Shrimp, prawns, fish, crayfish, lobsters, crabs - they are all seafood products. They are sold fresh, frozen, cooked and precooked in markets and supermarkets. Of course, the best seafood products are fresh ones. And the best place where they may be bought is a seafood market. And, of course, Annapolis seafood markets are among the most popular ones.
Fresh seafood products are good for those who know what to do with them, I mean, how to prepare them for cooking, how to cook them, and what to cook. Frozen seafood products are transported and imported to the places which are far away from the places where they are caught. They may be stored for longer time than fresh ones. These are the main advantages of frozen seafood. Precooked seafood products are good for such cases when you have to cook them quickly.
Let' speak in more details about the most popular seafood products. I have decided to leave fish as it is widely spoken about. I will just mention the kinds of fish that most of us like cooking or eating or both - tuna, salmon, catfish, perch, herring, and sardines. I will talk about crab, lobster, and shrimp.
Blue, or Blue Channel Crab. It is so named for its blue color shell, which turns red when cooked. These crabs are sold live, steamed in the shell, or cooked meat as either fiercer pasteurized. This crab can be found all along the east coast, including Virginia, the Carolinas, even Florida. Fresh crabmeat is generally sold by the pound. There are several grades, the most popular being Special, Backfin and Jumbo Lump. Special is a mixture of smaller pieces of backfin meat and usually has pieces of shell which need to be cleaned out before eating. Backfin has larger meat from the body of the crab and has less shell. Jumbo Lump is the finest grade and contains large lumps of meat, and very little cartilage or shell. Pasteurized crabmeat is a method of subjecting fresh meat to a special heat porches and sealing it in air free cans to prevent spoilage. As long as the can remains sealed, the pasteurized crab meat will keep in the fresh state 6-12 months if kept refrigerated at 33-35 degrees F. All crab meat, whether fresh or pasteurized, should be used within 3 days of opening the container.
Lobsters. They are valued throughout the world as prime seafood items. Live lobsters sport a variety of colors - ranging from green to brown, solid to spotted. Lobsters continuously molt, taking 5 to 6 years to reach harvest size. Lobsters are found from Eastern Canada to North Carolina, while Maine contributes to the bulk of the US catch. American lobsters are available year-round, although summer is the biggest season in Maine. Lobster habitat ranges from rocky shores to the edges of the continental shelf. Store live lobsters in aerated tanks at 40 degrees F., one animal per 2 gallons of salt water. Decontaminate the lobster before placing it in the tank by dipping it in saltwater. Weed out and cook the weak ones, as they are cannibalistic. A live lobster can live in excess of 24 hours out of the water if kept very cool and moist.
Shrimp. Shrimp is marketed in many forms: shelled or unshelled, raw or cooked, and fresh or frozen. Raw shrimp should smell of ocean, with no hint of ammonia. Cooked, shelled shrimp should be plump and firm. Fresh, uncooked shrimp should be cleaned under cool water and drained. Shrimp is a versatile dish, which can be served on salads, pasta, or eaten by itself, It is a good source of HDL and cab be bought year-round.