Flander's Fish Market
22 Chesterfield Rd., East Lyme, CT 06333
My first foray into Flander's fish market was a good one. I called ahead to get a price on fresh salmon and got a pleasant lady on the other end. $10.99 a lb. for farmed salmon and $13.00 for wild. The wild salmon price was quite reasonable for retail, the farmed a bit high but less expensive then the fish market in Wethersfield I had been in recently.
The interior of Flander's Fish Market is cute with an ample parking area during mid-day. The store itself is relatively fish odor free and clean. The case with the fresh fish and prepared food was clean but not overly decorated. The fish itself looked fresh and was placed in clean display containers with no liquid accumulated. (which is a good sign) The wild salmon and the trout looked as though someone needed to brush up on their filleting skills though, as the fillets were a bit on the mangled side with cuts to the flesh and some gaping holes. (In some cases holes can mean the fish is old, but can also be caused, as fish fillets are delicate, by picking the fillet up in the middle and letting it dangle on either side of one's hand which causes tears to the flesh) In the case of this fish I would lean heavily toward someone picking it up incorrectly.
I asked the lady I placed my order with if I could smell the fish, adding not to take it personally, but that years of cooking for a living made it a hard habit to break. She gave me a slightly strange look but proceeded to let me sniff the fish. It smelled quite fresh. I asked for two pounds and got a cut of 2.03 Lbs. which was just about perfect.
My only two comments about Flanders so far is customers should be told their salmon fillets are not PBO. (Pin Bone Out) Pin Bones are those pesky bones that go down the fillet mid-way down the middle of the fish. They need to be removed by either a small pair of pliers or a good set of serrated gardening sheers. If the fillets were normally PBOs, it was possible that I got someone that had either forgotten or was too lazy to remove them. Pin bones are not the kind of thing you want to find when you are all ready to pop the fish in the oven after a quick rinse, especially when you are not expecting them to be there.
My other comment is the frozen fish cooler had no prices labeled on it and when I asked the cashier what the prices were: one item she could look up in the computer, the other price was not there. I didn’t want to wait for her to ask, as there was a line behind me at that point I didn't want to hold up. I was inquiring about the frozen cryovaced salmon in the case and if a price had been posted or if easily known, I probably would have bought some.
I will go back to sample other fish there as the rest of the fish prices were fairly reasonable and the salmon I brought home was quite tasty (the farm raised) with a decent flavor.
Fish deliveries for Flanders come in on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Tips when looking for fresh salmon:
When buying salmon steak and filets, look for:
- deep salmon-pink color, grey pink fish is sign of age
- meat that is firm, elastic (springs back when pressed gently) and is translucent
- a mild aroma somewhat similar to that of fresh fruit
- smooth, clean cuts—no gaping or separation of muscle fibers (indicates old fish)
- fish should not be sitting in liquid
- fish should be not have a film or slime to it.
When buying whole salmon, look for:
- firm, glossy skin
- clear eyes, not cloudy eyes
- bright red gills
- firm light-pink flesh that is elastic and translucent
- a mild aroma
A quick guide to the common salmon cuts: http://www.goldseal.ca/home/salmon_sense.asp?view=index