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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to Consider when Buying Fish – How to Choose the Best

Fish when fresh is a delicious treat. Baked, fried or curried fresh fish offers a variety of flavour. Choosing the best fish requires some skill though and looking out for these simple signs will help


Find and Stick to a Reputable Seller

Fish when bought fresh is bursting with flavour. But unlike the frozen variety there are some precautions to take when buying fresh fish. Sticking to a reputed supermarket of seller is key; grocery stores are the best bet while direct sellers must be approached with care. Many supermarkets stock up on fresh fish and whether ordering online from Keells Super or visiting the neighbourhood grocer, reputation matters. How the fish is stored, where it is sourced from and how it is transported should be facts to consider and get updated on. Stick to a seller who delivers on quality every time.


Request for the Catch of the Day

Ask your grocer for the catch of the day. Most supermarkets will display this at the fish counter and if you are not finicky about the type of fish you eat buy this. Choosing the catch of the day ensures the product is fresh as its in its peak; if there is no catch of the day ask the seller for the freshest option.


Flesh Must be Firm

The freshest fish will have firm flesh. Check this by pressing the flesh, if it bounces back the fish is fresh but if it feels mushy and stays dented when pressed the fish is not that fresh. Also look for signs of the flesh falling off the bones, this too means the fish is not fresh and not worthy of buying.


Smell Your Fish

Although this action may come across as odd it pays to smell the fish before buying it. A fresh fish will smell of the ocean but if it has a strong fish smell pass it up as a very smelly fish is not a fresh fish. Mind you although fish prices in Sri Lanka tend to fluctuate according to season and availability there are some varieties that need to be checked for freshness as they are priced more on popularity than freshness.


Check How the Fish is Stored

Whether you are at the local fishmonger or favourite supermarket check to see how the fish is stored. Even if the fish is fresh it must be kept on ice; most supermarket display cabinets are supplied with ice to keep the fish fresh and delicious. Even at the market check to see if the fish is kept on ice or in boxes that are lined with ice.


The Eyes Say a Lot

Before buying your fish check out the eyes. Fresh fish will have very clear eyes that look as though it was just caught. This is one to take home and cook into a delicious meal. However if the eyes are cloudy or look strange simply pass up the fish and choose another.

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