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Frozen Seafood

Frozen seafood a way to enjoy “like fresh” fish when you don’t live near the ocean. Fish is one of the most perishable foods sold today. Vegetables can be picked before they are ripe, and transported to market as they ripen, so that when you buy them, they are just right for consumption. Other forms of meat, such as beef, chicken, or pork can be locally raised so that they can be on the shelves within hours of being processed.

Seafood however is only found in the sea. There have been limited successes in creating fish farms in some areas, but many fish’s life cycles involve migration and they cannot reproduce in captivity. For example, the Tarpon species of fish lives in water that is exactly 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Since that temperature of water changes throughout the year, they follow a migratory path around the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea to chase that temperature. The equipment to raise farm Tarpon would be prohibitively expensive to the point where it could not compete in price with fresh caught Tarpon. So Tarpon, like many fish, can be found as frozen seafood if you don’t live in a state on the gulf coast.

Dungeness crab is another example of locally specific seafood that can be found in frozen seafood sections around the country. Dungeness crabs live in the waters off the coast of the pacific northwest of North America. Their habitat extends from Northern California up to the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Crab will start to lose freshness about 24 hours after being captured, even if the crab is still alive. This is because they stop eating and start processing the calcium in their shells. To counter this, crab can be flash frozen to retain the “just caught” characteristics of the meat.  The most important part of using frozen crab is carefully thawing it, microwaving it will end up making the meat very tough and rubbery.