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Shellfish

Everyone adores shellfish, not only do they turn any meal into an absolute feast, they can be prepared in a flash!


Characteristics

Crustaceans

Crustaceans are invertebrates with long bodies covered with shells that are either hard or soft depending on the species. Crustaceans moult several times in the course of their lives. As they get bigger, they discard their shell and immediately begin to grow another.

 

Most crustaceans get around by walking on the bottom of the ocean. Females have a kind of fan or flipper that is used to keep their eggs under their body. The roe of crustaceans (red eggs) is edible.

Molluscs

Molluscs are Invertebrates, meaning they do not have a spinal column. Mollusca is one of the most diverse groups of animals on the planet. Phylum Mollusca is classified into seven classes such as the gastropods, bivalves and cephalopods.

Gastropods

Gastropods such as abalones, whelks and snails, are covered with an enclosing circular shell. Gastropods creep along by moving their flat ventral foot.

Bivalves

Bivals or lamellibranches are so-called because their shell is formed of two valves held together by a muscle. Oysters, mussels, clams and scallops are in this category.

 

Most bivalves are sedentary, they rest on the bottom of the ocean, nest on rock formations or simply bury themselves in the sand. The scallop however can swim by squirting water out its shell, moving it forward.

Cephalopods

Squid, octopus and cuttlefish have no outer shell, they have an internal cartilage; they are part of the family of cephalopods, meaning "head and feet". They have a well-developed head and a group of sucker-bearing tentacles attached to their heads!

Availability

The shellfish are available year-round, fresh or frozen, in your Metro fish expert's Idées & Marées counter.

Nutritional value

 

Molluscs and crustaceans contain very few calories and are relatively low in cholesterol and in sodium. They are rich in protein, low in fat.

 

Molluscs and crustaceans provide appreciable amounts of iodine, an essential element your body needs for normal growth and development.

 

They are also a good source of other minerals such as phosphorus, selenium and fluoride, they are rich in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin D.

 

As for mussels and oysters, they are also an excellent source of B complex vitamins, iron and zinc.

 

How to choose your shellfish

Shellfish should never smell bad. They should have a fresh sea aroma and any foul smell detected when cleaning oysters or clams or when peeling shrimp is a sign of spoilage.

 

Choose only bright and shiny shrimp, scallops and squid and discard any mussels or oysters that have broken shells or shells that do not snap shut when tapped.

 

As far as the toxicity of shellfish, you have to trust your fishmonger. Your Metro fish expert must adhere to extremely strict rules that guarantee irreproachable product freshness and quality.


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