Ask an Expert: George Milonas

One of the Market’s favourite fishmongers, George Milonas of George the Fishmonger (Shop 35, Meat Hall), shares tricks of the trade for selecting and storing seafood this Easter:

“When I started as a fishmonger nine years ago, fish had the starring role in most Easter spreads, but these days it seems to be more of a seafood extravaganza of prawns, crayfish and crab. Bigger fish, like tuna and salmon, are still popular, but crustaceans are the feature.

Victorian crayfish will be coming to the end of its season by late April, but there will still be plenty around from South Australia and Tassie, and crabs will still be available. It’s also the perfect time for Mooloolaba and Newcastle prawns.

It’s a myth that seafood only lasts a day or two at most, but it needs to be fresh to stand the test of time. If it’s really fresh, it’s fine to buy your seafood on Thursday for any time up until Easter Sunday. But only shop with a trustworthy fishmonger—such as one at the Market—so you know you are buying fresh, top-quality produce.

Choose seafood with a bright and vibrant colour (dull, dark browns, greys and blacks
usually signify a lack of freshness) and look for fish with bright eyes, as this is also a good
indication of freshness.

Cover seafood with plastic and then a layer of ice and store it in the fridge at as cold a temperature as possible—this allows a consistency in temperature, particularly when the fridge is being used a lot, by stabilising the temperature at about 1-2°C.