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Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

My all time favorite is O.G. wild Mexican browns which they sell under the name Compass. Meaty, firm & bold flavor. I have also had their farm raised. Meaty, firm but not quite as much flavor......but light years ahead of any Asian farm raised I have ever had.

While the opinions of Anti-Asian farm raised folks are naturally biased to some degree, the evidence is overwhelming & damning. Combine that with our impotent inspection system and its frightening. For me, I would rather cut back on the frequency and focus on quality.

Needling beef has been cited as a dangerous process that can transfer bad surface bacteria to the otherwise safe interior. Needled meat NOW has to be conspicuously labeled as such with higher finished temps. Not only is Costco's steak needled, they didn't warn people with a conspicuous label until FORCED to. Their spin doctors can trumpet all the B.S. they want about their Asian farm raised seafood but in the end its just that, B.S.

Jul 27, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

Steak is a classic example. The club stores use to purchase very high choice branded beef products which were noticeably better than standard supermarket offerings. Then the price of prime grade beef went through the roof primarily from pressure from importing countries. As a result, US restaurants started switching from prime grade to High Choice. Naturally the price of high choice then went up.

When the price for high choice went up, the club stores switched to commodity choice and started the controversial practice of needling it to make up for the lower quality. Costco is front and center in the needling controversy, but yet they have your back when it comes to farm raised seafood????? I have some land in Florida for sale too.

Same is true for seafood. Top quality is great in and of itself but unfortunately it rarely makes the big boys price point. So we export the good stuff to the highest bidder and import lesser quality product from other countries and put up a token regulation enforcement effort to police the industry which has a horrible record.

Jul 26, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

We dealt almost exclusively with Ocean Garden and a few others when O.G. were in short supply but can't remember there names at this point. Salt was not an ingredient.

As I posted a few minutes ago (prior to reading your latest), the salt ice water bath is for cooling just prior to freezing to speed up the freezing process and reduce ice crystals & there is very little absorption. Asian Farm raised often receive several soakings & lab analysis show their finished product salt content close to double that of wild caught. In the case of pre-cooked Asian farm raised it can be 6 times the sodium content.

Jul 26, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

I just looked up the salt ice slurry wild shrimp get and it appears its a very quick process used to quickly chill the shrimp prior to freezing as it makes them freeze faster which produces less damaging ice crystals. That makes sense. The increase in salinity is minimal which I guess is why salt in NOT listed as an ingredient.

I don't know how accurate the charts were but Asian farm raised shrimp (over 90% of the shrimp consumed in the US) contained close to double the sodium content of wild. That would indicate the process is different as is the intended outcome. There are references to multiple salt baths for Asian farm raised which also aids in the peeling process. End result is bloating of the fibers, increased water weight & increased sodium content.

Jul 26, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

If salt is listed as an ingredient, it is just that. It likely comes down to the concentration which is likely influenced by the amount of time a product is soaked in the solution. A longer soak likely leads to more swelling, more water absorption & more salt absorption. At some rate of salt concentration, the salt must be declared as an ingredient.

While it has been years, I sold many brands of wild shrimp and never saw salt listed as an ingredient. In recent years I have bought high quality wild shrimp, both IQF & 5 lb boxes and have never seen salt listed as an ingredient.

Jul 26, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

GRILLING - CLOSED OR OPEN LID?

When searing in the Big Green Egg, I keep the lid down so I can control the height of flames using the dampers. The ceramics in the dome also radiate a tremendous amount of heat down on the meat shortening the cooking time.

Jul 25, 2014
Tom34 in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

The bag said shrimp & "SALT". They are flash frozen shortly after processing so salt isn't necessary for preservative purposes.

SOOOOOO, why would they add it? HMMMMMMMM, what are the 2 key ingredients in most brine's, AHHHHHH, water and "salt".

What do salt water brine's do to proteins, OOOOOOH, thats right, they cause swelling increasing the perceived size of the protein & AHHHHHH, they cause the protein to absorb water, up to about 8%.

SOOOOOOO, the prince of Costco's seafood division can stand on a podium and roll out the propaganda smoke screen proudly proclaiming that their prime shell fish contain no Phosphates. And he is absolutely correct.

But my Dear Treb, they sat in a salt brine which means they are are most certainly PUMPED, just not with phosphates.

Quality seafood stands on its own Treb. It doesn't need to be pumped. High quality wild shrimp are not soaked in a brine/pumped. Neither are high quality farm raised such as Ocean Garden brand products. But then again, Costco would have to pay more for these high quality products than they are charging you for their current Asian shell fish line.

