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Shrimp Tails

I was out with a friend last night, and we split a grilled shrimp appetizer. Like most people, she ate most of each individual shrimp but left the tip of the tail on her plate. I, meanwhile, at the whole thing -- tail and all.

She saw me eating a tail and said, "You do that too? I like eating the tails, but I don't do it in front of other people because it grosses them out. In fact, I had a boyfriend once who said part of the reason he broke up with me was because I ate the shrimp tails."

I said, "Well it certainly doesn't bother me!" So she then started eating the tails on her plate. We agreed that the tails are delicious -- crunchy and full of flavor (sort of like chicken wing tips, which buffalo wing recipes always say to discard -- pfeh!).

All of which got me thinking: Do other chowhounds out there enjoy shrimp tails? If so, have you found that other (non-houndy) people grossed out by it? Heck, are any of YOU grossed out by it?

-- Paul

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  1. I have never seen anyone eat a shrimp tail, but now I am going to try it. I would be more fascinated than grossed out if a dining companion did it.

    1. Never heard about this until a couple of week ago. I will try outside eyeshot of Mrs Jfood as when i told her she thought it was gross.

      1. When I order salt & pepper shrimp at a good chinise resterant I eat the majority of the shell, but not the head

        1 Reply
        1. re: chazzer

          I eat both the head and the tail when I get the sweet shrimp (tempura fried) at my local.
          The head is the best part, the waiters always laugh when I ask them if they would bring me JUST heads. They said hardly anyone eats the heads.
          Don't be frightened, try it!
          Come on, you are a chowhound, after all, aren't you????!

        2. I always eat the tails. My dinner companions are almost always grossed out.

          These are usually the same people who are grossed out by a whole fish on my plate--but this time it's the head, not the tail, that's the grosser-outer. Once I actually had to put a paper napkin over the fish head so one sissy wouldn't have to look at it. Good grief, the hullabaloo when I ate the cheeks...

          1. It seems to me that shrimp tails are kind of sharp and after chomping on could have a lot of sharp points that might slice your intestines as they go through??? I dont know.

            6 Replies
            1. re: malibumike

              Yeah, not to be gross, but wouldn't it hurt coming out too?! (Really not trying to be juvenile, just curious!)

              1. re: Katie Nell

                Malibumike and Katie Nell, that's what's stopped me too.

                1. re: thegolferbitch

                  never had a problem with that after eating the tails.

              2. re: malibumike

                The shell, tails, whatever are no match for your digestive system. Eat 'em if you like 'em and don't worry. If you ever get crsipy salt-and-pepper shrimp in a Chinese restaurant, you may make the wait staff laugh if you try to peel them -- as I did the first time I ever had them.
                . . . jim strain in san diego.

                1. re: Jim Strain

                  I tried to peel my first soft shelled crab. This was many years ago. The Spanish waitstaff were very kind and hardly snickered at all.

                  1. re: platypus

                    And I broke a tooth because I assumed the crab I'd been given was a soft-shelled crab.