Tips for Buying Seafood at the Fish Market

Sometimes there is nothing more satisfying than cooking fresh seafood yourself. If you are in the market for fresh seafood that you can cook for your friends and family, you’ll need to know how to select the freshest fish possible. That’s because fresh is best when it comes to fish and seafood. There is nothing worse than spending time cooking, only to have your meal ruined because your catch of the day is not as fresh as possible. How do you figure out which seafood is the freshest? We have some pointers.

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Look Closely At Labels

If you are sourcing fish or seafood from the grocery store, you need to read that packaging. The package label may say fresh–but the fine print may say frozen. You don’t want frozen fish or seafood, because it isn’t as flavorful as fresh caught–some of the color and texture of the fish and seafood is lost in the freezing process.

Look Closely At the Product

There are signs you need to look for when you’re looking at fresh caught seafood. First, be sure the eyes of the fish are bright rather than dull. Clear-eyed fish means fresh fish. Also, look at the gills of the fish. If they aren’t red, the fish is not fresh-caught. Look at the fish’s body. There should be a little slime if it is fresh from the water. However, if there’s a lot of slime, or the fish looks especially dirty–pass it by. A good fresh fish needs to be firm, not mushy. Also, you need to make sure that the fish smells like the ocean. If the fish smells like ammonia, leave it there.

Your Seafood Needs to Be in Season

If you are buying crustaceans, such as lobster to cook, they need to be alive when you pick them out. If you are buying fish, ask the fishmonger for the wild caught fish that is in season. If you’re not sure about the fishmonger, or you want to be more aware which fish are in season when, here’s a quick guide. Spring means Atlantic cod is fresh. In late spring and early summer, look for wild salmon, striped bass, scallops, halibut and soft shell crabs from the Chesapeake Bay. Fall brings scallops from Nantucket Bay, and winter brings fresh oysters. The difference between in season, wild-caught seafood and off season, farm raised seafood is dramatic.

If you’re looking for some great fresh fish, or perhaps a place to eat an amazing meal, come by for take-out or order delivery. We’re located at 1 North Country Road, Port Jefferson, New York, 11777. Our phone number is 631-473-1143.