Jul 25, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

GRILLING - CLOSED OR OPEN LID?

I agree with the chicken, it scares the hell out of me. Pork on the other hand is one of the safest proteins out there. I think 145 degrees is the new requirement. I cook to 140 & let rest to 145. Pink on the inside but cooked.

Steak on the other hand never more than M/R. Same with burgers if I grind my own or get it from a butcher friend. He eats it raw that's how confident he is in his product.

Jul 24, 2014
Tom34 in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

The closest I can come to that is when I go fishing with a friend who is a dive master & pulls them out of holes on wrecks but that's off the warmer Jersey coast, not Maine. I am heading down the shore next week......hoping the Flounder fishing starts picking up.

Jul 24, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

$2.99 would be nice but I don't think it would even cover costs with the price of diesel. I agree the little 1.5 lb lobsters don't have a lot of meat. They are good though for a lobster boil party where everyone pitches in say $25.00 for lobsters and beer and you cover a picnic table with newspaper and have at it.

The Rock Lobsters are primarily warm water. These "Oyster Bay" brand are cold water tails from Maine & Canada. Harbor Seafood (NY) has a site where you can check them out.

The shells really aren't sharp, but like meat bones the edges can puncture a vacuum seal bag when the air is drawn out and pulled really tight which is why I pre-wrap w/butcher paper.

Its a real nice convenience thing having them along with the steak in the designated freezer.

Jul 24, 2014
Tom34 in Chains
1

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

Word has it that Lobster prices are really down. Shoprite has whole cold water "small" lobsters for $5.99 lb. Usually in August Restaurant Depot has them about $1.00 lb cheaper than the supermarkets which would be $4.99.

Also in the past few years, in August , R.D. has had Harbor Seafood's Oyster Bay brand 4oz COLD water tails for between $14.99 - $15.99 lb, 10 lb case. I wrap each tail in butcher paper to cover the sharp edges, slide them in a pint vacuum seal bag, suck out the air and seal them up. They last over a year in the freezer that way. After the steak comes off the fire to rest, a few tails go on and its a wonderful night.

Jul 24, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

The Philadelphia Restaurant Depot store still has wild caught but they are #2 quality. They used to have Ocean Garden farmed but dropped them for Indonesian farmed.

Jul 23, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

That makes sense Coll. Hopefully they have turned the corner because years back most of the Asian IQF shrimp I saw were pumped.

Jul 22, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

One thing I forgot is that wild caught shrimp typically come in 2 qualities.......#1 & #2.........with #1 being the best and costing more.

Also beware of the Chinese Jumbo Lump Crab meat at $14.99 lb. .....I don't know what they are doing to it but its virtually tasteless compared to the domestic @ $28.99lb.

Jul 22, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

Treb,

I will be honest with you , I have not been to Costco in some time. My past experience with Costco, Sam's, BJ's, Restaurant Depot, Shoprite & Acme is that the Asian farm raised IQF shrimp that normally come in 2 lb bags (5 to a case) have been soaked in a preservative that makes them retain water. Same for IQF scallops.

Tell tell signs for both are longer cooking times & significant shrinkage during cooking. Pumped shrimp are also less firm after cooking & many would say have very little shrimp flavor. Pumped scallops also do not caramelize well as they tend to steam.

Scallops are easy to tell when raw .....snow while color means they have been soaked and the trade term is "wet". Light toffee color means they have not been soaked and the trade term is "dry". For most dishes "Dry" are preferred and usually cost 20% (+) more.

Maybe Costco is now carrying a line of dry scallops & non soaked shrimp, I don't know but historically 95% of Asian Farm raised were soaked. The only high quality farm raised brand I have seen that the major purveyors carried was Ocean Garden which was a Mexican product and highly respected by top Chefs.

I quickly looked at the Costco quality claims other hounds attached to this thread and I didn't see any reference to wet / dry, soaked / non-soaked but I could have missed it. If I was the PR guy for Costco I would have hammered "Dry" , "Non soaked" if that was the case.

Jul 22, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

Why don't you let somebody respond for themselves

Jul 22, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

Bogus Bad Beef Report?

I don't know, thats a pretty big jet :-)........My point though is we are wasteful energy gluttons in the US. The most important areas we need to focus on are reducing the weight and horsepower of our vehicles and increasing the overall efficiency of our homes & commercial buildings. When phased in as technology and costs permit, significant improvements in these key areas are both attainable and become cost effective in the long run. Wasting money studying animal farting habits just goes to show how silly things get when extremists are given free reigns.

