Buying Fresh Fish? Here Are Some Tips to Consider

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When shopping for fish, many Brits find it a daunting task — particularly if they are unsure of what they are looking for. On top of that, ensuring that the fish you buy is a fresh catch can seem like an added obstacle. The good news is that if you follow the advice given below, you will easily be able to differentiate good fish and bad fish in no time.

Here is what we recommend you keep an eye out for:

The skin

The skin of a fish can provide you with a lot of information about how fresh it is. The skin should have a shine... If it has been there for a long time, the skin will look drier. A fresh fish will have a bright appearance, metallic sheen, smooth surface, and be wet and glossy. Stay well away from fish that look wrinkled, dry, and dull since these characteristics are strong indicators that the fish is old and that its flesh has gone mushy.

The gills

The gills need to have a rich, red colour. If they have a brown or black colour, they have passed their prime. Additionally, you should be on the lookout for blood on the gills since this is another excellent indicator that the fish was caught quite recently.

The smell

In contrast to the widespread notion, fresh fish does not have a pungent odour that can be defined as “fishy.” Compared to fish that has not been stored well, fresh fish that has been properly iced gives off a far less pungent odour.

The touch test

The appearance of Rigor Mortis in the fish is almost always a reliable sign that the fish is nice and fresh. If you push down firmly on the fish’s skin with your fingertips, you should feel the flesh spring back, and your fingerprints disappear. If they don’t, and the indentation is still there, the fish is old, and the flesh has likely gone mushy.

However, it is crucial to keep in mind the species when pushing your finger straight into a naturally soft fish. The touch test does work, but it is not always accurate since it depends on the time of year and the fish. When the flesh is slinky, the flesh does not spring back. When we talk about a fish having “slinky” flesh, we mean that the fish’s flesh is particularly tender. This might happen to a fish species at the time of year when they are spawning and eat less.

The eyes

Before making your final decision, you should look at the eyes. The eyes of a fish that has been freshly caught should be bright and clear. If a fish’s eyes become foggy or glazed over, it is a sign that it is past its prime and should be avoided. On the other hand, if a fish has been damaged, it could have a cloudy eye as a result. 

Buy Fresh Seafood Online

If you are asking yourself, “where can I find quality seafood delivery near me?” Seafood Direct is the company to call. Click here to browse our fine selection of mouth-watering fresh fish and seafood! If you have questions about our product ranges or need a custom seafood box created for a special occasion, please call us at 01472 566000 or write to us at sales@seafooddirect.co.uk.


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