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How to check for fresh seafood

(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)
Written by Teresa Farmer   

How to check for fresh seafood.

American is known for loving almost all kinds of seafood from lobsters and mussels to clams and oysters. Over two-thirds of fresh seafood is eaten in restaurants. Shell fish prices can be very expensive especially when eating out. Many would rather have a chef prepare their seafood dinner for them. Many people would prepare more seafood in their own homes if they knew how to buy it from fresh fish markets but most don’t know what to look for. There is so much to look for when purchasing fresh seafood.

1. Lobsters and Crabs

When looking for fresh seafood, never buy lobsters are crabs unless they are very active. Crabs are my very favorite seafood meat but I don’t like the imitation meat. Almost every part of a crab can be eaten, the body, legs and the claws. The most popular crabs are blue crabs and stone crabs. Blue crabs that come from the Maryland waters, a 7” male will cost about $100 a dozen. Both blue and stone crabs are known to have the best taste when comparing flavors. Crab meat is very perishable so keep it as cold as possible in the refrigerator and use at least one day after buying them for freshness. If you purchase lobsters or crabs at a fish market make sure to have a cooler with plenty of ice to put them in until you get home. Lobsters and crabs should be cooked as soon as possible for the best taste and for freshness. Keep them cold at all times until you’re ready to prepare them.

2. Mussels, Clams, Shrimp and Oysters

Mussels, clams and oysters should start to close when you touch their shells. You need to touch them to check for freshness. If their shell stays open when you tap on them do not buy them. I also like to purchase my seafood when they are displayed in fresh clear water. It’s not recommended to purchase seafood if it looks like it’s been in the same water very long. Any seafood sold outside their shell should not have a fishy odor and if it does it’s not as fresh as it seems.

When buying fresh shrimp it should not have a fishy odor. Fresh shrimp should have a firm feeling when you touch it.  They also come in different sizes from very large to very small. The bigger the shrimp the more expensive it will cost.

Mussels should also close tightly when being tapped on. This is a sure sign it is already dead. Check very closely when purchasing fresh mussels.

Clams are very tasty when they are steamed but they can also be eaten raw. Remember, they are probably dead if they don’t close tightly when tapping on them.

Oysters can be boiled, roasted, fried or steamed but be sure not to overcook or they will become too tough to eat. They are also very good for our health.

3. When buying frozen seafood it must be frozen solid. Frozen seafood is not as fresh as buying from a fish market. Fish markets specialize in selling quality fresh shellfish and fish out of their shells. There is a better selection to choose from. Check for fishy odors also and discoloration. Never let any seafood defrost until you’re ready to cook it.

Warning: Red Tide and Allergies

Watch out for red tide quarantined areas when fishing. Red tide is a type of organism that doesn’t hurt shellfish but the toxins in the shellfish can hurt humans. There should be warnings posted nearby to be easily seen.

Seven million Americans along are allergic to seafood. It doesn’t matter how it’s prepared, people will still have an allergic reaction to different types of fish. Seafood allergies can cause anaphylaxis. Some of the symptoms are very hard to breathe, eyes become very sore, swelling, hives, itching plus many more symptoms. Contact your doctor immediately if any of this should occur if you have been around any seafood.


Comments (6)add comment

Ann Yo said:

Ann Yo
How to check for fresh seafood is a very informative article, thanks for writing this one!
May 14, 2010
Votes: +0

donata said:

Very well done! I have learned something about checking for fresh seafood. You did an excellent job in breaking down and explaining what to look for. I also like the fact that you mentioned warnings that most people may be unaware of. Thanks for another great article. 5*****
June 08, 2010
Votes: +0

ladym33 said:

This is a very good guide for being sure the seafood is fresh.
June 09, 2010
Votes: +0

walkaboutangel said:

I love seafood....

Wishing you a wonderful, magical day

August 24, 2010
Votes: +1

Carl Benjamin said:

Carl Benjamin
I am ready for the Red Lobster.
August 31, 2010
Votes: +0

jswana said:

These are very good and interesting points that I would have not known on buying seafood if I hadn't read this. Thanks for sharing.
September 11, 2010
Votes: +0

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