What You Need to Know BEFORE You Buy Fish
With the advances being made in transportation, communications, storing, freezing and packing methods, many hard to find foods from every corner of the globe are becoming more readily available to consumers.
A variety of meats such as wild game, buffalo, beef, lamb, fish and seafood are now available by mail along with a number of specialty items such as caviar, gourmet mushrooms, herbs and spices.
Demand for Fish and Seafood
Seafood has experienced the most phenomenal growth in recent years.
Much of it is due to the success in fishing and harvesting methods in local waters in addition to farm-raised fish on a year-round basis. Now you can order fish and various other seafood items online and have it delivered to your doorstep the very next day.
Imagine lobster from Maine, Copper River Salmon, halibut, and giant red crab legs from Alaska being shipped hundreds or thousands of miles in a day arriving as fresh as if you were there catching it yourself.
Many chefs will agree that the versatility of seafood, the variety of cooking methods plus the ease of preparation makes it a very popular main course. Creativity abounds with fish and shellfish from far off waters combined with regional recipes to bring us tastes that are new to the American palate.
Let’s not forget that an increase in health-conscious eating habits has also brought fish to the forefront of many American menus. You can enjoy fish by using simple grilling methods, smoked, poached, baked, broiled or barbecued for a change of pace any day of the week.
Facts to Know Before You Buy
Here are some facts that you should know when purchasing fish that will help insure the quality, flavor and freshness of your selection. I’ve also included a simple guide to the amounts of fish per serving.
- Purchase fish from a dealer or market that is known for high quality seafood.
- Let your nose be your guide. If it smells fishy smell another. The fish should have a fresh, yet mild briny smell to it.
- Appearance is moist and the flesh should have elasticity when poked. It should spring back immediately. The flesh will easily slip away from the bone on an aged fish.
- Whole fish is the easiest way to detect freshness. Eyes are clear, not cloudy, pink or sunken. The gills should be bright red or pink.
- There should be no slimy feel to the skin.
- Fish is cold. Preferably packed on ice. Never in water
- Pre-packaged fish is tightly wrapped and no liquid.
- Frozen fish is solid with no freezer burns, discoloration, or ice crystals.
- An average serving is 3 to 4 ounces cooked. A raw filet should be about ¼ pound per person, and a whole fish about ¾ pounds per person. Although this is a rough guide, I personally like to prepare a little extra for those larger appetites.
A Final Note
Fresh fish is very flavorful and doesn’t need much in the way of sauces and marinades to enhance its flavor. Many of the sauces and accompaniments we offer at the Club Sauce Store are perfect additions to a variety of your favorite recipes and cooking styles. You’ll also find that our seasonings, rubs, sauces, and condiments used sparingly will enhance the final presentation and delight the palate with added flavor.
Please be sure to try our fabulous recipes and professional line of More Than Gourmet demi glace and stocks. We carry four different demi glace and over twelve different stocks including fish, seafood/lobster, chicken, beef, veal, lamb, turkey, duck and more. They’re simple, easy to use products that will add a natural richness and depth of flavor to all your favorite sauces, soups, stews, rice and pasta dishes, stir-fry, braising liquids and more.