Unfortunately, questionable seafood makes its way into the market from various fishermen and other sources. Be sure to only purchase from sellers who abide by all required qualifications. Here are some tips to help you to choose the freshest seafood possible:
Crabs and Lobsters (live)
A good indication of fresh crabs and lobsters is the movement of the legs and claws of the animal. The legs should show activity. Even if they have been refrigerated, there should still be visible movement.
Living lobsters, when picked up, should curl its tail tightly to its body. If the lobsters' tail hangs down away from the body, it is likely that the lobster is old. Old crabs and lobsters should be avoided.
Crabs and Lobsters (cooked)
When cooked, the aroma from the lobsters and crabs should be fresh and appealing. The shells of these crustaceans will be a vibrant red color.
The meat of the crab will be white with red and/or brown marks. Lobster meat should be bright white. It will also have reddish tints or marks on the meat.
If crab and lobster meat is not fresh, it will have dull coloration and an unpleasant odor.
Shrimp come in many varieties and so their shells may also look varied. Generally speaking, most shells will be somewhat translucent with a light pink or grayish tint. Raw shrimp will have a mild aroma. The meat should be firm to the touch.
Signs of old, raw shrimp will be seen on its outer shell. Black spots or marks on the shell is the most noticeable sign of an old shrimp that is past its prime. Do not ingest shrimp with these marks on the shells.
It is important to note that Tiger shrimp is a variety that has naturally occurring black stripes on its body. This variety of shrimp should be clearly labeled.
Shrimp meat that has been cooked will have a pleasant aroma. It will be firm to the touch. Coloration of cooked shrimp meat will be mostly white with a pink or red tint.
Whole fish should not look too different in appearance than it did when it was alive. On the body, the scales should still be smooth and tightly attached to the skin. When touched, the meat should be firm and not mushy. The gills of the fish should be pink.
Looking into the eyes of the fish is one of the easiest ways to determine its freshness. Fish eyes should bright and clear. Cloudy and/or sunken eyes is a sure sign of a fish that has been dead for a while.
Fresh fillets are almost translucent in color. They should be freshly cut and the flesh should be moist and supple in appearance.
Signs of old fish fillets include bruised flesh and browning of the meat around the edges. Fish fillets should not be stored in liquid.
Following the tips above will ensure that you enjoy the healthiest seafood possible. When it doubt, buying frozen seafood online can be a great option. Don't forget that you can buy crab and sablefish online.
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