Visiting a seafood store for the first time can be so exciting. You'll probably enjoy perusing the aisles and seeing what delectable goodies you can purchase to prepare for dinner. However, as you walk through the store, you may also see some words you're unfamiliar with on signs and packaging. Understanding these words will make it easier for you to shop for seafood, so take a look at the definitions below.
When a piece of fish has been butterflied, it has been split down the middle, and the bones have been removed. Shrimp are also sold butterflied. This means the shrimp has been split and its internal organs have been removed.
If you want to cook fish quickly with little fuss, then you want to buy fillets. These are simply slices of fish flesh with no bones or skin left. Fillets are tender and cook quickly.
If you see the word "cracked," it will often be on signage for lobsters, crabs, and other shellfish. It just means the shell has been cracked already. This will make it easier for you to eat the meat inside.
When any shellfish is sold as "shucked," that means it has been taken out of its shell. You"ll see this word used with a lot of bivalves, like oysters, mussels, and clams. If you buy them shucked, it is usually so you can use them in a dish such as clam chowder or another soup.
The word "domestic" means the seafood was either raised in the US or caught off the coast of the US. Since domestic seafood is grown under stricter regulations than those of other counties, many people prefer to buy it when possible.
Imported seafood was brought into the US from another country. For some fish and shellfish species, this is really the only option.
You'll see farm-raised seafood and wild-caught seafood. It's easy to understand what those are. But then, you'll see "modified wild seafood." This just means the seafood was seeded in the wild and then later collected. In other words, seafood companies supply the oceans to make sure they have seafood to catch.
A good understanding of the terms above will help you make wise selections in the seafood shop. If you come across other terms you do not understand, don't hesitate to ask an employee. Most are quite knowledgeable and happy to help.