Crabs and Lobsters
This section has articles on shrimp, prawn, crabs and lobsters. Included are articles on white shrimp, brown shrimp, pink shrimp, royal red shrimp and rock shrimp, blue crabs, king crabs, snow crabs, dungeness crabs, American lobsters, rock lobsters and other varieties of seafood.
Shrimps (Asian Prawns) are small decapod crustaceans found both in fresh and salt water. Shrimps form an important part of seafood all over the world and are widely regarded as a delicacy. Most shrimp mature and breed only in a marine habitat, although they may be found in freshwater as well.
Although shrimps look similar to prawns but their gill structure is lamellar whereas it is branching in prawns. The two have been used interchangeably though and the distinction is more in the area of the world where they are being consumed rather than on their physical appearance. In Germany, United Kingdom, Australia and South East Asia the word prawn is used where as in United States and Canada the term shrimps is used; prawn being reserved for jumbo shrimps having counts of less than 10 specimens per pound. Most American wild caught shrimp is landed from coastal waters of the Gulf coast, Atlantic and Pacific Ocean.
There are wide variety of species coming both from the warm water and cold water; the cold water shrimps are smaller and more succulent. Shrimps may vary in color from red, light brown, pink, deep red, grayish-white, yellow, gray-green and dark green. Shrimp marketing is according to the size the general terms being colossal (10 or less per pound), jumbo (11-15), extra-large (16-20), large (21-30), medium (31-35), small (36-45) and miniature (about 100). In the United States, jumbo and colossal shrimp are commonly called prawns. Larger shrimp are typically more expensive per pound than smaller specimens.
Shrimp baiting is an exercise in itself, many interesting techniques are used, it can be done from the boat or docks and shores. Besides cast nets, trawls, seines and dip netting are used. The standard technique uses long poles with bate and cast nets. The long poles are used to identify and mark the area and then the bait is placed near it, the cast net is thrown close to the bait and the shrimps are caught. The bait consists of a fish meal, corn meal, flour, cat food or chicken meal. Strict regulations are in place and special licenses for shrimp baiting are required in some regions. After catching, shrimp are processed by removing the shell, head, tail and sand vein.
Shrimps (Asian prawns) have high nutritive value, they are rich in iodine, calcium, proteins and cholesterol (HDL). Besides finding their place in restaurant menus other products such as frozen shrimp, dried shrimp, stuffed shrimps, sauces and pastes are available in the market. Chinese cooks use a unique style of preparation. Dried shrimp are shrimp that have been sun dried and shrunk to a thumbnail size. They are used Chinese cuisine, imparting a unique Asian taste. They have a sweetish kind of flavor different form fresh shrimps found in North America. Malaysian, Korean and Vietnamese shrimps are similar and used in soups and rice.
Shrimps are often kept in home aquariums for decorative purposes. Cherry shrimp is a species of fresh water shrimp commonly kept in aquarium enthusiasts. Shrimp are very easy to maintain and adapt to wide variety of conditions.