Looking for where to buy high quality, local seafood? Tacoma Boys and H&L produce are great options. Freshness and quality have been our priorities from the start, and we have learned a lot about seafood over the years. Read on and we’ll go over how to identify some of the best local seafood Tacoma has to offer.
Everyone loves a quality meal, but sometimes finding great protein options at a reasonable price can be difficult. This is definitely true in the case of seafood, where prices seem to be continually rising over time. We can’t let that stop us though – here in the Pacific Northwest seafood is always on the menu.
Finding quality seafood in Tacoma, at a good price doesn’t have to be an impossible challenge, especially if you look locally. Tacoma has some amazing places where you can find various fish, shrimp, and lobster for prices that won’t break the bank. Being on the west coast allows us to access to some of the freshest and most affordable seafood in the country. You just need to know how to identify high-quality seafood.
When purchasing seafood in Tacoma, remember to ask questions and be curious about where the seafood is from and how fresh it is. The key to finding quality product oftentimes is dependent on your willingness to ask a few simple questions.
Asking these questions can help you avoid seafood that’s far from fresh.
- Was it caught wild or farm raised?
- When and where was it processed?
- Was it previously frozen?
- When did the product arrive?
- How many days of shelf life does it have?
Use Your Senses
Before you look at the seafood, glance around the store overall. Make sure where you’re shopping is neat and organized. Countertops should be clean and fresh fish should always be stored on a bed of ice or in a refrigerated case. If the store doesn’t pass this initial cleanliness test, don’t buy seafood there.
Normally, you can ask seafood providers to smell and handle many products before purchasing. This close inspection can tell you a lot about the quality of the seafood.
Fresh seafood should have very little smell, if any at all. If there is a scent to the product, it should be of the ocean. You should not purchase any seafood that that smell sour or has traces of ammonia. Ammonia is caused by natural oils in fish and other seafood breaking down, and it cannot be cooked out by high heat.
Outside of the smell, you should also check the firmness of the fish. Whether the product in question is filleted or whole, it should have a springy, firm feeling. When touched, the flesh of a fresh fish should “bounce” back and no impressions from your finger should remain to be seen.
It’s normal for fish eyes to bulge a little, but the flesh should be shiny and gills should be bright red. Delicate fish, such as salmon, should be visually free of any bruises, breaks or tears. These marks are usually indicative of poor handling.
When it comes to shellfish, the above tips still apply. Shellfish shouldn’t smell like anything other than the ocean, and asking questions is pertinent. What makes shellfish more of a challenge to shop for is that you should always try to buy them from a fresh seafood market where they are kept alive until you purchase them. Frozen options pale in comparison in regards to quality and flavor. The small prepping window for shellfish is key for optimum freshness.
At Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, the clams and oysters you take home will be alive. We bring them in alive, responsibly sourced, to ensure they’re always fresh. For your visual scan of shellfish, their shells should be free of cracks or holes, and they should have a ‘lively’ appearance and activity to indicate good health. Fun tip: You can test the health of the live clams and oysters by tapping their shell to see if they close up.
The Best Seafood Tacoma Has to Offer
If you’re traveling through the Pacific Northwest, you can’t be blamed for having a hankering for seafood. We love it locally, too! We stock nearly 100 different seafood and shellfish varieties. For those seeking quality seafood Tacoma Boys has the best and freshest selection you could ask for. The above tips are guaranteed to help you find local, fresh seafood for a price that you can feel happy with.
Looking to make a quality meal? Come and visit one of our store locations for fresh produce and organics you can use for your side dishes. Whether you stop by Tacoma Boys or H&L produce in Lakewood, our team is always happy to answer any questions you may have about selecting and cooking your delicious, fresh seafood.