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The Best Restaurants Know the Secrets to Serving Only the Freshest Seafood

Posted by on in Orange Beach
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If you enjoy eating or cooking seafood, you know how important it is to consume only freshest from the sea. The best restaurants accept only the freshest seafood for all their menu items. Why? When consumed, stale, tainted, improperly stored fish and shellfish can result in illness within 30 minutes after consumption. To the average consumer's eye, it is often difficult to determine the freshness of seafood. Thankfully, skilled cooks in good restaurants rely on a few tricks up their sleeves to determine freshness.

The Best Restaurants Choose Only the Freshest Seafood for the Table

Whole Fish

The eyes are truly the window to the soul, especially with fish. Before purchasing fish, a good restaurant will make sure the eyes of the fish are clear and bulging instead of gray, dull, or sunken, which are the characteristics of a fish past its prime or not kept properly.

A knowledgeable cook will also press on the flesh to make sure it springs back and will lift the gills to see if a rich red color runs beneath them, instead of a milky slime. A brownish-red color indicates an old fish.

The nose never lies as well. Some fish are so old or unkempt that their odor is foul. Fresh fish smell like it's taken directly from the water, perhaps a bit briny at times, but never foul or rancid.

Fish Fillets

Some cooks prefer buying fish fillets as opposed to a whole fish because they are more convenient and ready to use. When a fish is cut, many of the freshness markers are eliminated, but not all.

The skin on a fillet lends the chef a view to its freshness. If the skin is still attached to the flesh, it must look shiny and metallic. Again, the flesh itself must bounce back when pressed, instead of oozing milky liquid, the first sign of decay. As always, suspicious or pungent odors should not afflict your nostrils.


Clams, oysters, and mussels are typically sold alive to restaurants. The first thing a cook will do is check for cracked or broken shells because these hint of unhealthy or dead shellfish. When the shells are tapped, it should elicit a reaction from a live shellfish. Usually, it will close more tightly upon the impact. You can also tell good shellfish from the bad ones after cooking. Bad shellfish do not open after being boiled. Throw these away.

Fresh seafood does not only taste better, but it is also healthier for you. Are you looking for the best restaurants in Orange Beach, AL for the freshest seafood? Give Tacky Jacks a try.


Fresh and Frozen Seafood: Selecting and Serving It Safely, FDA.gov
How to Tell If a Fish is Fresh?, TheSpruce.com