Is Fresh Always Best?
The classic fresh versus frozen debate has taken the world of seafood by storm for decades. Traditionally fresh seafood has dominated in the public eye, but we have come a long way since the mushed up fish sticks that traditionally represent frozen seafood, and we at Afishionado want to celebrate frozen seafood for its many qualities.
Fresh seafood straight off the boat is undoubtedly top quality, however, consumers rarely have access to such a luxury. The rise of globalization has led to a large amount of seafood imports here in Atlantic Canada, and fresh seafood may not be as fresh as you think, especially once it’s traveled thousands of miles just to get to your plate.
Freezing seafood may just be one of the most crucial steps to ensuring freshness. Flash freezing is a method of freezing where seafood is frozen at temperatures ranging from-40˚C to -60˚C degrees, freezing the fish extremely quickly, preserving the freshness of the fish. This method of freezing fish is often implemented on boats or landing ports so the freshness can be captured right at sea. Flash frozen fish allows you to enjoy the great tasting freshness of a fish from anywhere in the world and in any season.
Frozen seafood is also better for the environment and for supporting your small-scale fisheries. Freezing seafood takes the pressure off small fishermen to deliver fresh product immediately after it was caught. Fresh seafood must be rushed from fisherman to plate and as a result are often shipped by air, whereas frozen seafood can be shipped in more environmentally sensitive methods such as rail or boat as there is no ticking clock.
Much of the debate between fresh and frozen has also been on the health and nutritional differences between the two. Many people believe that frozen seafood is a lot less nutritionally dense than fresh. The truth is that this difference is minimal. While the water released during thawing does contain some nutrients, when thawing is done correctly and if the seafood has been frozen immediately after harvest there is barely any loss at all, not to mention that frozen fish can often be safer to eat because the freezing process kills harmful bacteria!
But what does fresh vs frozen seafood mean for you? As a consumer there are specifics that you are looking for when buying fish. Maybe it is sustainability, taste and quality, convenience, diversity etc. Frozen portions allow consumers to minimize waste by only taking what they need from their freezer and give them access to fish they would never be able to find fresh. Frozen seafood allows us to try new seafood from all over the world and at any time of year and is more affordable.
At Afishionado we believe that both fresh and frozen seafood have their benefits and if you can have fresh local seafood, we will always encourage you to do so. We truly believe that freshness can be frozen and in almost all other situations, frozen seafood is better. We do our part in ensuring that all our frozen products are packaged and prepared to capture optimum freshness. The value and convenience of frozen seafood is well represented in our Catch of the Month Program. Allowing you to try new seafood every month our subscription boxes come with ~4 lbs of frozen seafood conveniently packaged in 8oz – 1 lb portions. These boxes give you the freshness and convenience you are looking for while also valuing sustainability and delicious tasting seafood! For more information on our Catch of the Month program follow the link Here!
FROZEN PRODUCT 101
A couple tips for ensuring your frozen fish is as fresh and as tasty as possible:
- Defrost fish in the refrigerator or in a cold-water bath – do not place in warm water as it will impact the texture of the fish.
- Avoid refreezing fish once it has thawed. From a safety perspective, this is okay to do, but it will comprise the texture of the fish.
- Know where your seafood is coming from to ensure it has been frozen correctly.