The following are applicable to all kinds:
1. Ihe eyes must be full and bright.
2. The gills a bright, clear red.
3. The body stiff.
4. The flesh firm and elastic to the touch.
5. All colours and markings clear and bright.
6. No unpleasant smell.
7. The girth large in comparison to length.
8. The fibres firm and close, not loose or , watery.
9. All shellfish must be heavy in comparison to their size.
Eels should weigh about one and a half pounds, and as they must be used when very fresh, they should be bought alive. Silvery lined eels are usually reckoned best.
Mackerel. - The markings should be very distinct and bright, the fish not too large, or they are apt to be coarse; skin under the body a pearly white. Mackerel must be eaten when perfectly fresh, or they are apt to be exceedingly unwholesome, and in some cases poisonous.
Red Mullet. - Colour must be a bright rose pink and eyes very full.
Salmon. - Tail and head small, shoulders thick, scales bright and silvery, flesh a rich yellowish red.
Skate. - Thick and broad in shape, creamy white in colour.
Soles, Turbot, Halibut, and Brill. - In all these the skins should be tight and un-wrinkled, body thick, colour creamy white, not bluish underneath.
Sprats and Herrings. - Eyes clear and but slightly suffused with blood, scales very silvery, and but slightly knocked off.
Trout. - Spots on the skin distinct and bright.
Crabs, Lobsters, Prawns, and Shrimps. - Weight heavy in comparison to size; tails, when straightened out and then loosened, should spring sharply back into position, clipping tightly against the bodies.
Oysters. - The small kinds with fairly smooth shells are generally preferred. The shell must clip sharply down on to the oyster-knife when an attempt is made to force it open. Should the shell be but very slightly open, the oyster is not perfectly fresh, and if it remains open, the fish is dead and unfit for food.