Seafood is at the heart of many cuisines, making it a popular category of food. However, there is much debate over whether it is best bought frozen or fresh. Ultimately, either preference is safe and healthy to eat, but what are the differences? This is what to expect from purchasing both frozen and fresh seafood.
When choosing to explore frozen seafood, it is most likely that it had been frozen since being caught. Since this is usually when it is at its peak of freshness, the flavor, nutrition, and texture are locked in. This makes cooking fish from frozen delicious and healthy.
Frozen fish is also very convenient as they thaw easily but can mostly be put straight into the pan or oven without the need to do so. This makes frozen seafood easy to use for a quick snack when there has not been time to plan a meal. Plus, frozen seafood is more budget friendly. Averaging approximately 20% cheaper than fresh, frozen seafood is the most affordable option to enjoy throughout the year as it can be kept in the freezer for up to 12 months, depending on the type of fish.
Top tip – when buying frozen, always look out for vacuum-sealed fish as these are usually the best preserved.
The benefits of choosing to buy fresh seafood will depend on location. Living far away from the coast will likely mean that the fish is not so fresh after all and has been frozen and thawed throughout the journey. If this is the case, it is wise to question the condition of the seafood – always check for shiny skin, defined fins, and moist gills to identify a fresh fish.
However, for coastal populations with a steady source of seafood, it might be best to try to shop fresh; this can be done by visiting a fishmonger or discovering local fresh fish delivery services. This is because a recently caught fish will be at its freshest and offer incomparable taste and texture. The valuable proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals will be completely unaltered and therefore provide a rich source of essential nutrients.
Fresh seafood is not as convenient as frozen options when it comes to keeping it ready for a meal in the future but is perfect for same-day preparation without the need for thawing.
When deciding whether to buy frozen or fresh seafood, you should consider your priorities. For convenience and affordability, it can be beneficial to shop frozen. Well preserved frozen fish offers the same nutritional value as fresh fish, making it an easy budget-friendly decision. Fresh seafood is often deceiving, needing to be frozen and thawed when it comes to long journeys. However, for coastal populations, fresh seafood can offer taste and texture like no other. This cannot be kept for prolonged periods but can be enjoyed the same day without the hassle of thawing. When in doubt, try both and see which you prefer.