Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Food & Wine Challenge in Westfield - Where to Buy Shrimp
As a spin-off of my cooking challenge to cook 5 3-course meals in 10 days from this month's Food & Wine Magazine, I put Westfield markets to the test and procured shrimp from 3 vendors in 3 levels on a fresh to frozen continuum. Then challenged tasters to match the shrimp with its vendor.
Each taster got six shrimp, labelled as a "1" "2" or "3" and their assignment was to match each batch with Westfield Seafood, Stop & Shop Fish Department, or Plain Bag of Frozen Uncooked Shrimp.
Not one response was fully correct. And every single person - that's 100% - incorrectly identified the frozen shrimp as from Westfield Seafood. The frozen shrimp comes in a 2 pound back for $16.98. Westfield Seafood charges three cents less for 1 pound of large, cleaned shrimp. If you read my clafoutis entry you know I was never good at science, but I was always sharp with math.
Now, Westfield Seafood is a fabulous store with very fresh fish and wonderful service. Their shrimp is always fresh and purchased directly from the Fulton Street Fish Market in New York. Their shrimp had a tender pink appearance even raw, and the edges curled up nicely over heat. They were incredibly delicious and I highly recommend going to Westfield Seafood if your budget allows for an indulgence. But, for a fantastic substitute of high quality, low cost shrimp, I'd go right to the 21/25 count big blue bag in the freezer section.
The frozen shrimp are a great value and I plan to use them in all my summer barbecues. They thaw quickly in a bowl of water, and the shells pop right off. There is no vein cleaning which always grosses me out. They were big, plump and firm to the bite. And if you hurry you can still get them on sale for $12.98!