FOOD: Bubba Knew Shrimp

FOOD: Bubba Knew Shrimp

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Food: Bubba Knew Shrimp
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Yes, it is a “Forrest Gump” reference and it should be expected any time shrimp is mentioned for the next twenty years. “Bubba Gump” shrimp is how Forrest made his millions in the Hollywood movie. But, the movie will always be remembered for the amazing number of ways a person can make shrimp. As Bubba would say, “There’s barbecue shrimp, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp soup, fried shrimp”..the list is almost endless. And while there are certainly a large number of ways to cook shrimp, there is actually a fair amount of confusion as to what exactly a shrimp really is. Maybe Bubba wasn’t actually cooking shrimp?

In England and a number of other places, what would be called shrimp in the United States is actually referred to as prawn. If you were to look at a prawn and a shrimp side by side, it would be virtually impossible to distinguish which was which. Technically speaking, however, a prawn truly is not a shrimp.

To the naked eye, the two may appear identical but they are biologically different. On the abdomen of a shrimp or prawn are flaps. Without going into too much detail and causing everyone to go running for a Biology book, let’s just say that the there is a very subtle difference between the first abdomen flap on a shrimp and a prawn. But essentially, these are the same creature.

As far as the Americans are concerned, a shrimp is any crustacean that is part of the Natantia family of crustaceans. It doesn’t matter how big the shrimp is or where it is found – so long as it is a Nantantia crustacean – it’s a shrimp! However, there is a rather peculiar phenomenon among American shrimp that does have to do with size.

Were Bubba to have grown up on the West Coast of the United States, he most certainly would not have seen much potential in the shrimp -for eating, let alone making any money! This is because the typical size of a shrimp found of the West Coast is about 1/2 inch in length. For some reason, the Pacific Ocean just is not a great place for jumbo shrimp to grow. But elsewhere, it is nothing for shrimp to be 12 inches in length or more.

Shrimp, like any species, comes in a wide assortment of variety. There are rock, brine, royal red, white, brown, and even pink shrimp to choose from. Each offers a unique flavor and consistency but all are absolutely delicious when prepared properly. And, Bubba was correct -you can make shrimp just about any way your imagination will let you! So whether you want to call it prawn or just plain old shrimp – the truth is that it tastes great no matter how you make it!
 

 

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