Seafood, also known as seafood or seafood, is food derived from marine animals. Seafood includes fish, molluscs (cephalopods and bivalves), crustaceans (shrimps and lobsters) and echinoderms (catfish and urchins). You can find more terms on the special page dedicated to seafood.

Sometimes the term is used in a narrower sense to refer only to the flesh of marine animals other than fish.

In Europe, cephalopods, bivalve molluscs and crustaceans are among the most commonly consumed ‘seafood’. Of the cephalopods, calamari, which is most often the meat of squid or cuttlefish, cut into characteristic rounds, is particularly popular. It has a relatively firm consistency and delicate flavour, and is particularly suitable for frying or stewing. Octopuses have tough but tasty flesh, with the coastal octopus and the smaller musk squid being among the species used.

Of the bivalves, the most commonly consumed are edible oysters (raw, especially as an appetizer) and edible mussels, used mainly for cooking and stewing. In coastal areas, other species of bivalve molluscs are also consumed, such as back clams, heart clams, scallops, calf clams, scallops or scallop clams.

Crustaceans, which include shrimps, prawns, scampi, crabs, crawfish and lobsters, generally have tender, delicate meat which is relatively expensive, so it is often imitated with a relatively cheap, coloured mixture of fish and crab meat known as surimi, popularly known as ‘crab sticks’.

Marine snails and echinoderms are only eaten to a greater extent in coastal areas, and with the exception of catfish, are not even commercially harvested for meat. Catfish are popular in Chinese and Indonesian cuisine, where they are made into soups. They are not very tasty, but traditional Chinese medicine attributes medicinal properties to them.

Sometimes cetaceans, pinnipeds and sea turtles are also counted among seafood in a broader sense.

Health benefits

Seafood contains a number of health benefits, especially E, D, A and B vitamins. Their health benefits are also supported by their high iodine and selenium content. They are a rich source of omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids, and their consumption has been shown to have positive health benefits, especially as a prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.The amount of each trace element can vary greatly, depending on the species and age of the animal, the season, and the environment in which it lives.