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Shrimp - A Favorite Shellfish - Some Basic Information

Updated on August 16, 2015
Shrimp Art
Shrimp Art

Shrimp, types and basic information.

There are so many types of shrimp, and even more ways to prepare them if you like to eat them. There are Gulf Shrimp, Farm Raised Shrimp, Imported shrimp and cold water shrimp. They have various colors to their shells, like brown, white and pink shells. Tiger shrimp have a striped design on their shells. There are well over 300 species of shrimp in the world and each have some unique characteristics.

The texture and flavors of different shrimp depend on the water they live in, and are also influenced by what they eat or fed if they are farmed. Shrimp out in the wild eat seaweed and crustaceans which make them have a richer flavor. Also, their shells are thicker. When shrimp are allowed to swim as they please, they seem to have firmer meat.

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Farm Raised Shrimp

The majority of the farm raised shrimp takes place in India, Mexico, Ecuador and China . The US imports them. Many have a grayish shell color, though they are called white shrimp. They turn pink when cooked. They have a softer meat texture to them, and often have a more mild flavor. This due, again to their environment, but it does supply many people with the opportunity to get shrimp.

Cold Water Shrimp

Cold water shrimp are wild and caught from the coastal areas of Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Maine. They are also from Greenland, Norway and Iceland. These shrimp have names like, salad, pink, bay, tiny, and baby, and more. For these shrimp, the shells are bright red/pink in their raw or in their cooked form. The meat is almost always white, with small bits of pale pink to being reddish in color. They range in size from having 150 -500 shrimp per pound. Many have a sweet taste to them. When I think of small shrimp, it reminds me of when we used to have shrimp cocktail. They were often served on ice. Since then, I have had much larger shrimp with shrimp cocktail. Its a fun thing to have at a party, because its so festive looking.

Tiger Shrimp

Tiger shrimp, also known as Penaeus monodon, are about the coolest looking shrimp there are in my opinion. These shrimp are mostly from Asian countries and they get their name for an obvious reason. The design on them is interesting. These shrimp have more moisture to them than others so definitely shrink when you cook them. These also have a mild flavor. Some have shared the tip to under cook them a little.

There are also varieties of tiger shrimp that are called blue tiger shrimp, and they don't have food that contains any iron.

Tiger shrimp are a good choice if you plan on adding lots of flavor to your shrimp. Shrimp Scampi comes to mind here. I love a good shrimp scampi.

There is a Tiger Pistol Shrimp as well, that has a cool symbiotic relationship with particular goby species. The Goby and the shrimp help each others weaknesses, with their strengths. If you ever buy one of them, you will want to make sure and always get the other one, if it is for a pet. They are commonly known as shrimp gobies, and have a really cool design to their shell as well.

Shrimp Scampi

One of my favorite shrimp dishes is Shrimp Scampi, with or without linguini noodles. I have a cute story that involves shrimp scampi that I want to share. I was in college, and considering dating this guy that I was getting to know. He loves to cook, and still does, but I had no idea that he could cook so well. We lived in dorms and cottages, and he brought over the full fixings to make shrimp scampi for me and my friends that lived in the little cottage with me. Needless to say, he is a good cook, and really impressed me and my friends. On occasion we still have it, and it basically is a really yummy buttery way to cook them, with added garlic, etc. We just broil them usually for our shrimp scampi, and it turns out really good!


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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Me too, and you can prepare shrimp so many different ways!

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 6 years ago from USA

      I love shrimp!