What should I look out for in seafrozen arrow squid on offers?
Squid is fished by two main methods. Jig – which maintains the squid in pristine condition & Trawl – where the squid is prone to some damage and there can be some sand and other debris.
In both catching methods packing occurs in two styles. Whole – The squid is graded visually into U/200, 200/400, 400/600 & 600+ grams per squid. But it is not cleaned or sorted for damage or quality. Headed & Gutted – The squid is cleaned and sorted for quality & damage and then visually graded into U/100, 100/200, 200/300 & 300+ grams per squid.
The jig caught product is generally about 10% dearer and many consider it too expensive for reprocessing for the Australian domestic market.
There are many different sardines available, what are the differences?
Like most products the quality is reflected by the price. The best quality for both eating and bait uses are Australian Sardines usually caught from South Australia to Southern West Australia. Presentation can be both block & IQF.
Similar to the Australian are sardinops species from the USA & South Africa. These can vary in quality depending upon your supplier and are currently unable to be sold for human consumption. In the bait area they are often used as a cheaper alternative to local product.
Also you have sardinella species from Indonesia, Asia & India. These areas of supply have made significant improvements to their infrastructure & processing in recent years which has resulted in many very good packers. You still need to be careful in handling product from these areas and are safest relying on a reputable importer.