Seafood buying guide

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Measure Ingredient

Fresh or Thawed Whole Fish ~ shiny, bright and metallic skin, with tight adhered scales ~ bright, clear and full eyes, with black pupil and transparent corneas ~ bright red or pink gills, with little visible mucous or slime ~ firm flesh that is elastic to the touch ~ complete evisceration, well-rinsed and clean ~ a fresh "seaweedy" odor, but no strong or "fishy" odors Fresh or Thawed Fillet and Steaks ~ fresh mild "seaweedy" odor ~ firm, elastic and moist flesh with almost translucent color ~ clean, carefully executed trimming, boning, and skinning ~ no bruising, blood spots or browning Smoked Fish ~ bright, glossy appearance ~ firm texture ~ no signs of mold, dried blood or salt crystals ~ clean, smoky odor Live Lobster, Crab and Crayfish ~ cold and sluggish, but showing some leg movement ~ shells are clean without dark blotches or cracks ~ lobster tail curls under body when picked up ~ weight seems heavy for size Live Oysters, Clams and Mussels ~ shells that are hard, unbroken and reasonable clean ~ shells tightly closed or close when touched (soft shell clams can't completely close, but the shells and the "necks" will show some movement) ~ the bottom shells of oysters should be deeply cupped Fresh-Shucked Oysters ~ meats are plump and immersed in their liquor (natural juice) ~ liquor should be clear or slightly opalescent (slightly milky) but not cloudy or gritty ~ meat color is creamy ~ no strong odors Fresh or Thawed Scallop Meats ~ firm and slightly translucent meats ~ color is creamy white, to tan, to pinkish ~ strong, but sweet and briny odor Fresh or Thawed Shrimp ~ firm flesh completely filling shell ~ no blackened edges or black spots on shells ~ shell and flesh should not feel slippery ~ no strong odors Fresh or Thawed Squid ~ very firm flesh ~ no tears in skin ~ skin is cream colored with purple to reddish-brown spots ~ yellowing and pinkish colorations are signs of aging Cooked Lobster, Crab or Shrimp ~ bright red shells ~ meat should be moist ~ no strong odors ~ picked lobster meat is snowy white with red tints ~ crab meat is white with red or brown tints ~ shrimp meat is white with red or pink tints Surimi Seafood ~ moist and firm ~ meat is opaque with an off-white color ~ the meat's surface should have red or pink, shellfish-colored tints ~ no strong or unpleasant odors Frozen Seafood ~ solidly frozen with glossy surfaces ~ no signs of frost on seafood or package interior ~ flesh is evenly colored with no white patches (signs of drying) or orange coloration (signs of rancidity) ~ packaging is undamaged with no signs of thawing and refreezing (package still as original shape, no frost on the inside) ~ no strong or unpleasant odors

Simply Seafood Spring 1995

Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 06-19-95

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