Prisco’s Family Market

1108 Prairie Street, Aurora, IL 60506 | 630-264-9400

Hours: Monday - Friday, 7 am to 8:30 pm | Saturday, 7 am to 8 pm | Sunday, 8 am to 7 pm

My Account

Frozen versus Fresh – When it comes to seafood, what’s best?

Folks who shop with us regularly know that we most often carry a very limited assortment of fresh seafood. The reason is quite simple, it’s hard to keep seafood fresh for extended periods and we refuse to sell anything to our customers that we wouldn’t put on our own families' tables.

Being a smaller than average market, it really precludes us from offering a full line of fresh seafood of the kind that you would find in larger chain stores. That, however, is no reason to think that we can’t serve your seafood needs. In general, we are well trained to think that fresh is best; and to be honest, we make it a point of reminding our shoppers of that fact as well. In the case of seafood, however, I'd argue that this is not necessarily the case.

Allow me to explain: More than 85 percent of the seafood we eat in the US is imported. Within that, the "vast majority" -- at least 70%, but likely even higher according to Gavin Gibbons, spokesman for the National Fisheries Institute -- has been frozen at some point.

"There really is no difference," said Gibbons. "The clock never moves backward when it comes to freshness. If a fish is caught, handled well and frozen immediately, you literally stop the clock. You freeze in the freshness." He adds that, nutritionally, nothing is lost when fish is frozen. These days, technology is such that fish are either frozen right at sea (most common with farmed fish, as freezers are incorporated into the farm sites) or immediately upon landing at port.

Also, the idea that fattier varieties such as salmon and tuna fare better, texturally speaking, than leaner fish when frozen doesn't hold true, either. Our experts say it comes down to proper freezing and handling on the front end, and proper thawing -- in the fridge, out of the package -- on the back end. "There is no downside to buying frozen fish," Gibbons said.

That being said, I’d encourage you to visit the frozen seafood section (directly across from our dairy case) in the last aisle and check out the extensive assortment of seafood. This week we are featuring Seabest Ahi Tuna Steaks in a one pound package for just $8.99.  They are great on the grill or cooked and served atop a cool green salad.