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Fresh vs. Frozen, Which is Better?


Sthitch
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... oh, wait a minute, it's the deep-frozen aspect of things that you must like. Never mind.

A bit off topic for this thread, but I must ask if you think that it would be better for them to competently cook freshly caught lobsters then deep frozen, or transport them in wet newspapers to be dropped into a sewage filled lobster tank where the crustaceans slowly starve and suffer from oxygen depletion amongst their clawed peers? Deep freezing seafood generally does not degrade its quality the same way as it does to say beef. Plus, I have never noticed you complain about eating previously frozen fatty tuna which is what you get at every sushi shop.

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If memory serves me right, there was more meat in Red Hook's.

[*]Cold lobster roll very good, nearly all lobster, barely dressed, but a pretty small portion, and oddly lime instead of lemon.

Lobster Rolls - had both the warm and cold. Both were excellent but as others have noted a tad on the small side for the price.

Since three people have now mentioned the size of the lobster roll, I'd like to throw a question out there: does anyone know of another restaurant in town other than Freddy's that serves fresh lobster rolls, and when I say "fresh," I mean the lobsters were actually swimming in the tank that day or thereabouts, and the meat has never been frozen? I ordered the cold roll last week, and figured the meat inside was about as much as you'd pull from a one-pound lobster.

Deep freezing seafood generally does not degrade its quality the same way as it does to say beef. Plus, I have never noticed you complain about eating previously frozen fatty tuna which is what you get at every sushi shop.

I've never before seen a tuna tank. Can you really not tell the difference between fresh and frozen seafood?

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I've never before seen a tuna tank. Can you really not tell the difference between fresh and frozen seafood?

My point is that frozen is not always inferior, it really depends on a number of factors. There are times when professional deep freezing is preferred over fresh, take for example salmon that is going to be being eaten raw, can you really tell me you want to eat the live parasites that are likely to inhabit the flesh? Is a dirty tank (visit almost any Chinese restaurant serving live seafood to see what I mean) preferable to properly cooked and then frozen?

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My point is that frozen is not always inferior, it really depends on a number of factors. There are times when professional deep freezing is preferred over fresh, take for example salmon that is going to be being eaten raw, can you really tell me you want to eat the live parasites that are likely to inhabit the flesh? Is a dirty tank (visit almost any Chinese restaurant serving live seafood to see what I mean) preferable to properly cooked and then frozen?

Well I can perhaps put an end to this discussion right now by saying that I strongly prefer frozen orange juice to the never-frozen ultra-pasteurized "pure premium" products available in cartons (which, to me, taste like dull, thick memories of what used to be orange juice). So no, frozen is not always inferior by any stretch of the imagination. I'll also take good frozen french fries over bad fresh ones anytime. And yet, I've never once had a great smoothie that was made with anything but fresh fruit (and there are few things more irritating than getting fruit as a yogurt topping, and biting through a still-frozen strawberry).

As for seafood, it's one of my culinary goals to hit up one of the sushi counters at Tsukiji market right when they open at 6 AM. While "frozen is not always inferior," it's also never the very best.

Back on-topic, I thought the textural component of Freddy's lobster roll was striking, and I assume - perhaps incorrectly - it's because of the fresh lobster meat. When I go to Maine, do I want to visit a lobster pound on a dock, or a supermarket that has frozen lobster meat? As far as dirty tanks go, I don't think it's fair to link Freddy's with the Chinatown dives and their nasty (sometimes dead) tilapia floating in cloudy water, so I'll go ahead and split this off into its own topic.

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I've never once had a great smoothie that was made with anything but fresh fruit...

Funny, my preference is to store thinly sliced bananas in the freezer just to make smoothies. They get thrown in first instead of ice cubes, resulting in a thicker, frostier drink than what I would have had with fresh bananas.

I swear by Wyler's frozen wild blueberries from Maine instead of the plump, imported, cultivated berries for smoothies, too. It's recommended to throw in frozen blueberries once batter is poured into a hot cast-iron skillet since pancakes are more likely to stick when berries are fresh.

Stefano Frigerio advises his customers to freeze his stuffed pastas before cooking them.

As for OJ? I hate the ultra-pasturized juices, too. Don't like reconstituted frozen concentrate either (matter of personal preference and often associations, whether sentimental and linked to childhood, or class/status-related) and after the DR Summer Challenge years ago, pretty much stopped drinking juice altogether in favor of fresh citrus fruit. Exception: Trader Joe's "premium" tangerine juice which they seem to have stopped making, though the pricier grapefruit juice is also good when it's fresh and the fruit's in peak season.

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As far as dirty tanks go, I don't think it's fair to link Freddy's with the Chinatown dives and their nasty (sometimes dead) tilapia floating in cloudy water, so I'll go ahead and split this off into its own topic.

I am not the one that moved the original post to Freddy's, if you remember it was originally a response to the comment in the Shake Shack thread about the lobster truck... My only point was more of a general comment about live tanks not always being better than frozen.

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When I go to Maine, do I want to visit a lobster pound on a dock, or a supermarket that has frozen lobster meat?

Having eaten super-fresh lobster at lobster pounds and on-the-dock restaurants in Maine, I no longer eat lobster anywhere else--fresh or frozen. It's just too much of a disappointment by comparison.

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I think peas are one case where the frozen product can often be superior in taste, texture, and color to the fresh, especially if you factor in the quality degradation that will have occurred by the time the "fresh" product is available for sale.

