Fresh Frozen an Oxymoron?

  • Conventional wisdom tells us that the words fresh and frozen do not belong in the same sentence unless “frozen” is precluding “fresh.” But with “flash freezing” or “blast freezing,” this is no longer the case.

    When I was growing up in Alaska, my family spent a good portion of each summer catching wild salmon, halibut and other seafood to fill the freezer for the winter. This was a fun ritual but also a necessity. We would head and gut salmon and sometimes freeze them whole. For the first month or so, the fish would thaw and cook well enough but as the months wore on, seafood would quickly become engulfed in ice and would freezer burn. The only thing to do with such fish is to smoke or can (jar) it.

    These days we have discovered that packaging a lovely fillet in a vacuum sealed bag then flash freezing the whole thing produces a fillet that lasts for 6 months or more without much loss of flavor or quality. The technique is borrowed from science where specimens are often flash frozen because the small ice crystals that form to not harm cell walls. Conversely, slow freezing produces large ice crystals that break down cellular walls.

    These days, the salmon that fills our personal freezer and the salmon we sell to our customers is meticulously vacuum sealed and flash frozen to provide very high quality and a long lasting product.

    Although we usually slowly thaw our salmon before cooking it (overnight in the fridge), here are some wonderful recipes about cooking salmon right out of the freezer:


    April 22nd, 2011 | Traveler | No Comments |

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