Sadly, we live in a dishonest world. Not all butchers will sell you the freshest meat possible. Some would try to sell you low-quality meat. You deserve the best quality of meat. The type of meat you use can dictate just how good and delicious your dish will be. Fortunately, you can shop smart by knowing how to identify the freshest meat yourself. Here are tips on how to identify and buy the freshest meat cuts in the market.
The freshest beef should be deep red in color. You should also notice that the fat and bones are bright white. The graying brown fat and bones means that the meat is old and has been exposed to air for a long time. Old meats are chewy and not tender. They also won’t be able to absorb flavor as effectively as fresh meat.
When it comes to ground beef, the particles should be red. There should be flecks of white for the fats.
Look at the meat, underneath the skin. The raw poultry should appear pink and shiny with moisture. The chicken meat is fresh when it is colored white to light yellow. The texture should be smooth, and there should be no blemishes that look like bruises.
Buying seafood can be challenging, particularly when you don’t live near a body of water. As such, the fish you’ll find will most likely be frozen. The fish should not smell bad as if it’s rotten. The meat must be firm. Upon buying, make sure to immediately cook your fish within that day or on the next day, at the latest. That’s because when you freeze the fish again, it will turn soft and mushy. It will disintegrate more quickly when you cook it.
Fresh shrimp is marked by the firmness of its meat and shell. The coat should be shiny. Choose the shrimp that lightly smells like sea water. If it is starting to smell like bleach or ammonia, ditch it. There should be no bruise-like discolorations or any dark spots.
When you’re shopping in the frozen section, choose the packages that indicate “IQF.” This means that each shrimp was flash frozen immediately. They’ll be good as new when thawed.
Choose the chops that are colored pink to dark red. The general rule is that the lighter the color, the younger the meat. Watch out for the fat. They’re healthy when bright white. Avoid the fat that is becoming yellowish because that’s a sign that it’s old.
Do not purchase the pork with any green or brown shades. That means that the meat is old and probably already decaying. Swine are susceptible to carrying diseases which is why you should only pick fresh and healthy meat that is not contaminated by diseases. The flesh of the pork should be firm. The bones and fat should be colored bright white. Overall, the cut should be shiny with wetness, but it should not be slimy.