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Jan 28, 2010 03:01 PM

Native Maine Shrimp season is here! (ME and NH)

just a reminder to all shrimp lovers that the native shrimp season is here. We are getting ours whole for $1.50 lb from Kris at the Sanders fish truck friday in Concord, but I noticed some in Market Basket for $4 lb. with the heads off which is not too bad,

For those not familiar with them, these are small shrimp (the biggest ones you will normally get are about the size of the smallest frozen shrimp you will find in the grocery store, and the smaller ones even smaller) caught in the gulf of Maine, genuine native deep sea creatures that come to you fresh and free of chemicals, sewage or hormones.

They are extremely sweet, and addictive. I use them in all sorts of oriental and indian recipes, but they are also terrific just boiled and served with melted butter, or just steam them with some shrimp or crab boil spice and forget the butter.

Unfortunately, probably because the season is so short, there doesn't seem to be good distribution system for these wonderful shrimp, and they can be hard to find in stores too far away from the seashore. In NH and ME, most of them seem to be sold out of trucks parked by the roadside!

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  1. Maine Shrimp season lasts for 180 days which I don't consider short. It runs from Dec. 1 until the end of May. I would guess there's not a good distribution system because of lack of demand and consequently a low price. You can buy them for $1/pound along the road in many places in Maine. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people prefer the cheap but larger Asian imports. I prefer the Maine variety because I know they haven't been raised in polluted ponds filled with chemicals and growth agents.

    1. Some of us in the greater Boston area and slightly beyond have bought shares in the Fresh Catch Cape Ann Community Supported Fishery, much like the farm vegetable CSA. My DH and I opted for an alternative fin fish one week and Mainre shrimp the 2nd week. Others bought the all shrimp share. The season for us lasts for 10 weeks and is a good way to support our local fisherpeople while getting the freshest day boat seafood we can get. We've been so happy to do this and have enjoyed some very tasty meals.

      Here's where you can get some info:

      8 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        I get them from the fisherman in 20 lb batches at $.50/lb. They are great raw or cerviched.

        1. re: Passadumkeg

          And where can I find said fisherman? I want to buy 20lbs myself :)

          1. re: gryphonskeeper

            Passa lives down Maine. Waaayyy down. I wonder if you could search the ports of Portsmouth or Portland and find out where/if dayboats bring their catch in. I'm not sure about the short NH coast. But that's a possibility too.

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                Anything near Wells or Portsmouth? I have some friends around there who are heading back to where I am (Quebec) and would love them to find me some shrimp!

                  1. re: spankyhorowitz

                    Maybe ask them to keep their eyes open for roadside trucks and/or stands (and bring an empty cooler). Last spring we loaded up a cooler on the way home from Maine with shrimp and scallops from a couple of roadside sellers. Super-sweet, tiny, fresh, tasty shrimp for $1 a pound ... I feel like warming up the car just thinking about it (it's a 5-hour drive).

                    1. re: harrie

                      In Kennebunk a place called Herb"s ( I think) carries them.

          2. Here's an old thread w/ lots of suggestions on what to do w/ the little Maine shrimpies.
            I'm about to get a hundred pounds and divie it up as gifts to elderly neighbors and friends.
            Carpe chow,

            3 Replies
            1. re: Passadumkeg

              Thanks for that link! Trufflehound's salt & pepper suggestion is excellent. We do a variant adding a little hot pepper sauce that works very well. Just spread out the newspaper on the table, roll up your sleeves and get to work. Kind of the Maine version of a Maryland crab bash. Re: distribution: when the shrimp population went down a few years ago, the season was shortened. When supply grew short, a number of processors went into another line of work. That said, the best shrimp, for my money, has always been what one buys off a truck. It's a little far from Portsmouth, but in Freeport a fellow named Dave has been selling them on Fridays and Sundays by the has station at Desert Rd. & Rt. One (the former Maggie's).
              p.s. The heads make a great stock which can be used for bisques or what-have-you.

              1. re: larryatalden

                The crows love eating the heads and they make good compost.
                This is the longest season in quite a few years. Kids are home, shrimp feast tonight!

                1. re: larryatalden

                  If it's the same person, 'Dave' has moved down the road a few miles, towards Yarmouth - Cindy's Lobster Roll or something like that. Anyway, he has 'Fresh Shrimp' signs on the road (Rte. 1). Five pounds of whole shrimp for $5. Great swordfish, scallops, haddock, salmon, steamers, etc. Nice guy.

              2. Rockland, Me. will celebrate Maine shrimp, tomorrow, March 20th.


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