A Reason to Eat Frozen Seafood

Growing up in a small fishing village in the East Coast of Canada, we were surrounded by amazingly fresh seafood. Having always lived there, we thought that’s how everyone lived.  We would wake up to the smell of fish cakes being pan fried on the burner, or to the smell of seafood chowder warming in the big 30 litre pot, made the day before (we all know chowder is best on day 2, that’s why we cook so much of it). 

However, in Canada we have seasons all these seafood items are allowed to be caught.  This allows for the seafood stock to replenish annually as it gives the animals time to reproduce and grow.  So, what do we eat in the time of the year that there is no ‘fresh’ fish?  Frozen Fish! 

But why would someone who’s so accustomed and could eat so much ‘fresh’ fish, ever eat frozen seafood?  Well, today’s frozen seafood is not the frozen seafood our parents ate.  The world has changed in the last 30 – 50 years. Due to sustainability issues, and seasonality of fishing, there became a new idea.  Freeze fresh fish!

When seafood is frozen in a fresh state, this locks in the freshness of the seafood item.  In times of old, and when everyone went to the local market, they would sell fresh fish.  What was not sold within a few days became frozen.  That gave us the idea, many still have today, that frozen seafood is not quality seafood.  The fishmonger would take his unsold seafood, and freeze it to keep whatever quality was left, and sell at a discount to not lose its full value.  Any return was better than no return.   However, today we take fresh fish and freeze it as quickly as possible in advance, to sell this item in the future.  It’s no longer a ‘recovery’ option, but a planned strategy to offer the best possible product.

So, growing up in a seafood village, we eat great seafood all year long, whenever we like, as we have all this amazing frozen seafood! Actually, we are sometimes skeptical of fresh seafood as we know it takes so long for a fishing boat to get to shore, the seafood be processed by the factory, placed on a shipping truck, sent to the airport, fly somewhere (anywhere), unloaded, and sent to the local market. This can take DAYS! Now, you have this week-old fish that you think is ‘fresh’ and you buy it on Tuesday, for dinner on Friday.  Because you think its fresh, and only have it for 3 days.  Now, that 7-day old fish is what the old fishmonger used to freeze, and we are calling it fresh!

Did you know that not all fish is kept in good condition by freezing?  Not all countries had the access or ability to freeze their produce.  So, what did they do?  Some places dry food to keep it ‘fresh’.  We see this daily in the Hong Kong market.  Some of the most expensive and high-quality seafood is dried.  Salting, Smoking, Canning, pasteurizing, fermenting, these are all methods to preserve food.  And no one seems to bat an eye when they eat these preserved foods, nor do we complain its ‘not fresh’.   So why do so many people think frozen seafood is not good quality?  There are tricks, methods, and ways to do it.  And sometimes it might be old product that should be sold at a discount.  We’ll explain to you what to look for and how to tell good quality seafood from bad quality, so you can enjoy the best products! No matter if its frozen or not.

We’re here to provide the best quality seafood!  It’s our passion, its our mission!  Think ‘sushi’, Think ‘frozen’!


Previously Frozen,


Joshua LeBlanc

Your Fishmonger