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fresh fish at Market Basket

Went to Market Basket in Newburyport today. The quality and price were both outstanding...perhaps a seasonal thing ..or even a seasonal, Newburyport thing.

HUGE, natural dry sea scallops 8.99/lb
fresh tuna, swordfish 8.99/lb
wild salmon, fresh haddock, pollack 3.99/lb
farmed salmon 4.99/lb
fresh bluefish, monkfish, marlin, mahi-mahi, and some kind of shark 6.99/lb

Wild salmon was delicious and I put pollack in freezer for chowder. All the above was fresh and there was little frozen product on display (besides shrimp, calamari etc) and it all looked really good.

I've never seen this kind of selection/value at any of my local groceries. I may have to go to another local MB tomorrow to see if it was a fluke (no pun intended.)

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  1. Not a fluke. I find the fish markets at both the Reading and Middleton stores outstanding.

    1 Reply
    1. re: shaebones

      Yep. Market Basket quality and prices are excellent. I've pretty much stopped using my local fish market unless I'm buying lobster meat or 5 pound blocks of shelled Gulf of Maine shrimp.

      The small haddock filets (between 1/2 and 1 pound) are usually $4.99 but were a buck cheaper when I was buying them yesterday. They'll skin them for you so you don't stink up your trash. I've basically been living on the stuff all summer. In the last 2 months, I only recall 1 day when they didn't have fresh haddock.

    2. I agree and love Mrk Bsk for fish - keep an eye out for their lobster prices, usually very good end of season and they'll steam while you shop ($3.99 lb).

      1. We go to the Reading MB tomorrow so I'll be looking for that tuna! I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the fish in the Middleton store and was so happy when the Reading store opened. Good idea to buy and freeze... I usually buy and cook the same day.

        1. I shop at a lot of different MBs, often...I just never saw a bonanza like that. It took me 10 minutes to choose!

          I should also mention that in a nearby frozen case I picked up some frozen tuna, 1-inch cubes, cryovaced, for 4.59/lb. It will make a great salad or snack some night. They also had frozen haddock for 3.99/lb which always works fine for chowder.

          1. I thought I'd bump this with an update.... I just paid $2.99/pound for fresh haddock in Portsmouth, NH as an unadvertised special.

            1 Reply
            1. re: GeoffD

              What??? I just paid $4.99/lb yesterday in Reading Ma. Last week it was $3.99/lb. Still a great price so I'm not complaining. :)

            2. I just picked up beautiful swordfish (fresh) in Londonderry on Monday. I think it was under $7.99 lb - they were fantastic.

              10 Replies
              1. re: lexpatti

                I shop MB in either Warner or Concord and we've been having very good fresh dry scallops, salmon and swordfish. Years ago I stopped shopping MB because the fresh produce was iffy and there were items we wanted that the store didn't carry. (We still prefer Hannaford's whole wheat english muffins.) This week I got fresh swordfish at Hannaford and my husband was disappointed in it. Flavor good but flesh was very firm and he suspected it of being previously frozen. The MB swordfish has been juicy and tender. I think the cheapest lobster this summer has been $5.99/lb.
                I have a question for you wild salmon lovers. My husband prefers farmed salmon. When we get wild salmon there seems to be an astringent taste to it. This includes a fish we got fresh from an Alaskan river. Farmed salmon seems sweeter. Can anyone describe why they prefer the flavor of wild? thanks.

                1. re: dfrostnh

                  Farmed salmon is generally milder and less firm than wild salmon, which typically has a richer taste. Some popular types of wild salmon are King (Chinook) Salmon, Silver (Coho) Salmon, and Sockeye Salmon... most of these come from the West Coast (I believe over 80% come from Alaska).

                  The wild salmon fishing season runs from Spring to Fall: King Salmon starts in May/June, followed by Sockeye through August, Coho's into September. There is a troll-caught winter King Salmon season but the prices are sky high and most don't make it to the East Coast. Sockeye salmon is usually offered previously frozen as a wild salmon option in the winter.

                  Farmed Atlantic Salmon is in season year-round, and mostly come from Chile and Canada.

                  1. re: snopromofo

                    Thanks. We recently had some Canadian farmed salmon from MB and thought it was very good.
                    Was happily shocked at the cheap price for fresh swordfish last week at MB. I think it was $4.59/lb. I got the last piece which was slightly too big for the two of us. Fortunately for both of us, a single guy was happy to split it with me.

                2. re: lexpatti

                  Lex, at the Nashua MB yesterday I bought 10lbs fresh haddock, for 2.99 a pound :) Guess who's makin' lots of chowdah amd fish and chips!? lol

                  1. re: lexpatti

                    Today at MB in Haverhill (stadium) - they still have the scallops for 8.99. They also had a big slab of Canadian(?) tuna that they were slicing steaks off of...it looked fantastic but, sadly, didn't get any...it was also 8.99.

                    I think our excitement about good to great fish at MB speaks to the LACK of good fish mongers brought up in another post http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/540334

                    1. re: merrvally

                      som of the mb like the one in burlington and one here in lowell have all the fish pre packaged an it always looks like it died 5yrs ago
                      others that have a fresh fish sectionthough are pretty good

                      1. re: foodperv

                        The MB in Concord NH added a pre-packaged area in front of the fresh fish case. I picked up a package of salmon which had been packed that day but the sell by date was five days later. I checked with the guy who checked with his boss and boss said 5 days should be okay. I always thought fresh fish is best cooked that day and definitely within 3 days. Am I the only one who thinks 5 day old fish might not be good?

                        1. re: dfrostnh

                          What is that saying: "after three days fish and guests start to stink..."

                          Seriously though, fish is best eaten the day it is bought, preferably right off the boat. 5 days--yech.

                          1. re: whs

                            ditto, I buy fish the day I want to eat it - maybe the next but that's it. I also buy a lot of flash frozen seafood, keep in the freezer for quick no effort shrimp, scallops, salmon, etc.