How to Buy Seafood


Rod Mitchell, of Browne Trading in Portland, Maine, suppliers to America's best chefs, on what you should (and shouldn't) bring home.

1. "The best way to buy a fish is when it's whole: Because if the eyes are clear, not cloudy, and the gills are bright red, and not brown, you've spotted a fish that was recently caught and stored properly."

2. "When you're buying fillets, look for those that are firm to the touch and have an iridescent sheen, not a dull look, to them. Ask your fishmonger to let you sniff them - they should smell clean, not fishy."

3. "Shellfish should be alive. Oysters should be closed, and clams and mussels closed or partly opened - the shell should close when you tap it. Ask for the tag, which is required by law - it will show the date of harvest."

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Photo: Gourmet