Tips on how to buy fish

TAKE a trip to the fish market in downtown Suva and you’ll be amazed with the different types of fresh fish on sale.

For fish lovers the selection of fresh and quality fish is easy when you know what you’re looking for but if you don’t, fish shopping can be a stressful exercise.

Today we will look at some tips that should be taken into consideration when you are out to shop for fish.

Here’s what website says. Smell it — a slight aroma of seawater, iodine and brine that is what you should smell while approaching a fish counter: cleanliness is a sure sign.

The gills of fresh fish appear bright red and have a briny smell because they are still soaked in seawater.

Look at it — fresh fish shines. The fresher it is the more pristine it looks because it is wrapped in a skin mucous that makes the skin shiny. The colour of fish is never stable. It is iridescent and when fresh, presents greenish shades that often tend towards blue and a play of shimmery reflections that catch the light.

The eyes of a fish tell us a great deal; a clear, full, slightly bulging eye and a black pupil are signs of freshness. On the contrary a dull, sunken eye and a grey pupil mean that the fish is past its best.

Touch it — it may not be so easy to touch it but fresh fish is slimy and slips through your hands. Fresh fish flesh is firm and difficult to detach from the spine.

What to look out for:

Too much ice, used to keep the fish stiff.

Special offers that are too good to be true; normally it is the older fish that has to be sold off. Its innards: it may not be pleasant to gut fish yourself but it does allow you to check its freshness even more accurately. It will also help you to understand freshness even more accurately. It will also help you to understand whether the product has been farmed or fished.

Once in the kitchen, observe what remains at the bottom of the pan, if the fish is fresh it will release a fair quantity of liquid, but if it remains dry and tasteless it has been either overcooked or defrosted.

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