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Jul 7, 2008 04:56 PM

My flash frozen haddock at Market Basket

I bought a bag of flash frozen Market Basket haddock, to keep on hand in the freezer.

I knew the quality wasn't going to be great, but thouht it would be good for a quick night's dinner. The pieces of haddock are extremely small and thin. The consistancy is not haddock like at all, more like Talapia (very fragile). I decided to read the ingredients and it says haddock. However, on closer inspection the bag says "product of China". I was shocked. Tilapia from Africa and Haddock from China.

From now on, anything frozen I buy is hopefully coming from this Country. Am I ever gonna find local frozen fish?

BTW, nothing against other Countries, I am just trying to put my money back into the USA to help raise the economy. ; - )

Any tips? Thanks.

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  1. Market Basket as in New England? This may be better answered on the NE board.

    1 Reply
    1. I've always had good luck with the frozen fish at Market Basket, but I always check the origin labels and haven't bought any recently. Much of it used to come from Canada and Norway. I think you may need a specialty fish market. like Rowand's in Beverly or Fisherman's Fleet in Malden to get local fish.

      1 Reply
      1. Since you're in NE - you can get INCREDIBLE fresh haddock from the Fish Lady, who sells at several local farmers' markets, including Brookline. Order a lot and freeze your own. She takes advance orders by e-mail at

        Current price is $10/lb skin on, $11/lb skinless. Worth every penny!

        2 Replies
        1. re: BobB

          Yeah, I've tried that flash frozen fish stuff that is imported. I thought it was a enormous bargain at Walmart at $4.24 a pound bag for Wild Salmon. I did not like it, but I thought it was convenient since Walmart got rid of their fish counter in Salem NH and all they sell in fresh fish is they have a lobster tank right by produce and then they also have a cooler with OK looking atlantic salmon and something else. They got a good amount of volume going through that place and at other WM supercenters I've been to, so I really don't see a correlation on the whole between volume and the quality the store provides.

          1. re: caratara

            I do NOT buy any fish from China - too dubious.

        2. We don't eat haddock, BUT we regularly buy the Market Basket flash frozen bagged Cod, flounder and salmon. Pur two girls (12 and 21) love it. My wife says it is fine for cooking breaded or in a sauce.
          I don't care for fish, but usually but MB's fresh in the Tewksbury Stadium Plaza store and have always been satisfied.

          1. Well, the names used for fish in US markets are NOT required to be zoologically species-accurate. This is partly because a given regionally popular name for one species is not infrequently used in other regions for another species. For but one glaring example, unless you are paying a very very very stiff tariff and have a fishmonger who can vouch for the supply chain, what you buy as "sole" in the US is almost always flounder (that Dover sole you spent $X/lb is from the Pacific, and is not the same thing as the fabled Dover sole from Europe, for which you would pay even more).

            The fabled fisheries in the northwestern Atlantic have collapsed. Haddock has made a notable rebound, but otherwise a lot (a lot) of fin fish we used to get locally is now From Away, as they used to say in these parts. The days when Boston's Fish Pier was the beating heart of the US's fishing fleet are sadly gone and almost certainly for good. RIP:


            MB locations vary more in quality than larger chains. The one in Reading has a good fresh fish market that I think is better than Whole Foods in quality and reliability. I do not buy frozen fish because its very hard to thaw it at home in a way that does not compromise its succulence as compared to kept-on-ice.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Karl S

              Thanks Karl, sad but true about the Boston Fish Pier.

              And I agree that the MB's here have a good quality of fresh fish. I just didn't like the flash frozen bag I bought there. And sadly now, I am finding that no matter what store I buy flash frozen fish, the texture has been compromised.

              Fresh fish is just so darned expensive and it means that I have to go to MB three times as much, to pick up fish for the week...ugh!

              When I was a kid, this area was overflowing with fish at the fish pier!

              1. re: mcel215

                Ah, so it seems you are developing a discerning palate for the difference between fresh-on-ice versus frozen (flash or otherwise). My life would be cheaper if I did not have that problem myself.