Fish and sea foods are creatures that live in either fresh or salt water. They are broadly classified into two groups namely:
- Fin fish
- Shell fish:
The fin are fish with fins on their bodies, they are further classified into two major groups;
- White or lean fish: have their fat stored in the liver and not between the muscle fibres. The flesh is white in colour. The oil from the liver of some large fish is extracted and sold for medicinal use, e.g. cold-liver oil. The white fish are cod, halibut, tilapia, and bream.
- Oily or fat fish: this is another type of fin fish having their fat all over their body especially the muscles fibres. They normally have dark looking flesh due to the presence of oil between the fibres. Examples are herrings, mackerel, salmon e.t.c.
The shell fish they have a protective shell covering the flesh. Shell fish can be divided into two groups. One group has a soft body protected by a shell e.g. oysters, mollusks, clams and scallops. The other has a segmented crust-like shell e.g. lobsters, shrimps, crabs and crayfish.
Because of the large percentage of water present and deficiency in fat, white fish is of less nutritive value than oily fish. The food value of shell fish lies mainly in its protein content and the useful amount of B-vitamins and iodine it contains. Most fin fish are caught in the fresh waters while the shell fish are caught in the ocean and salt waters.
NUTRITIVE VALUE OF FISH
Like meat, fish are also a good source of protein that is rich in all the essential amino acids. The protein of fish is more tender than that of meat and therefore more digestible. The fat content of fish is however considerably less than that of most types of raw meat and poultry. Because of the lower fat content, the energy content of most fish is lower than that of meat and poultry.
The mineral content of fish is variable. Many types of fish are poor sources of calcium. However, those canned with bones are an excellent source of calcium if the bones are consumed with the flesh. Most of the fish are low in iron, but oysters are rich in this mineral. Fish from the sea are good sources of iodine because of the presence of this element in sea water. Most fish are good sources of B-complex vitamins while the fat fish are also rich in the fat soluble vitamins especially vitamins A and D. There are no carbohydrates in fish and therefore it should be combined with carbohydrate foods.
- Whole or round fish: these are fish that are marketed as taken from the water.
- Drawn fish: these have had their internal organ removed.
- Dressed or fish: these have also had the scales, head, tail and fins removed.
- Steaks: these are cross-section slices from a large dressed fish.
- Fillets: these are the sides of a fish cut lengthwise away from the backbone. They are practically boneless.
METHODS OF COOKING FOOD
Classify the types of fish and give two examples each
Draw the different cuts of fish.
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