Seafood is a favorite delicacy for many people. For those who do not have the time to buy seafood through retail, or live in places where fresh seafood isn’t accessible in stores, they have the option of getting it through seafood delivery services.
As you order and receive your food, you will need to assess the quality of the food. Here are some guidelines that will help you evaluate if your favorite seafood is of good quality or not.
There are specific characteristics that will tell if a whole fish is fresh. A fresh whole fish has protruding full eyes that are usually bright and clear. Also, their gills are often pink or bright red. As the fish continues to lose freshness, its eyes become sunken, cloudy, and pink. The gills also become dull. You can also tell the freshness of the whole fish by the feel of its flesh. A whole fish should be firm and elastic, such that when pressed with a finger, it springs back. The skin should also be shiny and its scales intact.
When fresh, fish fillets should be translucent when you look through them. They should also have firm, elastic flesh and the flesh should be reddish when just cut. Fresh fillets, even the pre-packaged ones, should also have a moist appearance.
Shellfish (Oysters, Clams, Mussels)
The meat of fresh-cooked shellfish should not have a strong odor. It should also be plump and covered with their slightly clear liquor. On the other hand, raw shellfish should have moist shells that are tightly closed.
Usually, scallops are not sold alive since they are highly perishable. In fact, they are shucked at sea immediately after capture. The meat of a fresh scallop should have a firm texture and a sweet odor. Generally, their meat is creamy white with some pink colorations.
Whole crabs and lobsters
If alive, they should show some leg movements. However, they may not be active if refrigerated. Cooked crabs and lobsters in the shell should have a bright red color. The meat of a fresh picked lobster is usually snowy white with red tints. For the crab, the meat is also white with red or brown tints.
Fresh whole squids should have full, clear eyes. Their meat should be firm and their skin intact. You should also be very careful with the skin color of a squid. When fresh, the skin color is creamy with reddish-brown spots. With time, its skin turns pinkish, and the flesh becomes yellow.
Presently, fresh and frozen seafood is also accessible to people living far distances from the resource. However, the fresh and frozen seafood product must reach the recipient as cold as if refrigerated so as to be safe. If the seafood shows signs of thawing, you should contact the mail-order company for a replacement. If the products are canned or smoked, they require no refrigeration.
Knowing how to assess the quality of the seafood you purchase or consume is important for your health and safety. Community Supported Fisheries have done a great job in ensuring that seafood deliveries are safe and fresh.