Sunday, May 1, 2011

Shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico. A taste test.

Sometimes curiosity is the reason for a purchase. I was at a grocery store and in the frozen seafood section “Gulf Shrimp” was on display. “Raw-Peeled and Deveined.”

The packaging stood out. It caught my eye.

Bright poster red; American flag red. The packaging text was eye-catching for anyone spending any time in a Army barracks. The text was printed in a U.S. Army footlocker stencil-lettering font. Big black letters shouting: MADE IN THE U.S.A.

I saw this package almost to the precise day of the first year anniversary of the BP oil rig disaster. Since that tragedy, I have been curious about shellfish from the Gulf.

Had Gulf shellfish really been affected? Would it really take two generations of Louisiana fishermen before Gulf seafood recovered from the oil spill?

Copyright. All rights reserved. Liz Gurley.

Fourteen dollars seemed a bit steep for a pound of frozen shrimp, but sometimes it is satisfying to indulge a curiosity.
The bright red package offered some more information. The shrimp was distributed by National Fish and Seafood, 11-15 Parker Street, Glousester, MA 01930. Why a Massachusetts distributor? I looked at the other seafood and shellfish displayed in the freezer. The other frozen shrimp were from Asia farms and wild-caught.

Nothing else in the freezer from the Gulf. Nor is there an answer to the little riddle of why Gulf shrimp is distributed by a Massachusetts company.

Would the Gulf shrimp have an oily taste? I purchased a package and took it home.

I opened the reseal-able package, took a dozen shrimp out, followed the package directions and let the shrimp thaw for ten minutes in a small bowl of tap water.

I steamed the dozen for two minutes, let them cool off for two minutes and then put them in a serving dish on a bed of ice .
I put an eighth of a cup of Heinz Chile Sauce in the center of the serving dish, transferred everything to the refrigerator and let the refrigerator and the ice chill the shrimp.

I sampled the first four of the shrimp without the sauce. For me, the tasting issue was whether I detected any oily residue or unusual flavor that might be oil.

There was nothing unusual in the flavor or texture. In fact, the flavor of these Gulf shrimp was sweet and more robust than the Asian-sourced shrimp I’ve eaten recently.

Conclusion: Don’t hesitate to purchase Gulf shrimp. Gulf shrimp is more expensive than its Asian cousins, but you also get a more flavorful product for the extra money.

From the web-site of National Fish and Seafood: The business was begun in 1979. It works with forty suppliers from around the world. The webs-site also lists the principles of sustainability for the shrimp industry. The principles suggests how complicated is the business life of a modern commercial fisherman. The principles are Socio-political: Obey the law. Environmental: Conserve the habitat. Productions/Economics: Use resources efficiently. Environmental economics: Prevent impact on environment. Socio-economic: Aqauculturists should be responsible neighbors.


Bexley Public Radio Foundation broadcasting as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

Bexley Public Radio Foundation is exempt from federal taxes under IRC Section 501(c)(3). Donations are deductible from federal income taxes for individuals who itemize. Checks may identify the payee as Bexley Public Radio Foundation or WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM.

Design is copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. Text is copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Public Media Cooperative. Shrimp boat photo is copyright, all rights reserved, Liz Gurley. The shrimp boat photo is used by permission of Liz Gurley.

No comments: