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About Seafood - Index of seafood terms
Category: Food and Drink > Seafood
Date & country: 22/10/2013, UK
Words: 81


Aberdeen Cut
rhombus-shaped cut from a block of frozen fish; sides may be squared off or cut with a tapered edge. Usually breaded/battered. Also called diamond cut, French cut.

Ahi
Hawaiian name for yellowfin tuna.

American Cut
Fish portions or fillets with tapering or beveled edges, rather than square-cut sides. Also called Dover cut.

Anadromous
Fish that swim upstream into freshwater rivers from the sea for breeding, such as shad and salmon.

Aquaculture
The regulation and cultivation of various types of fish for human consumption. Fish farming utilizes scientific methods to insure maximum production and high quality, while keeping costs competitive with wild product. In the U.S., most of the commercial freshwater trout, shrimp, salmon and catfish we consume are farmed.

Battered
Product covered in liquid mixture, usually egg and flour. This is usually partly cooked (pre-cooked) to set the batter in place before freezing.

Belly Burn
A condition where the rib bones protrude into the belly cavity. It usually indicates soft flesh, and shows that the fish was not totally fresh when processed or not properly eviscerated.

Bites/Bits
Small pieces of fish breaded or coated with batter, weighing less than 1 oz. each. Shape may be round, square, or irregular. May be cut from regular blocks or blocks of minced fish. Also called cubes, nuggets, petites, tidbits. Generally sold by count, 25-35 per lb.

Bleeding
Method in which fishermen remove blood from fish by cutting an artery. Large meaty fish like tuna are routinely bled before further processing. Skates and sharks are also bled to remove uric acid.

Block
Frozen fish blocks are rectangular or other uniformly-shaped masses of cohering fish fillets or a mixture of fillets and minced fish flesh, or entirely minced fish flesh. These blocks usually range in weight from 13 to 16 lbs. and are intended for further processing into fish sticks and portions. Larger blocks may be available that contain whole dressed fish for subsequent thawing, processing or resale.

Boned/Boneless
Term used by packer to indicate that product has been processed to remove backbone and rib bones.: Term used by packer to indicate that product has been processed to remove backbone and rib bones.

Breaded
Product covered in liquid dip, bread crumbs and seasonings. The breading forms a jacket within which the product cooks gently. Breading helps to retain moisture in the product during cooking, and also adds contrasting texture and flavor to the product.

Brine Freezing
Freezing seafood by soaking in liquid brine. King crab or snow crab is often brine-frozen.

Bushel
Unit of measure equal to 8 gallons or 32-quart capacity. Often used to measure quantity of clams, oysters or crabs.

Butterfly Fillet
Fish is cut along both sides with the two pieces remaining joined by the skin of the back. Technically, two pieces held together with the belly skin is called a kited fillet.

Butterfly Shrimp
Peeled and deveined shrimp with the shell left on the last (tail) segment. Shrimp in this form is often breaded.

C&F
Shipping term for cost and freight. When quoted, a C&F price means price delivered.

Caviar
Sturgeon eggs which have been preserved in salt. Caviar comes in many grades and types and must be transported and held fresh at temperatures between 25F and 30F. (See Roe)

Cello Wraps
Fillets wrapped together in cellophane or polyethylene film. Each wrap is usually labeled with the type of fish, the packer and the brand. Six polywraps per 5-lb. box is standard.

Chunks
Cross-sections of large dressed fish, having a cross-section of backbone as the only bone. They are similar to a beef or pork roast and are ready for cooking.

Ciguatera
A neurotoxin found in certain types of reef fish. The toxin accumulates in the flesh as a result of eating some forms of algae, or preying on fish that eat the algae.

Croquettes
Patties containing a mixture of breading or breadcrumbs or other binder; usually at least 35% seafood, such as combination of fish and crabmeat. May have all one kind of seafood, such as shrimp or crabmeat, or a combination. Product forms include breaded; pre-cooked or browned; I.Q.F., 2 oz. each, dry-pack.

Crustaceans
Shrimp, crabs, crawfish and lobsters. (Also see Shellfish).

Cryogenic
Extremely cold freezing process, using liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide, often used to freeze high-value items like shrimp or soft-shell crabs.

Curing
Using salt or sugar to draw moisture from the flesh of fish or other meats to make it unattractive to the growth of spoilage bacteria. Curing was widely used as a preservation method before the advent of modern refrigeration techniques. Today, curing is used to give a pleasing flavor to fish and refrigeration is recommended to preserve this product from spoilage.

Custom Cut
Irregularly-shaped triangle cut from a block of frozen fish. Usually breaded/battered.

Dip
A number of similar chemicals are used in processing seafoods to help retain moisture, and sometimes to improve the appearance by whitening. The use of dips is long established and so far as is known, harmless. It is common in other parts of the food industry.

Dragger
A term interchangeable with a fishing trawler boat. Draggers tow a large net.

Drawn Fish
Entrails, gills and scales removed. Since entrails cause rapid spoilage, drawn fish have a longer storage life.

Dressed Fish
Completely cleaned but with head on (head removed is usually called pan-dressed). Both forms are ready for stuffing and are generally cooked in one piece.

Ex-vessel Price
Price received by fishermen for fish, shellfish and other aquatic plants and animals landed at the dock.

Filet
French spelling for fillet (see Fillet)

Fingers
Irregular-shaped pieces of fish, similar to a long, thin fillet, breaded or battered, raw or pre-cooked. Weight per piece varies, usually available portioned (1 to 3 oz.), or in bulk.

Finnan Haddie
A medium-sized haddock split down the back with backbone left on, then brined and hot smoked.

Fletch
Large boneless fillet of halibut, swordfish or tuna.

FOB
Means free on board and a location usually follows this term. Charges beyond the termination point are the buyer's responsibility.

Formed Fillets
Portions cut from blocks in such a way that they appear to be natural fillets, although all are exactly the same size and shape.

Freezer Burn
Dehydration caused by the evaporation loss of moisture from product. It is recognized by a whitish, cottony appearance of the flesh, especially at the cut edges or thinner places.

Glaze
Protective coating of ice on frozen product to prevent dehydration.There are laws against excessive glazing.

Green Sheet
The name by which most people refer to the Market News Reports issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service from New York.

Groundfish
Broadly, fish that are caught on or near the sea floor. The term includes a wide variety of bottomfishes, rockfishes, and flatfishes. However, the National Marine Fisheries Service sometimes uses the term in a narrower sense. The term usually applies to cod, cusk, haddock, hake, pollock and Atlantic ocean perch.

Headed and Gutted (H&G)
Have head and viscera removed before sale.

Histamines
Chemicals produced by decomposition of flesh in scombroid species (tuna, mahi mahi, mackerel) from poor handling. Not usually fatal in individuals with normal immune sytems.

I.P.W.
Individual polywrapped.

I.Q.F.
Individually quick frozen. Fillets are packed IQF in 2 or 4 oz. gradations; 2-4, 4-6, 8-10, etc. Typical species packed in this manner are whitefish, sole, cod, and Pacific rockfish. Shrimp are also sold IQF, breaded or unbreaded in various forms.

J-Cut
Trimming a fillet removing both the nape and pinbones, usually the most expensive cut.

Kg; Kilo; Kilogram
A metric weight equivalent to 2.2046 lbs. In the U.S. it is usually calculated as 2.2 lbs. Imported product is often sold by the kilogram. Kipper: To cure (herring, salmon, etc.) by cleaning, salting and drying or smoking.

Landings
Quantities of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic plants and animals brought ashore and sold. Landings of fish may be in terms of round (live) weight or dressed weight. Landings of crustaceans are usually on a live weight basis except for shrimp, which may be on a heads-on or heads-off basis. Mollusks are generally landed with the shell on, but in some cases only the meats are landed (as with scallops). Data for all mollusks are published on meat weight basis.

Layer Pack
Product, usually fillets, put into a carton in layers with a sheet of polyethylene between each layer of product.

Loin
The boneless portion of edible flesh cut lengthwise from either side of the backbone of a large, round-bodied fish.

Lox
Smoked salmon.

