Are you a lover of seafood but hate to spend huge amounts on it? Do you also wonder why exactly is seafood so damn expensive when there is an abundance of them?
Here we are with an insight bringing you answers for all things seafood.
What’s on The Plate?
Seafood is a word that covers a wide array of creatures. To put it in a statement, it includes every creature that lives underwater and is edible for humans. This includes:
- cephalopods, like octopus and calamari
- crustaceans like crabs, lobsters, shrimp
- echinoderms, like sea cucumbers
Larger sea mammals like dolphins, sharks, whales, and seals are not considered to be seafood. However, you will be surprised to know that in older times they were consumed by humans as well.
Seafood only includes living creatures but does not include seaweed or any kind of sea-plants that grows underwater.
Why Seafood is Expensive?
While ordering seafood at a high-end restaurant, do you also glance at the price before making up your mind? It is common practice with most as the seafood is inherently costly.
Here are the reasons why seafood is expensive:
- High Cost of Harvesting
Unlike cattle, sheep, goats or any other domesticated animal reared for food, fish and other seafood cannot be grown in a particular area or harvested whenever you wish to.
Fishermen have to go out on boats to rivers, oceans, and seas working hard to catch the fish and other animals. This also includes a danger of life for the men.
Therefore, the cost of harvesting which includes fishing costs, and also processing the fish so it can be shipped is quite expensive.
Certain kinds can be raised in a fishery or a dedicated pond, however, the cost of maintaining it is very high. It is mostly unaffordable for regular restaurants.
- It is Difficult To Process
Another reason that fish and other seafood can be much more expensive is the cost of processing them. Unlike meat which is simply cut from the bone, seafood requires specially curated skills to maneuver it.
Descaling fishes require a very special fillet factory that is specifically designed to remove the heads, tails, scales, and to clean the fish so that they are ready to ship to those that will sell these on the market.
The act of processing other seafood like crabs and frogs is equally consuming. Apart from this, increasing water pollution is adding to the woes of the fishermen as it takes them longer to clean.
- Cost of Shipment
The cost of shipping seafood is also very expensive in comparison to other forms of meat. For example, if you are getting steaks from a local farm where they might raise the cattle too, hence shipment won’t cost much.
On the other hand, shipping fish and seafood have more procedures involved than are apparent. Firstly, the fishermen have to catch the animals from a water source, then separate it from the rubble.
Later proper cleaning is done. Packaging and transporting to the desired location is the last step. All of this shipping costs a significant amount of money, and in turn, raises the price of any type of seafood that one orders.
- High Demand
Another reason, just as important as logistics, is that more and more people have turned to seafood over the past decades. We all are well-aware of the business trend, more the demand higher the price.
This has led to a rise in wild harvesting, as well as a growth in the number of seafood farms. About half the seafood you find in markets and supermarkets is fresh, and half of it is caught from live water bodies.
- It is Difficult to Cook
Seafood is a wide category and some of the sea critters on the menu may be just hard to deal with. Some require a lot of skill and training to cook.
For example, the pufferfish in Japan. It’s poisonous, deadly even. The cooks are only allowed to prepare the fish for others after they’ve cooked it for themselves first.
Other types of seafood, like octopus or calamari, are delicate and need an exceptional balance between high heat, short cooking time, and also to not burn to a crisp.
All these talented dishes and exceptional skills require you to open your purse strings a little more loose than usual.
World’s Most Expensive Seafood Dishes
The world is full of exquisite dishes and extravagance. And especially when it comes to seafood it is a pleasure. There are many culinary masterpieces in the world of seafood that cost like a masterpiece too.
Here is a list of the most expensive seafood dishes:
- Bluefin Tuna
- Almas Caviar
- Coffin Bay King Oysters
- Baby Eel
- Lobster Frittata
- Posh Pie
- Puffer Fish
Why is Lobster So Expensive?
Unlike general large scale fishing, lobster farming is difficult. Lobsters are generally found in fewer numbers and are susceptible to a very contagious disease. Raising lobsters isn’t easy either as their eggs are difficult to raise and lobsters eat a lot. All these factors lead to the high prices of lobsters.
Most Expensive Lobster
Lobster Frittata is the most expensive lobster dish and it costs $1000 per serving.
Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien Hotel in New York City is well known for it’s Lobster Frittata and the hotel serves it with 6 eggs, lobster claws, and 10 ounces of Sevruga Caviar.
Why are Lobsters Boiled Alive?
You must have seen those bizarre lobster boiling videos on Youtube and wondered how come the poor creature has to die in such a way. However, there is a valid scientific reason behind this.
The flesh of lobsters and crabs is home to large amounts of bacteria which can make you seriously sick if consumed. Boiling lobsters and other shellfish alive kills most of these harmful bacteria and makes the dish healthier for us.
Lobsters take three minutes to die in boiling water. Lobsters make a screaming sound while being boiled. Some believe it to be evidence of pain the lobster is going through while others claim it’s the sound of trapped gases under the skell being released.
While lobsters do not have complex brains like humans and other animals to process pain, the fact they feel pain or not is still a matter of research.
Eating too much lobster can certainly increase your cholesterol as lobster is high in cholesterol. For example, a 3½-ounce serving of lean top sirloin steak has 64 mg of cholesterol, and the same amount of lobster has 145 mg.
Lobsters taste similar to crab and shrimps. Lobsters have sweetness similar to lean meat and taste crispy.
Even though not all lobsters taste the same, a typical lobster claw tastes sweet and succulent.
Lobster tail is firm and chewy and tastes like a meatier and sweeter version of shrimp.