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Never-Frozen Shrimp


zoramargolis
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Given the contamination issues made public recently, I would avoid Chinese shrimp, and concentrate on US caught wild shrimp.

The question is, where are said shrimp in season?

Maine shrimp are in season.

White shrimp are in season in the summer, brown shrimp are in season in the fall and winter, as long as it's warm enough to fish.

Atlantic and gulf-caught brown shrimp are in season right now. Linky.

American shrimp fishers are finding it very hard to compete with imported shrimp. Consider giving your business to local fishermen. I would buy wild caught shrimp from American coastal waters.

You can freeze head-on shrimp by putting them into a container, filling the container with water, and freezing into a block of ice. When we lived in New Orleans, we'd cut the top off milk cartons and use thd bottom as a container. This works very well. You could also use a plastic container. After this is frozen, you can wrap it, but don't close the container or wrap the container until it's frozen solid, as the ice expands. We always preferred brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus).

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A little shrimp porn:

post-27-1200145957_thumb.jpg

I've never been to A&H. Perhaps some etouffee this evening...

I love it when you talk like that. :(

The fellows at A&H were very nice and their product might be very good, but the smell of the place really put me off. They also have a selection of Spanish groceries. The owner suggested that if you want head-on shrimp to call first, because they sometimes sell out their whole stock to restaurants early in the day.

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The fellows at A&H were very nice and their product might be very good, but the smell of the place really put me off. They also have a selection of Spanish groceries. The owner suggested that if you want head-on shrimp to call first, because they sometimes sell out their whole stock to restaurants early in the day.

My guess is that the smell is from the slabs of dried salt cod that they carry. The place is clean and regularly mopped, and I've never gotten a piece of fish from them that smells bad.

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Harris Teeter frequently carries head on shrimp caught off the Carolina coasts. When they do have them, they are almost always on sale for about $6 a pound for 10-20 count shrimp. We get them frequently and are generally happy with the flavor. Much better than the imported head on shrimp you find in the Asian markets.

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......the shrimp was dead from being deep-frozen.....

Is it possible to buy never-been-frozen shrimp anywhere (DC area or anyplace else) not located within 50 miles of a small shrimp boat harbor? If so, where?

PS I'm a cynic and I don't believe anything those guys who sell out of the back of a pickup say.

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Is it possible to buy never-been-frozen shrimp anywhere (DC area or anyplace else) not located within 50 miles of a small shrimp boat harbor? If so, where?

PS I'm a cynic and I don't believe anything those guys who sell out of the back of a pickup say.

I got some fresh, head-on sweet shrimp from Maine at BlackSalt the other day. They often have head-on fresh Carolina shrimp there and at A&H Seafood in Bethesda.

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I got some fresh, head-on sweet shrimp from Maine at BlackSalt the other day. They often have head-on fresh Carolina shrimp there and at A&H Seafood in Bethesda.

Zora, if anybody would know you would. But tell me, how can you or anyone be certain it really is never-been-frozen, or just frozen "properly" and thawed "properly?" I assume head on shrimp can be frozen.

BTW, fresh or frozen, IMO head on is the way to go.

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Those babies are frozen, so sayeth the website. Not that I am putting down frozen shrimp.

Well frozen and well thawed shrimp are mighty tasty. Not sure that if you gave me a choice between quick frozen shrimp and never frozen shrimp I could tell the difference, especially if cooked Louisiana style, e.g., in jambalaya, gumbo, barbecue shrimp, shrimp po'boy.

Reason being that shrimp freeze extremely well. Some things (oysters, fresh tomatoes) don't freeze well and some things do.

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Those babies are frozen, so sayeth the website. Not that I am putting down frozen shrimp.

Well frozen and well thawed shrimp are mighty tasty. Not sure that if you gave me a choice between quick frozen shrimp and never frozen shrimp I could tell the difference, especially if cooked Louisiana style, e.g., in jambalaya, gumbo, barbecue shrimp, shrimp po'boy.

Reason being that shrimp freeze extremely well. Some things (oysters, fresh tomatoes) don't freeze well and some things do.

"Marvesta Gourmet Shrimp are naturally raised in Maryland and are delivered fresh, never frozen, to premium restaurants and consumers. Marvesta Shrimp are a healthy and environmentally safe alternative to shrimp imports."-from their website

Where did you see that they are frozen? I've bought from Marvesta before and have always received fresh product.

Edited to add: I went through their website and saw that in one spot it looks like there's a typo and the result is one statement that says their product is frozen. Is that what you saw?

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Where did you see that they are frozen? I've bought from Marvesta before and have always received fresh product.

I haven't found anything that suggests they freeze them. However, their website does contain the following rather curious sentence (it's in the "delivery terms" section):

......... "Upon receipt, proper care in removing shrimp and either refrigerating or freezing as appropriate and use and/or time period before something to maintain optimum freshness."

The first part seems to condone freezing their stuff as "proper care" after the buyer receives it. The second part, I must admit, is a bit difficult to follow. That is a verbatim quote.

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Marvesta Gourmet Shrimp are naturally raised in Maryland and are delivered fresh, never frozen, to premium restaurants and consumers. Marvesta Shrimp are a healthy and environmentally safe alternative to shrimp imports.

