How to Tell if Seafood is Fresh

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It’s obvious that freshness plays a significant role in seafood’s quality, flavor, and safety. But do you know what to look out for when you go shopping? This guide will help you learn everything about fresh seafood, and where it can be found.

Here are some things to watch out for when you go to buy fresh seafood.

Fresh Fish

There are a few simple signs that indicate freshness for whole fish:

  • Metallic and bright skin
  • Clear eyes
  • Attached to the body, scales
  • Bright red, moist gills without any slime or milky liquid
  • Meat that “springs back”

Here are some indicators of freshness for fish fillets.

  • Clear liquids should not be visible if they are milky
  • Texture springy
  • Shiny skin is a must for fish skin

Never buy fish with a “fishy” smell. Fresh fish can smell slightly salty, but it should not be overpowering or pungent. It’s best not to come across unfresh fish such as this.

Fresh Shrimp

Fresh shrimp is highly perishable but extremely popular. However, you can find them in many markets. Quality and freshness may vary greatly.

  • Avoid shrimp with black spots and patches.
  • Make sure the meat and shell don’t feel slippery.
  • Fresh shrimp should have a subtle salty aroma and flesh that is firm but not textured.
  • Fresh shrimp shell colors can vary from light pink to pinkish-tan to grey-green. However, they will turn red when cooked.

Lobster, Crab, or Crayfish

The smell is the most obvious warning sign for lobster, crab, or crayfish that aren’t fresh. It’s best not to be bothered by strong odors. Lobster meat is particularly susceptible to going bad quickly and turning soft. It’s important to keep it fresh.

Oysters, Clams, and Mussels

Fresh, raw shellfish can be difficult to find fresh, especially when you shop at your local market. Only buy raw mussels, oysters, and clams from trusted markets.

  • Raw shellfish should be still alive inside the shell when you buy them. Otherwise, they are no longer edible. When you gently tap on the shells, they should close tightly. If the shell remains open when you tap gently on it, it’s a sign that the oysters, mussels, or clams are dead.
  • Fresh oysters should be creamy in color, have a clear liquid, and be plump.

This article was written by the owner of Cap’s Steamer Bar & Grille. Cap’s is one of the best seafood restaurants in St Petersburg FL that serves Florida Seafood with a Bahamian Influence. Cap’s Steamer Bar & Grill is St.Pete’s destination for the freshest seafood featuring a stunning Raw Bar, table-side steamer bar, and gourmet comfort classics with a modern Americana flare.

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