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This is a continual battle between me and my wife.

When we go to Wegman's to buy seafood, I tend to reach for the frozen stuff based on my assumption that, "it's frozen pretty much right after it's caught, and is therefore fresher than the 'fresh' stuff in the counter."

She says she can "taste a difference" between the fresh and the frozen, and prefers the fresh.

I inform her that most of the "fresh" seafood in the case is simply frozen seafood that was thawed and then put in the case. Hence, not only is my frozen seafood "fresher," it's actually identical to her "fresh."

Who's right and who's wrong?

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I inform her that most of the "fresh" seafood in the case is simply frozen seafood that was thawed and then put in the case. Hence, not only is my frozen seafood "fresher," it's actually identical to her "fresh."

I've been told that by employees at the Whole Foods seafood counter (specifically about calamari and one other product I can't recall). When they didn't have calamari in the fish case one day, the gentleman walked me over to the freezer case and said that they thaw packages of that calamari for the fish counter/case.

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I've been told that by employees at the Whole Foods seafood counter (specifically about calamari and one other product I can't recall). When they didn't have calamari in the fish case one day, the gentleman walked me over to the freezer case and said that they thaw packages of that calamari for the fish counter/case.

I know for a fact that at the Clarendon Whole Foods the cooked shrimp that is out at the seafood counter comes in two pound bags from Thailand (farm raised) that they hold frozen in the back and defrost as necessary by running them under cold water. At least that is what they told me. Not that I am saying there is anything wrong with that. They will sell you the bag if you ask. They are better than the frozen shrimp you can find in the freezer section.

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I agree with Banco (and Jacques Pepin) that frozen peas are the best bet. But, I would like to add that when you can find them for that elusive 1-2 weeks per year, the fresh taste better and make you feel better for shelling your own. In this situation, cost considerations must be put aside just for the sound that the peas make as they jump into the bowl. And also the joy that comes from knowing that not all peas were fated to become that culinary dental floss passing itself off as food - pea shoots (unless they are prepared at full kee).

I also think frozen spinach works perfectly well for pasta, both filling and the dough itself as well as spanikopita.

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I agree with Banco (and Jacques Pepin) that frozen peas are the best bet. But, I would like to add that when you can find them for that elusive 1-2 weeks per year, the fresh taste better and make you feel better for shelling your own. In this situation, cost considerations must be put aside just for the sound that the peas make as they jump into the bowl. And also the joy that comes from knowing that not all peas were fated to become that culinary dental floss passing itself off as food - pea shoots (unless they are prepared at full kee).

I also think frozen spinach works perfectly well for pasta, both filling and the dough itself as well as spanikopita.

One of my childhood memories from Washington State--which, all chauvinism aside, produces some of the best produce in the world--was getting fresh pea pods, shelling them, and devouring them on the spot. It's nonetheless a vegetable made for freezing: widely desired, easy to cook, and forgiving of the ice box. Intelligent design?

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One of my childhood memories from Washington State--which, all chauvinism aside, produces some of the best produce in the world--was getting fresh pea pods, shelling them, and devouring them on the spot. It's nonetheless a vegetable made for freezing: widely desired, easy to cook, and forgiving of the ice box. Intelligent design?

There is almost always a box of frozen artichoke hearts in our freezer, along with the bag of frozen peas. Some things taste fine frozen and are sure a lot less work. HOWEVER, there is something wrong with crabs and lobsters that are cooked and then frozen in the shell. I'm not talking here about crabs that are steamed live and then shelled, so that you buy the meat refrigerated--something I do all the time. No, I mean buying frozen crabs or lobsters in the shell. Something terrible happens in that case and I don't know what it is, but it renders the meat awful. I made a multi-course dinner for the family, who had gathered in El Paso for my mother's graduation from college (you taxpayers paid for it, before you start thinking this was a fine thing). I was only able to find a single live lobster in the entire city, in order to make a usually fabulous risotto. So, to stretch things out, I added the meat from some previously frozen snow crab legs. Yecch! It wrecked the dish.

I wonder if there is some substance in the shells which is the problem. Any food scientists here who can weigh in on this?

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I agree with Banco (and Jacques Pepin) that frozen peas are the best bet. But, I would like to add that when you can find them for that elusive 1-2 weeks per year, the fresh taste better and make you feel better for shelling your own. In this situation, cost considerations must be put aside just for the sound that the peas make as they jump into the bowl.

Eloquent and fitting when such a thought comes from she who made glorious, fresh pea shooters for the one spring picnic I've been able to attend. I also recall the episode of Top Chef when Carla Hall beamed with awe after Jacques Pepin praised the perfection of her simple, fresh peas.

...that culinary dental floss passing itself off as food - pea shoots...

On a very hot, sunny day very early in the spring, I followed two little girls on a tour of their parents' farm. The eldest paused to pull a leaf of chard out of the ground in the high tunnel to munch, and when we reached the first stretch of field, Secunda yanked a curly, bright green string of pea from the mulch that covered row upon row of garlic and handed half to me. Grown solely as a cover-crop and not to sell at market, it was vividly delicious just as it was. After a couple of days in the fridge, yes, the tangle of shoots loses flavor.

PS. My cousins loved to eat frozen peas straight out of the box when we were young, though I preferred the French-cut green beans. In bags, either's better frozen than fresh to soothe a burn.

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