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National Shrimp Day

Epicures, chefs, suppliers, associations, restaurants, and others celebrate shrimp today, the most widely eaten crustacean in the United States. As part of the day, videos and recipes are shared, contests are organized, specials are offered, and shrimp are eaten.

There are many species of shrimp. Some large shrimp are known as prawns. Coldwater shrimp, known as pandalid shrimp, are small shrimp found in the ocean waters in the northeast and northwest regions of the United States and Canada. One of these is the Pandalus borealis, a pink-hued shrimp used in chowders, soups, and salads. Warm water shrimp are found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. These include white, brown, and pink shrimp, as well as hopper, tiger, and banana shrimp. These shrimp vary in size, taste, texture, and cost.

Wild shrimp, classified as either warm water or cold water shrimp, are caught in coastal ocean waters. These shrimp are well regulated, and make up less than ten percent of the shrimp consumed in the United States. Wild shrimp caught on the coasts of the United States are known as domestic shrimp. Farmed shrimp are warm water shrimp that are grown in open and closed pond systems and given formulated feeds. Over ninety percent of the shrimp eaten in the United States are farmed shrimp raised in other parts of the world. Imported shrimp usually means farmed shrimp that come from either Asia or the Pacific and Gulf coasts of Central America and South America.

Shrimp may be purchased refrigerated or frozen, the latter being the most common. They may be purchased whole or peeled, headless, tailless, and deveined. They are usually sold by weight and are categorized into sizes: jumbo, extra-large, large, medium, and small. Shrimp provide lean protein, are low in fat, and contain iron, vitamin B12, choline, selenium, and omega-3s. Their nutrients benefit the heart, boost immunity, and fight inflammation. Although, they do contain more sodium and cholesterol than other seafood.

Shrimp are versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. They can be canned, smoked, or pickled, and can be deep-fried, pan-fried, skillet-fried, boiled, grilled, barbequed, or baked. They can be breaded or left plain. They can be made with rice and can be used in soups, chowders, and salads. Coconut shrimp, jambalaya, gumbo, scampi, poon choi, and okonomiyaki are some common dishes shrimp are used in. Cacciucco, paella de marisco, and caldeirada are European dishes where shrimp can be found. Shrimp curry is common in Asia. On National Shrimp Day, we celebrate all types of shrimp and all the dishes that can be made with them.

How to Observe National Shrimp Day

Some ways you could observe the day include:

  • Make a dish that contains shrimp.
  • Catch some shrimp.
  • Keep an eye out for contests being organized, shrimp videos and recipes being shared, and restaurants offering specials.
  • Host a shrimp party. You could ask everyone who attends to bring a dish that contains shrimp.

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