What's with all the shrimps?
- Colin May 17, 2002 11:48 PM
What's the difference with all these shrimp that are available? Tiger, pink, etc.
A few of the most common are tiger shrimp, so called because of the striping seen when raw. White shrimp generally refers to non-tiger shrimp. It is being used generically to refer to a higher quality shrimp.
Langostiens (sp?) and other critters with legs etc. are a related species but not really shrimp. Rock shrimp is the same. The shells are too tough to open so they are always purchased with the shells removed.
Tiger shrimp are the cheapest and lowest grade available. They are farmed in icky conditions in Southeast Asia. They are everywhere. They can have a mushy, sticky texture and off tastes.
The shrimp market in Asia exploded to meet demand for $5.95/pd shrimp and then crashed. Quality really suffered. Now some savy aqua farmers are realizing that they can produce a better product at a much higher price and it will sell.
Louisiana white shrimp are becoming more available in LA. The are also farmed but from a different species and under better, cleaner conditions. They taste much better and have better texture. (Louisiana also produces wild shrimp but they are less common.)Some of the higher end grocery stores are selling them.
Hawaii is also farming white shrimp now. Bought some at the Hollywood farmer's market about six months ago when a Hawaiian import both was operating. Read about the industry in the WSJ.
The previous category winner, Mexican white shrimp, has long been the standard bearer. They were traditionally wild and sold in block of ice rather than IQF. I hear that the stocks have really suffered and that catches are low.
If you care about the marine environment, you will avoid eating all shrimp whose origins are not definitely enviro-friendly.Even the Georgia sources do not sound great. The problems with the shrimp industry are manifold and include large amounts of bycatch (killing of other animals) and pollution from farms.
The REAL story is MEXICAN WHITE "WILD SHRIMP" are the best from OCEAN GARDEN. BLACK TIGER & pink are raised in captivity, and half the price. You get what you pay for.