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Fresh Tuna $3.99/lb

I was at Sunny Foodmart today and saw fresh tuna loin for $3.99/lb. Looked OK, perhaps a bit too much connective tissue still attached. A big piece was maybe $5, compared to $20++ anywhere else. Is it worth buying?

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  1. Tuna loin at Diana's, on Lawrence Ave. East - in my view, the best fish market in town - goes for $15 a pound (a.k.a. $14.99) and barbecues quite nicely. And it is, presumably, fresh, never frozen. (Diana's so-called sushi-grade fresh tuna, which is a distinct step up in quality, is $20 a pound.) I've tried previously-frozen tuna loin at several Chinese fish markets attached to ethnic supermarkets, usually at $10 or so a pound, and find it not as tasty as the fresh, with a muted, lesser mouthfeel - though certainly acceptable at the price. If the tuna loin at Sunny Foodmart is indeed fresh, not previously frozen, it's a mad buy at $3.99. Even if it's previously frozen - more likely, I'd suggest - it's still a pretty good buy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: juno

      I doubt that the tuna is 'never frozen' (but could be wrong). At the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo EVERY tuna was frozen (I had assumed fresh until faced with the facts).

      1. re: estufarian

        Fresh tuna certainly exists, however a large majority of it is frozen. Tuna is also (generally) aged for sushi, at least in Japan. It also depends on the type of tuna.

        For $3.99/lb, it's either some sort of incredible loss-leader, or CO treated (or worse). I mean, how much is cheap canned tuna, $1 a can?

    2. $3.99 a lb sounds too good to be true and most likely previously frozen.
      Ask if you can get up close and smell it for freshness.

      1 Reply
      1. re: petek

        I'd be wary of any 'fresh' seafood at bargain basement prices. Specials are a great way to move less than fresh products.

      2. What species? I've seen fresh albacore tuna (AKA: white tuna) selling around $5.00 a pound but I don't recall seeing it recently. It's not too fatty but good if not overcooked.

        1. If its not frozen give it a good sniff. If it smells ok buy some and try it.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Tom34

            I wouldn't mind getting to the bottom of what constitutes "fresh" in the fish business. Diana's, the fish and seafood purveyor, makes quite clear which of its products are "previously frozen" and which are "fresh", which to me means it has never been "previously frozen". Perhaps there's a middle ground, in which fish being shipped long distances are packed "on ice" - therefore technically still fresh upon arrival - rather than "in ice", which would qualify it as frozen. Can any fish/seafood scholar enlighten us?

            In any event, $3.99 a pound for tuna, no matter what species, fresh or previously frozen, is worth taking a shot at - at least once.

            1. re: juno

              A lot of the bright red tuna you see in fish cases has been "gassed" with carbon monoxide. This process can hide a multitude of sins so much so that Sysco, the worlds largest food service distributor and largest American seafood distributor refused to sell it at one time.I don't know if this is still the case.

              1. re: zackly

                They sell it & so do many supermarkets. Bright red as you say. I believe it is mostly from lower quality small fish. Quite a bit of it has been rejected and turned away over the years.

                It would appear the gas can also be used to freshen up old fish which is a big problem.