Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Frozen Fish, May Be More Than Fish

The other day, when I was shopping in Rami Levy Discount Supermarket, I decided to buy some frozen fish especially for use next week, during the "Nine Days," when it's customary not to eat meat and poultry.

Of course, the elimination of meat and poultry are supposed to be mourning customs, because we are commemorating the destruction of Jerusalem and the Beit Hamikdash, Holy Temple, and the exile of the Jewish People thousands of years ago. It's rather ironic that in today's world, especially here in Israel, poultry cost much less than fish. Yes, I'm talking about strictly kosher and salted poultry. Even beef can be bought for less than fish. But tradition is strong here, and we follow it. So I went fish shopping in the freezer section, since there isn't a fresh fish department in most Israeli supermarkets.

I thought it would be easy for my husband to serve himself those premade fish things, all coated and spiced, but those all said that they included soy. I couldn't find a simple piece of fish that just needed heating. So I looked at the "regular" frozen fish and thanks to my multifocals had an easy time reading the labels.

Yes, those numbers stopped me in my tracks. They explain that you're buying between 10-20% ice with your fish, depending on the brand and fish. Apparently this is legal as long as there are warning labels. If you look carefully at the labels on frozen meat and poultry you'll find similar facts and worse. That's why I buy fresh chicken from the Rami Levy store. Then I freeze it at home.

I ended up buying a more expensive fish, salmon that seemed to be vacuum packed rather than "ice packed." There is no warning label on the fish I bought, so I hope I bought fish and not dirty water.


Neshama said...

i find the same thing very annoying. even buying fresh fish, frozen, from the fish mongers in the shuk, comes with surprises. i usually ask them to cut the filet in 3 pieces. i cook up one section with some onions for my husband. however, when frozen this piece of fish doesnt quite fit into the pan. but dont worry, as it cooks, it ends up disappearing into the middle of the pan. good thing i sauteed the onions.

Batya Medad said...

Any frozen fish the color of ice ends up melting away. That is anogher reason to buy salmon. You can see ice.

Netivotgirl said...

Not only ice is a problem Batya, but WORMS! It's preferable to buy a brand with a hechsher that shows the fish has been checked for worms. Certain kinds are prone to infestation by tiny worms. YUCK!

Batya Medad said...

NG, never heard of that. I never noticed such a hechshar.