You need to be careful when buying fish. Basically, it’s an expensive item that goes bad pretty easily so stores sometimes hang on and try to sell it well past the time. ..
First, and most obvious, go to a market that moves a lot of fish. You want that constant volume going through to insure yours is fresh. One way to tell is the size of their fish display .. very tiny means little demand. Another of course, is to note the traffic of shoppers buying fish. Also, check out the shellfish .. even if you’re not buying shellfish … because if the store is selling old shellfish then that tells you something not-good about the store. Check the clams and mussels.. the shells should be closed. If the things are hanging out giving up their last gasp then move on my friend, there’s no good fish here.
Next, does it look fresh?.. is the color good and bright? Also, when looking, imagine pressing down with your finger .. would the flesh be resilient or would your finger mush in? Resilient is good. Mush is bad.
Now one of the final things is the smell test..if it smells like my brother’s frig then stay away. Unfortunately, most stores won’t allow you to stick your head into the case for a good sniff. So you usually have to make a commitment and buy the thing before your can smell … such is life. So when you do get this thing home (by the way no goofing-off, get the fish home right away and into the frig) open it up and sniff. If you pick up a strong fishy or funky scent then resolve to find a new fish market. And if it’s unacceptable don’t you dare eat it OR toss it away. Bring it to the store and get your money back. And by the way, be prepared for them to smell it and say “there’s nothing wrong with this fish”…ya right… ever hear the saying something smells fishy? OK then. Enough said.
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