There’s been a huge growth in demand for fresh fish and shellfish bought direct from the source.
Nothing is LESS suitable than seafood for buying in a supermarket, which can be up to 10 days old by the time you eat it.
In fact a BBC investigation into supermarkets a few years ago found that some of the “fresh” fish on sale was up to 20 days old and nearly a third may even be off. They did add that the 20 days was at the “extreme” end of the spectrum. But even so!
Ideally whole fish should be eaten within 36-48 hours of capture while filleted fish can stay fresh for up to 4 days.
Fresh fish has always been popular in the UK but was traditionally eaten more often in restaurants, as most of us aren’t sure how to cook it properly. The COVID pandemic changed all this by shutting down the restaurants and forcing us to cook our fish at home
Another reason for the increased interest in buying fresh fish is that people are more interested in healthier eating. A recent survey found that 72% of frequent seafood consumers are putting more effort into making healthy, sustainable and nutritious choices since the pandemic.
Seafood is a major source of healthful omega-3 fats and is also rich in nutrients such as vitamin D and selenium, high in protein, and low in saturated fat.
The industry has responded to these changing circumstances by selling their fish and shellfish direct to the customer and providing us with hints, tips and recipes, as well as nutritional and sustainability information.
It’s easy to buy direct from UK based coastal or day boat fishers (or from specialist regional fishmongers or Cooperatives) who return with their catch the same day.
They’ve followed the lead of farmers by preparing the fish for you so it’s ready to cook or freeze on delivery, you don’t need to worry about doing your own prep.
They’ll send it direct to your door overnight, vacuum-packed or sealed in trays. The fish is protected by a lined insulated polystyrene box surrounded with chilled gel-packs to keep it cool and in perfect condition.
With so much wonderful seafood available in the UK and many cooking resources online, on TV, and in print there’s no reason to miss out on this fantastic food anymore.