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Shrimp anyone?

Posted by compumom (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 18, 13 at 0:08

What has happened to the delicious, crisp, firm shrimp from days gone by? It's cheaper, mushy and missing that fresh flavor. Where is the chilled shrimp cocktail of my youth? It's my theory that farmed and cheaper Asian imports have flooded the market and the general quality has declined greatly. I'm not talking about frozen bagged shrimp, rather the fresh (perhaps) product sold from the fish counters at quality supermarkets.
We no longer have fishmongers anywhere in the area, I'd have to drive 25 minutes at least.

Have you experience similar disappointment? Why are we settling for mush and where can I buy a fine quality product?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Shrimp anyone?

I live in the Texas panhandle, far, far from fresh seafood. I order seafood from Seattle, Alaska and Corpus Christi, Tx. It is super good! I order shrimp, crab legs, halibut, salmon,lobster and other fish. I started ordering from Seattle, first time we went to Alaska, we always stay a night in Seattle! Last year we were in Seward and have two places to order from there. I have ordered shrimp from Corpus Christi lately and it is good, ordered 15 pounds before Christmas and another 15 pounds in June. I like it because they flash freeze it on the boat. I get the big ones and I can get out 8 for the two of us, or however much I need! Message me if you want the names and numbers, not cheep, but good!


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

Occasionally I buy a bag of frozen, shelled deveined gulf shrimp for quick meals but the good shrimp here is the Carolina coastal shrimp. The grocers have it fresh and it's awesome but the typical mess/time to shell and clean.


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

You just need to study what you are buying. Where it is from and how it was processed...
Unfortunately you get what you pay for.

"Most “fresh” shrimp sold in supermarkets in the United States have been shipped frozen and then thawed for the fish counter. That means that the shrimp you find in the freezer aisle is exactly the same as what’s presented as “fresh”��"it just hasn’t been sitting around on a bed of ice all day. "...or even a few days.

I've never bought seafood from my local Stop-n-Shop. Not even frozen. (or any meat or chicken). Staff is no at all knowledgable about anything.

Not sure of your location but ask around. I bought a frozen box of gulf shrimp for the past holidays. (at a good market) . If they have it in their display case, they have frozen boxes in the back...if they will not sell you a box, usually 5lbs, shame on them. It may not be gulf or american coastal waters as stated. The boxes are printed. USA wild caught, and the state/location. Ask to see the box. Just say your are planning a large party and want to know what is available. It should be frozen tight but not a big block of ice. (just might have hit a thaw time on the docks or in shipping). A nice tight clump will allow you to separate gently for smaller portions without actually thawing.

trixitx is so right-on to order. Especially if not near coastal waters. Cut out the middle man, the grocery ice bin, and order direct. I'd rather have a few really good shrimp than the sub-par tasteless mushy stuff that usually means they might have been re-frozen twice.

Fairway market in Manhattan, the Harlem location, has a separate, alarmingly cold room for dairy, meat and seafood. They even have coats to borrow and wear at the entrance. A big bin of free crushed ice for the trip home. Safe handling gives a bit more confidence.

Here is a link that might be useful: how to buy the right shrimp


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

Trxie: I would also love your sources; just sent you an e-mail.

Thanks, Liz


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

lizbeth-gardener, you have mail!


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

Compumom, if driving 25 minutes gets you a quality product, then it might be worth it. Fresh shrimp in LA would be probably be from Mexican waters, I'd guess, and available in Asian markets. Here in Monterey, the local Monterey spot Prawns are really expensive. Good, but very pricey.

I'd never ever buy "fresh" shrimp in a grocery store, but I will buy frozen shrimp and defrost it myself.

Here is a link that might be useful: spot prawns


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

" It should be frozen tight but not a big block of ice. (just might have hit a thaw time on the docks or in shipping). A nice tight clump will allow you to separate gently for smaller portions without actually thawing."

Interesting thought. The one time I bought a box it was a big solid block of ice. Quite different looking from a picture dcarch posted a while back. Now I might know why.


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

The general public has no idea what fresh shrimps look like, taste like, just like scallops, they think the translucent crunchy chemically treated texture means fresh. Therefore stores only sell them.

The shrimps that come in a 5-lb brick of ice generally has not been chemically treated and quite tasty (cheaper too). The problem is how do you thaw them without having to cook 5 lbs of shrimps all at once?

Here is how:

Take the brick of frozen shrimps to where you have concrete flooring. With a heavy hammer and a piece of wood, hammer hard on the wood on the shrimps.

Interestingly the shrimps will come loose without breaking. Now return the unbroken remaining brick back to the freezer for next meal.

BTW, shrimps kept in frozen ice is good that it will not get freezer burn.

dcarch

 photo shrimpxx4a.jpg

 photo shrimpxx3a.jpg

 photo shrimpxx.jpg

 photo shrimpxx1.jpg

This post was edited by dcarch on Thu, Jul 18, 13 at 13:56


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

When I walk the beach, there are usually a couple of shrimp boats just offshore. That means that I can usually buy fresh wild caught shrimp in our local grocery store or I can go to the fish monger under the intercoastal bridge and get the same stuff there. The idea that most people don't know what fresh shrimp looks like or tastes like is absurd. ALTHOUGH, when I've been at local restaurants, watching people eat those flattened, breaded food service shrimp just makes me gag. Maybe dcarch is correct--maybe they don't know. They scarf them down as if it's good food.


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

Thanks for the suggestions folks, I knew I could count on you! Trixie, you have mail!

