I tried these Gorton’s Premium Haddock Fish Fillets today for lunch, and found the thick breaded crust to be softly spicy and good-tasting.
The five fillets per package come in a thick paper box, that while not completely air-tight, seemed to protect well the flavor and texture. Each fillet is as long as the palm of my hand (around six inches), as wide as three of my fingers (roughly two inches), and as thick as one thumb (approximately one inch). And, though the crust breading is rather thick, you still get a high fish to crust ratio in this product. Do you don’t forget that you’re actually eating fish rather than bread.
The haddock fish itself is not very “fishy,” much less so than the tilapia fillets from Gorton’s that I checked out a few weeks ago. But for my taste, there’s enough fish taste in this haddock product indeed; just the right amount. So with that said, here are my detailed thoughts on this (tentatively) delicious supper-time seafood delicacy:
Benefits, Pros, Advantages, and Features
- The box can be re closed with built-in tabs that fit into slots on the top flap, and since these flaps are present at either end, it does not matter which end of the box you open.
- These fish fillets (at least the fish part anyhow, and not the breading) are a premium grade of haddock, which has no fillers.
- Haddock is a subtle-tasting yet full-bodied fish. So it does not clash with many spices, and accepts additional flavorings well. The haddock flavor will not dominate the entire meal, nor does it smell overly strong while baking. So it will not stink up your kitchen.
- This product keeps well in the freezer; at least for as long as I ever kept it (roughly six months). The best-if-used-by date is a year and a half out. Surprising, given the absence of a locking freshness bag.
- The breading on these breaded fish fillets absorb lots of hot sauce; my favorite topping to drizzle over them. It baked up crunchy and golden brown.
- I follow the twenty to twenty-five minutes in the oven at 425 degrees instructions on the box. This always yields very hot, quite crunchy, and well-done, sizzling fillets.
- While baking, the fish gives off a mouth-watering but not overpowering aroma, so that when they’re finally ready to eat, I’m really anxious to devour them. This aromatic prelude makes actually eating them even more of a delectable treat.
- Gorton’s tests this product routinely for mercury and to assure that it meets their quality standards.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Concerns
- I dislike like the long list of flavoring and preservative chemicals found in this product.
- At initial opening, the box seemed fragile, and I feared that I’d tear the top flap in half. It should more resemble cardboard than paper. They could supply a more rigid box.
- Also, I found no resealable plastic bag inside. They just threw the fillets into the box, which does not seal. Without a bag, freezer life of this product would be more limited I imagine. Give us a bag, please?
- Each serving (one fillet) has 230 calories. Yet I must eat three or four servings to really feel full and fulfilled.
- The breading no doubt add lots of extra calories, and appears to be made from enriched flour. I’d prefer that they use all whole grains in these coatings.
- The fillets have added sugar and preservatives. So this course qualifies as one of those “dreaded” processed dishes.
- These frozen fish fillets do not heat up well in the microwave. In fact, the box does not recommend microwave preparation. But an ability to “nuke” them would shorten preparation time significantly.
The package says to keep this product frozen until you’re ready to cook it. Microwave oven preparation is not recommended. Also, remember that fully-cooked fish must have reached a temperature of 165 degrees F or higher.
So, for the conventional oven, these are my own variation on the package instructions:
- Place oven rack on the middle rung of the oven.
- Set oven temperature to 425 degrees.
- Line a shallow metal baking pan with aluminum foil. This minimizes the hard-to-clean mess that baking can sometimes leave in a pan.
- While the oven heats, place the number of fillets you wish to prepare into this pan. But leave an inch or two of space between each fillet.
- When the oven reaches the desired temperature, put the lined pan, uncovered with the haddock fillets on the middle rack in the oven, and let bake.
- Turn fillets over after 12 minutes.
- After 20 to 24 minutes total baking time, or until the bread coating is crunchy and golden brown, remove the pan.
- Allow the sizzling to stop, and then serve immediately, while still piping hot.
Haddock, enriched bleached wheat flour (flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), vegetable oil (cottonseed and / or soybean), water. Contains less than 2% of: yellow corn flour, modified corn starch, salt, sugar, whey, wheat flour, baking powder (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate), yeast, maltodextrin, dextrose, corn syrup solids, caramel color, dried garlic, lemon juice solids, colored with paprika, annatto, and turmeric extracts, monosodium glutamate, natural flavor, citric acid, spices, sodium tripolyphosphate (to retain fish moisture). Contains: Haddock, wheat, milk.
- Serving size: 1 fillet, 98 grams. Servings per container: 5.
- Amount per serving: Calories: 220. Calories from fat: 130.
- Total fat: 14 grams, 22% DV.
- Saturated fat: 3.5 grams, 18% DV.
- Trans fat: 0 grams.
- Cholesterol: 30 milligrams, 10% DV.
- Sodium: 400 milligrams, 17% DV.
- Potassium: 130 milligrams, 4% DV.
- Total carbohydrate: 16 grams, 5% DV.
- Sugars: 3 grams.
- Protein: 11 grams, 22% DV.
- Calcium: 2% DV.
- Iron: 6% DV.
Though they could be better if prepared with less flour and sugar, they’re good lunching or suppering nonetheless so long as you don’t gorge on them too much. Over all, I truly love the flavor of these Gorton’s fillets. They cost a reasonable amount, are easy to prepare, taste delicious, and are on the whole fairly healthy. So I’d recommend them to anyone who is hungry for the taste of haddock fish. If you’re a fish lover as am I, you truly enjoy the meals in which you serve this fish. I’d rate this product at 91 out of 100.
Where To Buy Gorton’s Premium Haddock Fish Fillets
I bought mine at Walmart, but have seen them at many grocery stores big and small. However, you’ll likely not find this product in very small grocery stores or convenience shops. Look for this in the bright yellow box that has the picture of the breaded fillets pictured, very large, on the front.
- : Moved this post to the Tom’s Diet Quest blog, added whitespace, adjusted ad placement, and tweaked the content.
- 2012-05-17: Originally published.