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March 10, 2012
I am a seafood snob. I will only eat seafood at restaurants that serve fresh seafood. This comes from my days of waiting tables at one of the best seafood restaurants in Florida, where I was afraid to go into the coolers because of all of the huge grouper that were inside staring back at me. The food was so good there, and since then, I have turned my nose up at frozen seafood.
I recently learned that "fresh" seafood might not be all that fresh after all. I had no idea that in some cases, fish are caught and kept on a boat for several days before it is brought in. Once it reaches the docks, it is cleaned and cut into filets, and then shipped out to distributors. By the time that fish is actually on my table, it could actually be a few weeks old. That doesn't sound so fresh to me.
Sea Best Seafood freezes their seafood right when it is caught, which preserves the freshness at it's peak. When you open a package of Sea Best Seafood, you know it is fresh, and you don't have to wonder how long it has been since it was caught or if it has been kept at the proper temperature.
Sea Best Seafood is a family owned company that brings us the highest quality seafood for the best price. It began in Jacksonville, FL in 1950 as a small, retail fresh fish store known as Beaver Street Fisheries, which is the parent company of Sea Best. Today, Sea Best is one of the top seafood suppliers in the US, bringing us a wide variety of the finest seafood available. Sea Best has several product offerings from value varieties to premium fish, shrimp and other shellfish, breaded seafood, and even Seasoned Selections that are ready to be microwaved or baked.
I recently had the pleasure of attending a "Seafood at Sunset" event with Sea Best with several other local bloggers. It definitely opened my eyes regarding the whole fresh vs. frozen seafood debate, and I learned how to prepare several different kinds of seafood. We all know that seafood has several health benefits, and while I would love to serve more of it at home, I really had no clue had to prepare it, especially in ways that my kids would eat it.
We were greeted by Mark Frisch, who represents the 4th generation of the Frisch family that started Beaver Street Fisheries back in 1950. He gave us a little bit of background information about the company and talked about fresh vs. frozen seafood while we ate some appetizers that had been prepared.
We sampled Scallop Egg Rolls and Buffalo Shrimp Dip. I have never really cared for scallops, so I was hesitant to try the egg roll, but it was delicious! The scallops were not chewy like they have been when I tried them before, and the taste was very mild. And the dip? It was awesome! If it hadn't been for the fact that we were going to be sampling more food, I would have gone back for seconds...and thirds.
After we listened to Mark speak while we enjoyed our appetizers, it was time for the live cooking demonstrations by Brian, one of Sea Best's chefs. He prepared three different entrees with various Sea Best products and explained the cooking process to us step by step. He made everything look so easy!
Of course we were able to sample everything he made. By sample, I mean we were each given a full size entree that had been prepared by the other chefs in the kitchen. We certainly left with full bellies! We first tried the Rice Fish Cakes made with flounder. The cakes were very mild tasting and not "fishy" at all, and the lemon gave it a nice zest. We then had an Ahi Tuna Salad Melt. This was no ordinary tuna sandwich! It is amazing how different fresh tuna tastes, compared to the canned tuna you usually make tuna sandwiches with. It was delicious! The last recipe we tried was Walk the Plank Stew, which was made with cod fillets. This healthy soup was very good, and definitely a nice change from regular vegetable soup. I think my kids would even eat that one!
During our discussions with Mark, one of the bloggers brought up sustainability and asked what Sea Best's position was on this important issue. Since I was busy trying all of the delicious food, I can't quote Mark on what he said, but here is a little excerpt from their website regarding Sea Best's commitment to sustainability:
Simply put, Sea Best believes mankind has an inherent responsibility to act as a steward of the environment, to maintain and cultivate its natural resources, and to live a harmonious existence with nature. Our practices ensure a thriving natural environment for generations to come: we utilize organically grown agriculture and aquaculture products and employ the selective and sustainable harvest of wild caught seafood stocks.
When the evening was coming to a close, we were all presented with a bag of Sea Best's products so that we could try the recipes at home. I have been looking through all of the different seafood recipes on Sea Best's website, and I can't wait to prepare some of these dishes with my family!
Thank you to Mark and Brian and the rest of the Sea Best family for having us for Seafood at Sunset! Because of this informative (and delicious!) evening, I no longer turn my nose up to frozen seafood. In fact, I might think twice about eating that next piece of "fresh" fish I am served.
Visit Sea Best on the web for more information on seafood, and to find delicious recipes. You can also follow Sea Best on Facebook and Twitter.
Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I attended the Seafood at Sunset event at no cost, and was given a variety of Sea Best products to take home. No other compensation was received.