One of the most important parts about buying seafood is understanding how it will be shipped to your house. When you buy seafood such as smoked salmon at the grocery store or a market, it does not have as far to travel. Therefore, first-time buyers of online seafood might not consider the shipping process and what goes into ensuring that your product arrives fresh and is safe for consumption. Most online vendors will have a shipping page on their website and it is important to look at it before making any purchases to make sure that vendor is the right one for you.
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Benefits of Shipping Frozen Smoked Salmon
When you are purchasing smoked salmon online, there are some shipping questions that you should consider before you enter your credit card information. Unlike other seafood products, such as crab legs or halibut, vendors will not necessarily ship your smoked salmon frozen.
Instead, the company’s smoked salmon may arrive in shelf-stable packages. Essentially, food that is shelf-stable means that it can be safely stored and then consumed at room temperature. These types of products can come in the form of canned or bottled foods and will not require any refrigeration until opened. It is important to note that it is not the case for all canned fish.
If you want to switch it up and not buy frozen smoked salmon for your next purchase, these shelf-stable packages are found in gift shops and “Big Box” retailers. These are commonly available throughout Alaska and in the Northwest.
How Do You Process Shelf-Stable Smoked Salmon?
There are a couple of ways that processors prepare shelf-stable smoked salmon differently than the frozen variety you are likely more accustomed to finding online. One option is to pack it in a foil retort pouch. The pouches are prepared with the same technology used by the U.S. Military for Meals Ready To Eat (MRE). These pouches in some cases can have a 7-year shelf life.
Other processing methods can include adding preservatives, which companies tend to avoid, or smoking the salmon to an extremely dry state. However, in an effort to keep salmon products moist and up to the standard expected by their customers, many companies avoid shelf-stable packages all-together. Instead, these companies will exclusively ship frozen smoked salmon in an effort to preserve and lock in the fish’s flavor, texture and nutrients.
Frozen vs. Shelf-Stable Smoked Salmon
Ultimately, whichever route you choose to take when you order your next package of smoked salmon comes down to personal preference and availability. If you are looking for a product easily kept in the cabinet, the pouches are a practical and manageable option based on their longevity and their flexibility. Alternatively, if you are looking to make price comparisons, it is easier to buy frozen smoked salmon because these products are much more common. Also, although you will have to freeze your product upon arrival if you don’t plan to eat it promptly, buying frozen will give you the authentic smoked salmon experience.
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