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Top 5 Tips To Buying Fresh Fish And Other Seafood

Updated on June 15, 2011


Fish is recommended for most age groups as it provides protein, itamins and minerals. Besides, the health benefits of eating fish regularly far outweigh the need to skip them on grounds of not liking them. The American Dietetic Association and The American Heart Association have recommended that a person needs to consume atleast two servings of fish twice a week in order to remain healthy and lower the risk of health conditions such as heart disease and depression, asthma, arthritis and cancer. The omega 3 fatty acid present in fatty fish such as mackerel, sardines, lake trout,herring and albacore tuna are better absorbed by our bodies and protect against several diseases including those that are age-related.

To get the maximum benefit from the fish we eat, it is necessary to buy the freshest of fish. All seafood taste good if cooked and eaten within a few hours of being caught. So, what do we need to know about getting the best buy at the fish market. The first and most important to not is the smell at the market. If the seafood displayed is stale, the stale smell that hits you as you enter is to be taken seriously and you would do well to turn back without buying.

It would be wise for you to plan ahead what you are to prepare for the day in order to choose the right type of seafood. Some like to decide after selecting their fish according to availability and freshness.

Top 5 Tips For Selecting A Fish

Firmness : Fish must be firm to the touch and not squishy.

Smell : Fish should smell fresh.

Eye : The eyes of the fish should be clear and not sunken.

Scales : The scales covering the fish should be shiny and not dull.

Gills : Lift up the gills to see that the gills are red and moist.

Check for any discoloration or liquid oozing out. Best avoided in such cases.

Choosing Seafood

Making friends with your regular fish monger is your best bet to buying the freshest seafood. He will let you know when the varieties you want have arrived and guide you in making the freshest of purchases.

Choosing Fish Fillets

Smell is an important factor here as well. Make sure it smells fresh. If the skin is saved, see that is shiny and metallic like that of a fresh fish. The should be no milky liquid on a fillet as it indicates that it is rotting. If allowed, press the fillet with your finger. It should spring back and leave no fingerprint.

Choosing Live Fish, Crab, Lobster

See that they are alive and not sulking. If motionless or not scampering around, it shows they have been in the tank for too long. Lobsters and crab are known to starve themselves in captivity over time and such seafood will have little meat when you crack open the shell.

Choosing Shellfish

These are live and should react when placed on countertop and tapped. It should close tighter than before. Oysters,clams and mussels are chosen thus.

Choosing Crayfish and Shrimp

It would be wise to buy with the head on and whole as it will remain moist and intact. Otherwise it will rot fast.

Squid, Octopus and Cuttlefish

Best bought frozen but if genuinely fresh,go ahead and treat yourself.


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    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 6 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Hey Gus,

      Thanks a ton for sharing the story of the lady who found the purple pearl.

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 6 years ago from USA

      Howdy Purple Perl - I am late to get here to this article, but the title pulled me in. Thought you might like to know that a lady, dining at a Houston, Texas, restaurant in the early part of March, 2011, bit into an oyster and came away with a large purple pearl. I understand they are of high value moneywise.

      Gus :-)))

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 7 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Thanks for stopping by, ethel.

      You are welcome, Princessa.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 7 years ago from France

      Thanks for the tips!

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Good advice