Fresh vs Frozen - Challenging Perceptions
There seems to be a variety of different opinions with regards to fresh vs frozen seafood and the determining quality. While there are arguments for and against both sides, the fact remains that the quality of seafood cannot be improved once it has been caught, it can only ever be maintained.
Isn’t it perhaps more important to focus on the quality of fish caught in the first instance?
The fishing industry in Alaska has worked tirelessly to develop a superior method of freezing and processing in order to preserve the quality of the fish once it has been caught. It is this that has positioned Alaska as a world leader in seafood innovation.
There are three basic methods of freezing fish processes used in Alaska: air blast freezers, contact or plate freezers and immersion or spray freezers. What makes them so unique and effective is how quick the freezing process is; usually between one and three hours. Alaska seafood tastes 100% fresh because it’s frozen at sea within hours of the catch. It’s important to note that both time and temperature is the key to maintaining the quality of Alaska seafood.
Are we stuck in our ways?
Whilst fresh seafood is typically considered to be of better quality, interestingly numerous studies have shown that most consumers can’t actually tell the difference between fresh and frozen seafood, as long as it is high quality.
Should chefs therefore be looking at using more frozen seafood in their kitchens?
There is definitely scope for more and more chefs to use frozen seafood and to combat an ever-increasing issue – food wastage. Frozen seafood is certainly one way to tackle this. Not only is frozen seafood more affordable than buying fresh fish, it also means that chefs can cook to order rather than buying large quantities of fresh fish which may or may not be used. There is no doubt that frozen seafood is less of a financial risk. Furthermore, Alaska seafood can it be cooked directly from frozen reducing preparation and cooking time and it can also be used all year round, despite the short fishing seasons.