Monday, March 9, 2009

10 Facts You May Not Know about Buying Seafood


Ann Kroeker is hosting a wonderfully practical carnival called Make-Do Mondays, where readers can link up their ideas on how they and their families are living out the slogan, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."
In honor of Make-Do Mondays, I thought I'd share a little wisdom I've been learning about buying fish.

You know. Seafood. To eat.

In my quest to find out if certain types of fish were currently in season, thus better buys, I went to my library and checked out The Complete Seafood Cookbook by Bettina Jenkins and Jane Brody's Good Seafood Book by Jane E. Brody with Richard Flaste.

Here are the 10 FISH AND SEAFOOD TIPS I learned:

1. "Like fruits and vegetables, fish caught in the wild have seasons, and they are least costly when the supply is greatest." (Jane Brody)

2. "However, what's in season varies from area to area, year to year, so you'd be wise to stay alert to local good buys on seasonal seafood." (Brody)

3. "Be flexible when purchasing fish . . . Always buy whatever is the best quality, instead of deciding on a type before you shop. Many different species can be adapted to the same basic recipes." (Bettina Jenkins)

4. "Unfortunately, many cooks stick to their tried-and-true species, paying high prices due to shortages while ignoring more inexpensive fish of comparable quality." (Jenkins)

5. "Some fish develop an ammonia smell when stored in plastic bags -- even in the refrigerator; simply run fish under cold water to remove." (Jenkins)

6. When purchasing fish steaks and fillets, avoid those that are sitting in a pool of liquid, which indicates poor freezing techniques. (Jenkins)

7. Fish should generally be consumed within two days of purchase. (Jenkins)

8. If you're not planning on eating the fish the day you buy it, transfer it out of the packaging and onto a plate (make sure to rinse first and dry if there's an ammonia smell). (Jenkins)

9. Buying frozen fish is often cheaper than buying fish that has not been frozen. (Brody)

10. Sometimes the "freshest" fish you'll find has been frozen on the boats within hours of being caught. So your freshest buy may actually be the pre-frozen variety. (Brody)
Who knew?
NOTE: Check out Works-for-me-Wednesday for some great tips and ideas.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Kirby3131 said...

I rarely buy fish (I ask my husband to do it) because I am a bit intimidated by it all. You have actually given me a bit of confidence that maybe I can buy my own fish.

Those were great tips - I didn't know that about the ammonia!

March 9, 2009 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

Very informative, Lynn. Salmon is the fish we most frequently buy, and we feel the frozen is the best, even though it's cheaper.

March 9, 2009 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Sharinskishe said...

I grew up on game fish, trout to be exact. I loved it, both catching it and eating it.

But now that I have my own family, fish is a whole different story. My Hubby is not a fisherman, so my fishing trips in the last 16 years can be counted on two hands. And I feel less comfortable preparing fish.

However, we now live within 5 minutes of Utah Lake and my 13 yo son and I spent many days there last year. He got the bug and so we went.

We were looking for channel catfish, but did not have access to a boat. All we were catching from the fishing docks were blue gill panfish, carp and an occasional walleye.

This year my Dad is going to let us use his boat and even go with us. We are excited about being able to augment our food budget with fresh fish.

Thanks for the tips, they still come in handy for fresh fish too.

Sharinskishe

March 9, 2009 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Kirby3131, I didn't know that about the ammonia smell, either. I hate it when I buy fish and get it home and it has that smell.

Sandra, I love salmon, too. Have you tried steaming it in the dishwasher? It's tasty! (See the recipe under "main dishes" on my sidebar, if you're interested.)

Sharinskishe, you sound like a great fisher(wo)man! I hope you catch lots of fresh fish this year. We'll be right over to help you eat it.

March 9, 2009 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

Well, how neat! Wonderful tips to keep and use...some things here I didn't know! Thanks big bunches! :)

March 10, 2009 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Symington said...

Thank u for visiting my blog. I wrote about the organizing book for creatives. The book has helped me too.

I'm so glad you wrote about fish. I've been stuck in a rut of just buying either talapia or catfish. My favorite tip is that the fish have seasons. That makes sense; I just never thought about it before.

March 11, 2009 at 8:40 AM  

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