"Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it."
Pvt. Benjamin Buford 'Bubba' Blue
There is certainly a nearly limitless list of culinary creations that include shrimp, many more than “Bubba” recited in the wonderful film Forrest Gump.
Why there is shrimp fried rice, sesame cilantro shrimp, shrimp tacos, shrimp pad thai, and shrimp alfredo. You’ve got shrimp risotto, potted shrimp, Vietnamese spring rolls with shrimp, bacon wrapped shrimp, buffalo shrimp, shrimp fra diavlo, shrimp bisque, shrimp-n-grits, panko shrimp, Jezebel shrimp, and so many more.
Wild American shrimp are caught by shrimpers off the Gulf and South Atlantic coasts. To be more exact: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The shrimp naturally thrive in these waters, and their presence has influenced a way of life in these states. However, less than 10 percent of the shrimp eaten in the United States is domestic.
Farmed shrimp are warm water varieties that are grown in open and closed pond systems supplemented with formulated feeds. Shrimp diets and pond waters can be controlled to influence production rates and sensory attributes of the shrimp. Over 90 percent of the shrimp eaten in the United States come from farmed sources grown in other countries around the world, mostly China, Thailand, and other Asian areas.
At the fish counter or supermarket, shoppers should not turn away from frozen shrimp. But be selective. Make sure the bag says “I.Q.F.,” which stand for individually quick frozen. The label will note whether the shrimp is farmed or wild, and where it came from. Buy shrimp in the shell. It protects the product, and peeled shrimp has often been treated with chemical preservatives.
In my personal opinion, the freshest shrimp one can get originates as close to where you are as possible. I know of a place in Kansas City, that flies it in fresh every day, caught that morning in the Gulf of Mexico. It ain’t cheap, but it is of much better quality than the popcorn shrimp from a nationally known chain - which is mostly breading anyhow.
If you do find yourself some incredibly succulent shrimp, why disguise the flavor with some overwrought sauce or elaborate preparation? Just make it simple…
2 pounds of shell-on large shrimp, shells split up the back and shrimp deveined
2 tablespoons of butter
Fresh lemons for squeezing
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook shrimp until opaque throughout, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Add butter and toss to coat. Squeeze fresh lemon over them, then peel and eat!