HOW TO CHOOSE QUALITY SEAFOOD
(Maine Dept. of Marine Resources)
2. Fresh fillets and steaks have firm, elastic flesh and retain true color. They should have a fresh-cut appearance with no drying or browning or curling up around the edges. If cut fish is in the display case too long, the flesh begins to separate.
3. Whole fish, whatever the variety, has certain characteristics that indicate freshness; fresh fish should never have a sour or ammonia odor. Here is what to look for when buying whole fish:
a. Bright, clear, full eyes. Cloudy, sunken eyes signal age.
b. Bright red or pink gills. Gray, brown or green gills signal age.
c. Moist, shiny skin with scales that adhere tightly and with distinct colors and markings.
d. Firm, elastic flesh that springs back when pressed gently.
e. A clean, pink intestinal cavity.
f. A fresh and mild odor
4. Shellfish are sold in many varieties depending on seasonal availability. All should have a pleasant sea breeze odor. Here are some specific characteristics to look for when buying shellfish:
a. Solidly frozen flesh with no discoloration or freezer burn,
b. No odor or a mild sea breeze odor,
c. No signs that the contents have been melted and refrozen, such as visible ice crystals.
6. Smoked fish and shellfish should be displayed in a refrigerator case, but not on ice; it should not be In direct contact with fresh seafood. Here are some things to look for when buying smoked seafood products.
a. A firm, springy texture
b. A glossy surface
c. A smoky odor
d. No traces of dried blood or viscera
e. No traces of salt crystals
When determining how much seafood to buy, consider personal eating habits, the way seafood is to be prepared, the form the seafood comes in, and in the case of shellfish, the size of individual pieces.
As a general rule, allow 4-6 ounces (edible portion) per person. That would amount to 4-5 ounces per serving of fillet, which is almost 100 percent edible. However, 16 ounces of whole fish is less than 50 percent edible