|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 donâ€™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 donâ€™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 7â€ť 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 youâ€™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. Itâ€™s not recommended to purchase seafood if it looks like itâ€™s been in the same water very long. Any seafood sold outside their shell should not have a fishy odor and if it does itâ€™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.Â 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.
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 youâ€™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 doesnâ€™t hurt shellfish but the toxins in the shellfish can hurt humans. There should be warnings posted nearby to be easily seen.