How to Be a Smarter Seafood Shopper

How to Be a Smarter Seafood Shopper

When you’re preparing a meal for a special occasion with your family and friends, you want to create the most delicious dish possible with the best ingredients available. American consumers are eating more seafood every year, so let’s take a look at the best tips and tricks for preparing a quality seafood meal for your friends and family.

Search with Your Senses

High-quality fish will have no “off-odor/flavor”.  Typical odors for quality shrimp and fish will range from a “fresh seaweed” odor to a “neutral” odor.  If you inspect the salmon and find that it gives off a strong “ammonia” or “stale cabbage” smell, that means its past acceptable quality standards and you should keep on looking.  Shrimp that is not good quality will have odors of sour cheese and/or garbage.

Another good sensory suggestion for finding the right seafood is by feeling its surface. If the fish’s skin is firm when pressed, that means the fish meat is high-quality.  High-quality shrimp will also feel firm and moist – not mushy, soft, or dry.

The last sensory tip you should look out for at the seafood counter is the appearance of the seafood. When buying whole fish, the eyes should be clear and plump.  Cooked shrimp should be fully opaque and an orange color tone. Raw white shrimp (the most commonly sold shrimp in the US) should be white to grey in appearance – if the shells or meat look like a cooked shrimp, decomposition has begun.

Ask the Staff About the Catch

Fish vendors and sales staff are very knowledgeable and passionate about the products that they sell, which means they will happily answer any questions you may have about the fish in their store, like:

  • When was this seafood caught?
  • Where are your products sourced?
  • Are these from sustainable sources?

Asking these questions will keep you informed on what you and your family eat. Plus, asking when a fish was caught instead of when it arrived will give you a much more accurate look at the quality of the meal.

Focus on Frozen

Buying your seafood fresh can be a culinary thrill if you live close to the coast, but if you live further inland, then you can run the risk of your seafood losing its freshness during the journey to your grocery store.

While not all fish freeze as well as others, we promise that the species that do freeze well will be some of the tastiest meals you’ve ever had.

Frozen shrimp are just as tasty as fresh shrimp and defrost in as quick as 5 minutes!  Frozen fish that are known to taste delicious include salmon, cod, tuna, tilapia, catfish, walleye, and halibut, so get experimental and visit the frozen section of your grocery store today!

Serving a well-cooked meal to your friends and family can fill you with pride, but it’s important to know everything you can about the quality of the seafood you buy. Give our fish cuisine experts a call today at 1-800-526-9066 or visit us online to learn more about our seafood products and the journey they take from our catch to your kitchen.