Mellanosis
Blackening of the shell in crustacea, especially shrimp and some crabs. Mellanosis will always appear in time, but it happens much more quickly if product has not been properly handled before freezing.

Mollusks
See Shellfish.

Molting
The shedding of the exoskeleton of crustaceans in order to grow.

Napecut Fillets
A wide angular cut from the gillcover to the vent eliminating the rib cage, or by slicing it from the fillet.

Net Weight
Net weight is the weight of the product without packing material or glaze. The problem is to determine the net weight without glaze, since most seafoods will drip their own moisture for days.

Ocean Run
Industry term for a pack of random weight and size products.

Parasites
Worms or larvae that may occur occasionally in fish. All processors carefully inspect fish for parasites and cut out any discovered prior to shipment. Dead parasites are harmless but unappetizing.

Pasteurizing
Process of heating product sufficiently to kill most bacteria, but not enough to cook the meat.

Pelagic
Migratory species of fish that live near the surface such as tuna.

Per Capita Consumption
Consumption of edible fishery products in the U.S., divided by the total population. In calculating annual per capita consumption, the National Marine Fisheries Service estimates the resident population of the U.S. in July of each year.

Pinbones
Fine bones found along the middle of fillets.

Precooked
Portion which has been cooked or partially cooked so as to require only heating or minimal cooking prior to service.

Rancidity
The oxidation of the natural oil in the fish, making the fish unpalatable.

Red Tide
A reddish-colored carpet of algae that appears below the surface of the sea and is eaten by clams, mussels and oysters. The algae secrete a substance that can be toxic to humans. Fishing grounds are closed when red tide occurs, preventing the harvest of any contaminated shellfish.

Roe
Most fish species grow their eggs in a sac in the abdomen, and the roe of some species is considered a delicacy in various countries. Sturgeon roe, or caviar, is the best-known and most expensive in the U.S., but cod, herring, mullet, pollock, salmon and shad all produce roe prized by various regional and ethnic groups.

Roundfish
Refers to physical shape of the body of the fish, and is more a convenient way to group all fish other than those in the flatfish family than a scientific classification. (See Flatfish).

Salmonella
A microorganism causing food poisoning in humans, salmonella is very common and is found on meat, poultry and rarely, seafood. Normal cooking destroys salmonella.

Scampi
Another name for large shrimp, usually about 1 oz. or larger. Outside the U.S., the term is also applied to lobster. Also a method of preparation, usually with shrimp, that includes butter and garlic.

Scrod
Also spelled schrod. Small Atlantic cod, haddock or pollock whole, 2.5 pound or less. Available whole dressed or as fillets.

Sections
The three walking legs and one claw on one side of king, snow or Dungeness crab, all attached at the shoulder.

Shellfish
Two major groups of seafood are called shellfish. Mollusks include clams, oysters, mussels, conch, snails and scallops. Crustaceans include shrimp, crabs, lobster and crawfish. Squid and octopus are generally considered shellfish as well.

Skinned
Some species of fish are skinned rather than dressed, such as catfish and eels.

Steak
Slices of dressed fish smaller than chunks. They yield an edible portion of about 86% to 92%. They are ready for cooking. Salmon, halibut, swordfish and other large fish are commonly processed and sold as steaks.

Stuffed Fish
Whole dressed fish which is stuffed with dressing/stuffing before cooking. Some species, such as flounder, are available in stuffed frozen form for convenience.

Surimi
The Japanese term for fish paste. Surimi is restructured fish flesh, usually pollock or some other economically-priced finfish, bound together, and flavored and/or colored. Surimi products are usually colored and shaped to resemble crab, lobster, scallops, shrimp or other more expensive seafood species, and may contain varying amounts of these shellfish for flavoring. The FDA recently approved disjunctive (and/or) labeling for surimi, so the actual proportions of each species may be difficult to determine.

Tempura Batter
A light Japanese-style batter which is becoming increasingly popular.

Ton
In international seafood sales, usually refers to a metric ton (2205 lbs.).

Viscera
Intestines of a fish or shellfish.

Whole or Round Fish
Fish sold just as they come from the water. They must be dressed before cooking.

Yield
The percentage of a fish that is edible or saleable.