Jul 22, 2014
Tom34 in Food Media & News

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

Read the bag.....if treated with Phosphate preservatives they are "wet" / "pumped". Same with scallops. Snow white appearance is also a give away.

Jul 21, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

Try wild Pacific Mexican shrimp....whites & browns. Very cold clean water. Ocean Garden Co (Mexico) also produces about the best farmed raised shrimp there are. Unlike virtually ALL the Asian farm raised, they are NOT pumped and have a stronger shrimp flavor & normal consistency. Little more money but well worth it. (fooled many chefs)

Jul 21, 2014
Tom34 in Chains
1

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

Shrimp farm Waste is also a major food source for many species of farm raised fish but thats another not so pleasant topic.

Jul 21, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

Treb, the farm raised Vannamei shrimp Costco gets are the same ones the other major retailers get from the same wholesalers. They are all pumped "wet", have a waterlogged texture and have very little shrimp flavor.

Jul 21, 2014
Tom34 in Chains

Bogus Bad Beef Report?

The private jet one of the most well known global warming advocates flies all over the world on creates more greenhouse gases in one day than the total weight of steer I and a thousand other people eat in a lifetime, soooo, noooo, I won't be cutting back any time soon.

Jul 21, 2014
Tom34 in Food Media & News

Ground Meats Limitations Overall in USA: Patty vs. Patty-less Dishes

Jonkyo, call me old fashion but to me a job implies that you are producing something that both you and the owner of the company are profiting from......which begs the obvious question, what exactly do you do?

Jul 20, 2014
Tom34 in General Topics
3

Anybody on this board seen or done a WHOLE SWORD FISH over fire?

I did not realize JB left. Felt like doing so many times myself. Big loss to us all as he was a doer and spoke from experience, not cut and paste internet want to be crap.

Jul 20, 2014
Tom34 in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling
2

Ground Meats Limitations Overall in USA: Patty vs. Patty-less Dishes

"A craze or trend is a grass roots movement that has usually peaked by the time the media learn about it."

That just seemed 100% true the "instant" I read it.

Jul 20, 2014
Tom34 in General Topics

Ground Meats Limitations Overall in USA: Patty vs. Patty-less Dishes

Yeah I think craze is the wrong term as well. It does appear many establishments are now serving high quality burger meat with a broader choice of toppings & much higher quality rolls which has renewed interest in the burger.

Even most of the taverns around my way switched from low quality frozen patties to either fresh made or never frozen Certified Angus Beef patties, the latter running in the mid $50. range for a 16lb box of 8 oz burgers.

IMHO. debating chop sticks (vs) fork (vs) plates (vs) bowls & Patty (vs) ground is silly and the only thing that makes less sense is ME reading the original post no less than 6 times trying to figure out the entire meaning of what was being said :-)

Jul 20, 2014
Tom34 in General Topics
3

Ground Meats Limitations Overall in USA: Patty vs. Patty-less Dishes

"The major media has started a 'burger craze'. Gourmet shows and cooking and or restaurant cable shows, focus like never before, on the burger."

Some of the interest can be attributed to Media Hype but much of the burger's popularity boost is a result of dramatic improvements in the 2 main ingredients, (ie) the meat and the bun.

Prior to boxed beef, retailers brought in hanging beef which produced lots of high quality trimmings which were ground "fresh daily". Good stuff.

Now days, 95% sell boxed beef which yields very little trimmings compared to a hanging side. As a result, most G/B comes pre-ground in chubs that may have been ground up to 3 weeks prior to you getting it. In addition, much of the blend comes from extremely low quality animals such as old dairy cows and low quality imported lean meat. For about 35 years this is what people got used to. Also bun selection was very limited with a very bland flavor profile.

Today, most of the good burger specialty restaurants are either grinding their own meat daily using high quality subprimals or they have a local source that delivers it fresh daily. Many are also offering different blends with different flavor profiles. We also went from generic rolls to a wide variety of fresh baked rolls which add different flavors and textures. At this quality level, its basically like steak on a roll.

Jul 19, 2014
Tom34 in General Topics

Ground Meats Limitations Overall in USA: Patty vs. Patty-less Dishes

I think JR needs to straighten this boy out!

Jul 17, 2014
Tom34 in General Topics

Ground Meats Limitations Overall in USA: Patty vs. Patty-less Dishes

Are you sure you want an answer? :-)

Jul 17, 2014
Tom34 in General Topics

Ground Meats Limitations Overall in USA: Patty vs. Patty-less Dishes

Maybe exotic mushrooms?

Jul 17, 2014
Tom34 in General Topics