Discover the truth about Shrimp with these Shrimp facts.
The truth is... All Shrimp Are Not The Same, each type or species of shrimp have their own characteristics as far as flavor, texture, cooking times and a best cooking method for them.
You have Gulf Shrimp, Farm Raised Shrimp, Imported Shrimp and Coldwater. You have shrimp with brown, white and pink shells. There are even shrimp with strips on them called Tiger Shrimp and with over 300 species of Shrimp in the world I'm sure you can find many more shell colors and names given to shrimp.
The flavor and texture of shrimp are influenced by the waters they come from or are raised in, plus from what they eat or are fed. Wild shrimp feed on seaweed and crustaceans which gives them a more enriched flavor and thicker shells. The ability to swim freely also makes the meat firmer.
Grown mainly in Asian Countries,(Black tiger shrimp are also caught wild) they get their name because of the black and gray strips on their shells in the raw state. You also have what is called a blue tiger which are a blue shade and have yellow feelers, still a species of black tigers. The reason for the blue shade is that the food they are fed does not contain iron. A cooked black tiger shrimp shell will turn bright red and the meat will be white with a red skin tone.
The moisture content in them is much higher than white, brown or pink shrimp, so they will shrink more when cooking them. The flavor is very mild and the texture is less dense. To avoid the shrinking and making them tough, I have learned to slightly under cook them.
Because of the mild flavor of tigers, they are best when you use them in a cooking method that adds flavor to them, like grilling or in recipes or dishes that would have a sauce.
Coldwater ShrimpThese shrimp are wild caught from the waters of Greenland, Norway, Iceland and from the coast waters of Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Maine. Some common names for Coldwater shrimp are salad, pink, bay, tiny, cooked/peeled and baby.
The shells are bright reddish-pink both in the raw and cooked state. The meat will be white with color tones from pale pink to a dark reddish-pink.
Cold water shrimp are small ranging in size from 150 to 500 shrimp per pound. Almost all of them you will find will be cooked and peeled, they have a soft texture and a sweet taste to them.
Farm-Raised White ShrimpMexico, Ecuador, China and India produce the majority of the farm raised white shrimp to the U.S. Even though they are called white shrimp their shells are a light grayish-white and turn pink when cooked. The shell can be thinner than wild caught shrimp.
Farm-Raised shrimp will have a milder flavor and sometimes a less firm meat texture, due to the environment they are raised in. A thinner shelled shrimp requires less cooking time, if cooking them in the shell.
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