Food & Drink

How to shop for online seafood

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From the sea to your table, thanks to your computer!
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Learn how to shop for online seafood because it is often freshest on your pc

There are lots of good things about living in Austin, Texas but getting fresh seafood isn't one of them. I tried looking in the local shops, but for a Floridian the standard frozen-then-thawed "fresh" fish just wasn't cutting it.

Then I discovered that I could order seafood online, and have it delivered right to my door. And unlike the freezer-burned selections in the grocery store, the fish I ordered online tasted just about as fresh as what I was used to buying in Florida. 


I also learned that not all mail order seafood places were created equally. After a couple of bad experiences, I learned what to look for to ensure that my seafood would be ocean-fresh and tasty when it reached my kitchen.

Frozen, fresh or frozen, then thawed?

If you're going to buy seafood online, you want something that tastes better than what you can get in the local store.  So why would you settle for frozen fish or frozen-then-thawed lobster or crabs?

Before you place your order, make sure the company offers fresh fish shipped refrigerated instead of frozen. If you see phrases like "flash frozen" or "the sea to your freezer", look elsewhere!


Not all online seafood suppliers are committed to ensuring that your order is properly prepared and delivered to your door with that fresh-caught taste.

Before you place an order, do your homework.  Check out rating on places like Yelp and Google+.  Check the Better Business Bureau, too. Too many complaints there probably means your fish might arrive inedible...or might not arrive at all.

Order what you need

When you see all that luscious seafood on the page, it can be tempting to order some of everything (especially if you've been deprived of ocean access for awhile!) 

By ordering what you can use now, and then placing additional orders for more live lobster, crabs or fish when you're ready, you'll ensure that your meals are always fresh and tasty.

Make arrangements for delivery

When you're expecting a delivery of fresh food by mail order, make sure you've made arrangements for someone to sign for the delivery, or to bring the box inside as soon as possible.

Otherwise, you might end up with your overnight delivery of fresh clams or oysters sitting in the post office over the weekend, or baking in the afternoon sun on your porch.

Be prepared to cook them the day you receive them

If you want the freshest taste from your fish, clams, crabs or other seafood, it's a good idea to schedule delivery on the day you plan to cook them.  Remember, even with overnight delivery, by the time the delivery arrives, it's been a couple of days since it was caught.

Check your recipes for the seafood you need

If you forget a couple of local ingredients, it's easy to make a run to the market to get what you need.  But if you're cooking with seafood you've ordered, a mistake is harder to fix. Checking and double checking your seafood recipes for the type and amount of fish you need will prevent problems when it's time to start cooking.

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