Help! How to Check Freshness of Fish?

Jul 9, 2013
E. Brandy

how-to-check-freshness-of-fishQuestion: “Each time I go to the local market, I don’t know from which fishmonger to buy from… I cannot recognize a good fresh fish from a stale one, and I don’t want to bend over and smell each product one by one in front of everybody! Can you tell me the distinct features to look for fresh fish?”
Sent by Katia

Editor: With a quick look you’ll be able to verify the freshness of a fish and select the best product. Here’s what you need to check:

  • The body of the fish must be rigid or arched.
  • The fish should be bright, with a metallic luster.
  • The eye should be bright, vivid, and brilliant.
  • The gills should be bright, wet, pink or red.
  • Scales should be shiny and not detach themselves.
  • The abdomen should not be stretched or have green spots.
  • The skin should be shiny, and slippery to the touch.

In all cases, avoid buying a fish without eyes or head, or already scaled (e.g. mullet). If your fishmonger says it’s a service for the client, know that he could have done this after your purchase, so go and have a look elsewhere!

Here’s an in-detail post about freshness characteristics for each type of fish.

(Photo by Badly Drawn Dad)

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