Where did you see that they are frozen? I've bought from Marvesta before and have always received fresh product.

Edited to add: I went through their website and saw that in one spot it looks like there's a typo and the result is one statement that says their product is frozen. Is that what you saw?

I saw this: "With taste and texture nonexistent in other shrimp, due to the fact that it has been frozen or IQF (Individually Quick Frozen), Marvesta presents a product that cannot be found in the marketplace."

It's just not a well written sentence. I thought "it" referred to Marvesta, apparently "it" refers to "other shrimp."

Anyway, in Louisiana during shrimp season, everybody freezes the surplus bounty head on, in water. Typical container is a sawed off milk carton or a plastic ice cream carton. Put the head on shrimp into the container, fill it with water to cover the shrimp, don't put a lid on it until it's frozen because water expands as it freezes. Then wrap in plastic. And when thawed they haven't degraded much, not really noticeable in dishes like jambalaya or gumbo or "barbecued" shrimp (which aren't really barbecued, they're cooked head on in butter and some other things).

By "everybody" I include Cajuns, Creoles, Yats, and so on, all of whom know good shrimp.

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I saw this: "With taste and texture nonexistent in other shrimp, due to the fact that it has been frozen or IQF (Individually Quick Frozen), Marvesta presents a product that cannot be found in the marketplace."

It's just not a well written sentence. I thought "it" referred to Marvesta, apparently "it" refers to "other shrimp."

That is exactly the sentence I thought may have thrown you. It is written pretty poorly.

You should give Marvesta a shot. I've enjoyed their shrimp and I'm interested in hearing the opinion of a Louisiana native (or someone familiar with the great shrimp from there).

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I'm looking for a good source for shrimp-clean tasting, large and not reeking iodine. NoVa and DC preferred. Harvested from good, clean water preferred also.

The last time I cooked shrimp, I made spaghetti with shrimp in a tomato cream sauce. I could taste iodine from the shrimp, but it wasn't overwhelming. The leftovers, however, were ruined as the iodine taste permeated the entire dish. It was inedible, and really pissed me off. The shrimp in question were from Safeway.

Googling around, I read that some folks actually like the taste, which confounds me. Is iodine expected? I just don't remember it being so noticeable before. To me, shrimp should taste "clean" and mild, and have a firm, meaty texture.

Lately, the shrimp I've eaten taste like iodine or as though it was plucked from polluted water. Just not good.

Thanks.

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I'm looking for a good source for shrimp-clean tasting, large and not reeking iodine. NoVa and DC preferred. Harvested from good, clean water preferred also.

The last time I cooked shrimp, I made spaghetti with shrimp in a tomato cream sauce. I could taste iodine from the shrimp, but it wasn't overwhelming. The leftovers, however, were ruined as the iodine taste permeated the entire dish. It was inedible, and really pissed me off. The shrimp in question were from Safeway.

Googling around, I read that some folks actually like the taste, which confounds me. Is iodine expected? I just don't remember it being so noticeable before. To me, shrimp should taste "clean" and mild, and have a firm, meaty texture.

Lately, the shrimp I've eaten taste like iodine or as though it was plucked from polluted water. Just not good.

Thanks.

As a former fish monger at BlackSalt, I can tell you that the type of shrimp and place the shrimp were harvested makes a huge difference. At BS we sold U-12 wild-caught brown gulf shrimp that had more intense flavor, including iodine flavor. And more expensive wild-caught U-12 white shrimp (which may have been from Mexico, I can't really remember) which did not have the iodine tang. Both were frozen thawed, but high quality. It's very rare to find fresh shrimp, because it spoils quickly, but Maine sweet shrimp, Royal Red (both currently out of season) are two varieties that have tons of flavor and no iodine taste. Wild-caught has much more flavor than farmed, but if you really dislike the iodine tang, you might be happier with farmed shrimp.

Really though, your best bet is to go to a good fish market for your shrimp instead of Safeway--even an Asian market like H Mart will have several different varieties--go for a larger, more expensive shrimp there--large white shrimp are generally milder in flavor. If you go to BlackSalt, talk to MJ and tell him what your preferences are. He'll be able to give you excellent guidance.

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As a former fish monger at BlackSalt, I can tell you that the type of shrimp and place the shrimp were harvested makes a huge difference. At BS we sold U-12 wild-caught brown gulf shrimp that had more intense flavor, including iodine flavor. And more expensive wild-caught U-12 white shrimp (which may have been from Mexico, I can't really remember) which did not have the iodine tang. Both were frozen thawed, but high quality. It's very rare to find fresh shrimp, because it spoils quickly, but Maine sweet shrimp, Royal Red (both currently out of season) are two varieties that have tons of flavor and no iodine taste. Wild-caught has much more flavor than farmed, but if you really dislike the iodine tang, you might be happier with farmed shrimp.

Really though, your best bet is to go to a good fish market for your shrimp instead of Safeway--even an Asian market like H Mart will have several different varieties--go for a larger, more expensive shrimp there--large white shrimp are generally milder in flavor. If you go to BlackSalt, talk to MJ and tell him what your preferences are. He'll be able to give you excellent guidance.

Thanks, Zora. A lot of great information there. I'll make a trip to BS over the weekend and report back.

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