Fish is healthy, easily digestible and a perfect alternative to meat. But what do you need to know when buying fish? How do you even recognise if a fish is even fresh? Can you smell if a fish is fresh? Whether at a fish market or in the supermarket, here are some tips for your next fish purchase.
Fish love the coolest places.
Fish and seafood should always be kept very cool (about 0 degrees). However, your fridge probably has a slightly higher temperature. A fresh fish can only be kept in your refrigerator for about a day before you need to use it. To increase that storage time by a day or so, you can store the fish with ice cubes in a container and place it in the VitaFresh Fresh System of your refrigerator. In there, the temperature can be individually set for fish or meat, independent of the refrigerator’s selected temperature. So your fish will stay fresh for longer.
Smells like ocean spirit.
Fresh fish doesn’t smell as bad as most people believe. A very strong fishy smell only comes from spoiled fish or fish with bacteria. If possible, smell the fish before buying. Behind the gills is the best place to smell bad smells. A fresh smell should be neutral or have a “gentle sea breeze”. And the meat should be a little springy. You can check this with your finger. If you press on the meat, it should “spring back” slightly.
Look into my eyes.
When buying fresh fish the way it appears is very important. Around the gills should be bright or dark red depending on the fish species. Make sure they are clear and turned slightly outward. The darker the eyes, the older the fish. The skin must not be too dry and should have a shiny colour. The skin of a fresh fish is also covered with a thin, transparent mucus.
Have a good catch.
Many, many fishing areas are empty, because too many millions of fish are caught from these waters each year. Fish from aquaculture or fish farms, help conserve game stock, but just make sure they’re not from mass production fish farms. In the meantime, a seal of quality or a strict organic seal of approval, is at least a guarantee of sustainable fishing practices. Preferably, check with environmental organisations, which fish species are on endangered lists and which can be enjoyed in an environmentally friendly way.
Some like it frozen.
For many, frozen fish is a good alternative to fresh fish. Whereas fresh fish is often transported by air, frozen fish is usually frozen right after it’s caught. This fast freezing ensures both high quality and nutritional values are locked in. And by the way, frozen fish can also be thawed slowly in the refrigerator. As the frozen fish thaws, it’s chill is added to your refrigerator, so you also save energy.