how to serve and eat seafood

Seafood Etiquette: 4 Basics For Serving And Eating Seafood​

who this class is for

Waiters and restaurant staff, restaurant guests, house-party hosts and guests

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About this micro-class

Seafood etiquette is the set of rules for appropriately serving and eating seafood.

1. How to choose the best seafood

What you should know about seafood

Seafood encompasses a wide range of aquatic animals including fish, shellfish (such as shrimp, crab, and lobster), mollusks (such as clams, mussels, and oysters), and cephalopods (such as squid and octopus), consumed for their culinary value and nutritional benefits.

Season and availability 

Availability of seafood varies depending on factors such as location, fishing regulations, and sustainability practices.

Some seafood species have specific seasons for optimal harvesting, while others are available year-round due to aquaculture or global sourcing.

Types of seafood and how to choose the best

Seafood offers a diverse array of flavors, textures, and cooking possibilities.

When selecting seafood, look for freshness indicators such as clear eyes, firm flesh, and a mild ocean scent. Purchase from reputable suppliers with sustainable sourcing practices to ensure quality and environmental responsibility.

Alternatives to seafood

Alternatives include other protein sources such as poultry, meat, tofu, and plant-based seafood substitutes for those with dietary restrictions or preferences.

2. How to serve seafood

How to store seafood

Store seafood in the refrigerator or on ice immediately after purchase to maintain freshness.

Use within a few days or freeze for longer storage.

Discard any seafood that shows signs of spoilage such as an off-putting odor, sliminess, or discoloration.

How to prepare seafood

Seafood can be prepared in various ways including grilling, steaming, boiling, frying, and raw preparations such as ceviche or sushi.

Use appropriate utensils and techniques for handling different types of seafood to preserve their delicate textures and flavors.

How to serve and present seafood

Serve seafood cooked to the appropriate temperature and garnished with complementary ingredients such as herbs, citrus, or sauces.

Use appropriate tableware and presentation techniques to showcase the natural beauty and flavors of seafood dishes.

Seafood dietary restrictions

Consider dietary restrictions such as allergies, religious beliefs, or ethical considerations when serving seafood.

Offer alternative options or accommodations as needed to accommodate guests’ preferences and needs.

3. How to eat seafood

Food and wine pairings: what goes well with seafood

Pair seafood with beverages such as white wine, champagne, light beer, or sparkling water to complement its flavors and textures.

Avoid pairing seafood with overly strong or acidic flavors that may overpower its delicate taste. In general, avoid pairing seafood with red wine, meat, and cheese.

The appropriate manners to eat seafood

Use appropriate utensils such as forks, knives, shellfish crackers, and picks to enjoy seafood dishes.

Discard shells, bones, or other inedible parts discreetly while eating.

Some seafood can be tricky to handle and require specific eating etiquette, such as lobster, crab, scampi, prawns, and shrimp.

4. Etiquette mistakes when serving or eating seafood

Avoid common mistakes such as mishandling shellfish, using fingers instead of utensils, or discarding edible parts.

Respect cultural traditions and ethical sensitivities related to seafood consumption.

Test your knowledge with a quick test and earn a free micro-certificate

Shop for etiquette, behavioral, and contextual signs

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