fridge - Unless your cooking the seafood as soon as you get home,
fill a container with ice and put the seafood on this bowl in your fridge. Always wrap the seafood in plastic wrap first if it’s not sealed well. The ice provides additional cooling since seafood is best stored at around 28F which is colder than a fridge.

17. Defrost frozen seafood in the fridge -This takes longer than at room temperature but it’s way safer since it decreases the risk of contamination. Defrosting in the fridge leads to tastier seafood since defrosting at room temperature looses too much liquid and takes a lot of flavor with it. The ideal time to cook seafood that has been frozen is when it is no longer rigid but you can still feel tiny ice crystals in its flesh. If you wait until the ice crystals melt, some flavor will be lost even if you defrost in the fridge.

18. Don’t let seafood sit around even if frozen - Even frozen, most fish should be keep tightly wrapped and positioned in the back of the freezer where it’s coldest. Then it should be used within one month for the best flavor.

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