From Limu Ahi Poke to Handy Oysters, Excellence Runs Deep

Frozen products are in sky-high profile among the dozen finalists making the cut to advance to the final round of the 2017 Seafood Excellence Awards competition. Virtually every contender is sold either in frozen form or distributed frozen to be later defrosted and slacked out for sale in refrigerated cabinets at retail stores.

Winners will be announced during a special ceremony slated to take place on Sunday, March 19, at 3:00 p.m., in the Demonstration Theater of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center during the Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America trade show.

The Seafood Excellence Awards annually recognize leaders of innovation in the North American seafood market. Each year, exhibitors have the opportunity to submit new products for consideration. Entries are evaluated by seafood industry experts based on uniqueness and appropriateness to the market, taste profile, packaging, market potential, convenience, nutritional value and originality.

The 2017 finalists, selected from 49 entries that will be on display in the exposition’s New Product Showcase, are competing for two prestigious prizes: Best New Foodservice and Best New Retail Product.

Contenders for the 2017 Seafood Excellence Awards are:

  • Western United Fish Ahi PokeWestern United Fish Company, Booth #3064
    Limu Ahi Poke
    Annasea brand poke kits distributed by Western United Fish Company contain cubed fish and proprietary seasoning mixes inspired from traditional Hawaiian flavor profiles. The yellowfin tuna specialty is typically served in the islands as a spicy appetizer or as a plate lunch component.

  • Aqua Star Walnut ShrimpAqua Star, Booth #2005
    Honey Glazed Shrimp with Walnuts
    This crispy, golden battered shrimp dish is accented with a creamy sweet honey sauce and candied walnuts. Preparation of the 354-gram oven-ready product requires16 minutes of baking and tossing.

  • Azuma Foods International Inc., USA, Booth #321
    Shrimp Swirl Pops
    This product features two shrimp locked together to form a lollipop-like appearance. The producer says it “gives the perfect ratio between the crunchiness of the panko breadcrumbs and the juiciness of the shrimp within, and is ideal for dipping into tartar sauce or sweet chili sauce.” Preparation calls for deep-frying in oil at 350˚F for four minutes, or until golden brown in appearance.

  • Bantry Mussels TABASCOBantry Bay America Inc., Booth #2957
    Mussels in a Spicy Sauce
    Bantry Bay has developed an aromatic and savory recipe of mussels in a spicy sauce livened up with Tabasco brand seasoning. Offered in Next Wave of Bantry International Cuisine range, the rope-grown mussels are cooked in the shell with tomatoes, onions and a touch of Tabasco pepper sauce to add heat to the succulent meats.

  • Cheating Gourmet Cilantro Lime Shrimp Rice BowlCheating Gourmet, Booth #2716
    Cilantro Lime Shrimp Rice Bowl
    Made in the USA, this gluten- and preservative-free non-GMO cilantro lime seasoned product is all natural. The 226-gram microwavable ready meal in a bowl contains white rice, two ounces of chemical-free shrimp, roasted corn, peppers, onions, black beans, tomatoes and a blend of spices and herbs. Each serving has 250 calories, one gram of fat and 15 grams of protein.

  • CP Shrimp Wonton RamenCP Food Products, Inc., Booth #433
    Hand Wrapped Shrimp Wonton with Ramen Noodles and Yu Choy
    CP Authentic Asia brand Shrimp Wonton Ramen is made with shrimp supplied directly from Charoen Pokphand aqua-farms in Thailand. Hand-wrapped in pastry sheets, the wonton comes with noodles and crisp yu choi vegetable stalks that are presented as “all the right ingredients for an Asian-style savory soup.”

  • Fishpeople meyer lemon pankoFishpeople Seafood, Booth #2745
    Meyer Lemon & Herb Panko Wild Alaskan Salmon Kit
    This frozen product features two sustainable and traceable Wild Alaskan Salmon fillets. All consumers have to do is top and bake the fish with supplied Meyer Lemon & Herb Panko and garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese to create a tasty fish dish that takes the guesswork out of preparation. Cooking time is 20 minutes.

  • Handy oyster collectionHandy Seafood Inc., Booth #823
    Oyster Collection
    Handy’s Oyster Collection 12-pack makes entertaining at home easy. The heat-and-eat Crassostrea virginica oysters on the half-shell are handpicked and selected for quality and flavor. Six Oysters Rockefeller are topped with a blend of spinach, cheese and spices, while six Oysters Casino are embellished with a combination of sweet crabmeat, bell peppers and cheese. All one has to do is pop the shellfish in the oven, heat as instructed and serve.

  • King Prince jumbo buttermilk shrimpKing & Prince Seafood, Booth #505
    Jumbo Buttermilk Shrimp
    Premium, tail-on shrimp are tumble-dusted in a light, finely seasoned, Southern-style flour recipe featuring creamy buttermilk. This seafood classic plate pleaser comes in six-ounce portion pack pouches to help restaurant operators manage food costs.

  • Multiexport Foods, Booth #117
    Smoked Roasted Salmon Flakes
    Distributed under the Latitude 45 brand name, this product is made from Atlantic Salmon sourced from waters of the Chilean Patagonian region. Within hours of harvesting the fish, the fillets are cured, hot smoked and sealed in modified atmosphere packaging. The 453-gram MAP packs are shipped frozen, then slacked out by retailers and sold from refrigerated cases and cabinets. The ready-to-eat salmon flakes are promoted as “a great addition to omelets, appetizers, sandwiches, pizza and more.”

  • Ocean Blue FIshOpen Blue, Booth #1859
    Frozen Open Blue Cobia IVP Fillet
    Open Blue Cobia is a premium fish raised responsibly in deep offshore waters in the open ocean. Cobia has a delicate, buttery flavor and firm texture that chefs appreciate working with because of its culinary versatility. This product launch features a frozen sashimi-grade individually vacuum-packed fillet convenient for cooked and raw applications such as sushi, sashimi and poke.

  • Trident Seafoods, Booth #805
    Louis Kemp Hawaiian Poke Snackits
    This fully cooked Crab Delights surimi product is made with Wild Alaska Pollock. All the consumer has to do is mix together packets in the 5.5 oz. single-serving kit and enjoy. Distribution is in clear tubs containing three different packets: 4 ounces of surimi, one ounce of sauce and one-half ounce of the quinoa-edamame mix.

Each finalist’s product will be prominently showcased during the three-day seafood show in Boston.