I will also attempt to hit up the Asian markets, because the pre-cooked shrimp (what I buy in a hurry) are truly awful. I know better!
The trip into Santa Monica to buy from a fishmonger is about my only other option. I truly cannot believe in a city the size of Los Angeles that my really fresh choices could so limited.
I'm grateful that the good sushi restaurants still seem to offer crisp shrimp, now if I can find their source! I don't eat raw fish, so normally I ask them to grill some shrimp for me when I find myself dining at a sushi bar.

Sushipup, you're correct, we pretty much see Mexican shrimp here for the most part. The seafood in the Pacific Northwest was amazing, I'd like definitely like to purchase some to have on hand! DH remarked last night that he's almost gone "off" shrimp due to the carp we keep being served.
Beachlily, we don't do "fried" shrimp either, only grilled, sauteed or boiled with cocktail sauce. That nasty breaded stuff makes me gag!

Dcarch, interesting that there's no freezer burn when frozen in blocks. although I really don't see my hacking off a few at a time for cooking.
FOAS, I don't do scallops at home any longer. The mushy stuff has made my stomach turn. On our recent trip to eastern Canada, I had my fill of good scallops! I'm reduced to enjoying them at fine restaurants!


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RE: Shrimp anyone??

Sleevendog- Sorry, I missed responding to you. That's good to know, I'll follow up on whether they have a box where I can source the shrimp. I doubt we get east coast shrimp here. So much of the frozen and bagged stuff comes from Asia.


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

"When I walk the beach, there are usually a couple of shrimp boats just offshore. That means that I can usually buy fresh wild caught shrimp in our local grocery store or I can go to the fish monger under the intercoastal bridge and get the same stuff there. The idea that most people don't know what fresh shrimp looks like or tastes like is absurd. -----"

Of course I can be wrong. I am only guessing that very few people live in the kind of environment as you have described, near water and beach and not far from fish mongers. I am also only guessing based on supply and demand of what people here are buying and what is available in stores.

I said in “stores” and supermarkets, in and around this big big well-to-do NYC, I can’t even find fish mongers.

I was in the supermarket a couple of days ago. Frozen shrimps were on sale. $4.00 off 2-lbs bags. People were grabbing them. I over-heard a few of them encouraging each other, “Better stock up! These are so fresh.” Those are the farmed, chemically treated “Easy Peel” ones from Cambodia.

“I will also attempt to hit up the Asian markets.---------- I truly cannot believe in a city the size of Los Angeles that my really fresh choices could so limited. “

When I was in LA, the big Chinese store there had plenty of good shrimps, including live ones in tanks. Interestingly, I can get “dry” scallops here in farmers markets.

dcarch


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

dcarch shows the exact photo what i was speaking of. Groceries buy it just like that. The 5lb box.
Easy to extract a few or 12 without thawing.
A hammer, or a big wack on a rock ,lol.
Ask. Or just demand good quality and you will find it without much more money.
I'm an ocean baby. Grew up on the Chesapeake. Eastern Shore. Spending August month on the water. Scallops, shrimp, uni, cod,... mussels gathered from my kayak. Off season, winter? I buy wild frozen.
Salmon and shrimp from known sources.


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

Yep, that's dcarch's picture I was referring to. What I bought (btw at Fairway, sleevendog) was a much more solid block. There was definitely no knocking that apart without tearing shrimp apart in the process. That was several years ago though. Next time domestics go on sale I'll try to buy them again. I do find they get funny about selling seafood straight from the back, frozen, for some reason.


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

I don't buy in large quantities. Most of hte time it's for DH and myself. I'd buy 5lbs of shrimp, but bags at $4 off? No, I'd rather have fresh stuff. And as you said, it's likely farmed carp from abroad. I'll have to search out more places to shop, but when I do my day to day marketing, I generally hit WFoods, Gelson's or TJ's.


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

  • Posted by triciae Zone 7 Coastal SE CT (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 18, 13 at 16:40

I don't look for sales on seafood. I search for quality as my criteria. Really fussy about seafood. Shrimp are a PITA the past few years. We're basically stopped eating shrimp.

Dry diver scallops are a good substitute for shrimp and, for us, thankfully, easy to obtain. Bomster scallops are available by just taking an enjoyable walk to the Stonington town dock. They are available 24/7. There's a case outside the store on the honor system. I love living in a small coastal village.

Bomster scallops are prized by top restaurants in both NYC and Boston as well as all along the eastern seaboard. Much better, for us, than trying to trace down good shrimp. We will not eat Asian shrimp. Period. I'd like to try the PNW spot prawns. Ann's pictures always look so good.

/tricia

This post was edited by triciae on Thu, Jul 18, 13 at 16:44


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

I like fried shrimp in restaurants, sometimes I eat a few off of Dad's plate, they aren't gourmet anything and yes, I know where they come from and what they are fed, but sometimes I just pretend I don't know. I haven't died yet, or even gotten sick.


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

They have good looking shrimp sitting on ice on the weekends in Costco.. But I have not tried them.

Last time I bought shrimp, at my quality grocery store, they were tasteless. A local Chinese restaurant has delish shrimp which I guess are sourced from Asian markets, here in Chicagoland.


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

Costco's shrimp originally was good, but the last time I tried it, the quality wasn't there. Then again their prepared shrimp cocktail appetizer used to be excellent, but then the quality of the shrimp sharply declined.


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

Here's a timely article in today's Yahoo news...

Here is a link that might be useful: Fish & Seafood to avoid


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

I have never liked pre-cooked shrimp. Not the prepared appetizers or the frozen stuff. Too easy to boil it yourself. I always cringe when I see a prepared shrimp cocktail 'ring' at a pot-luck, because someone wasted their money.

Edited to add that I will buy cooked tiny bay shrimp, but I hardly ever use those, just for salads.

This post was edited by sushipup on Fri, Jul 19, 13 at 13:03


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RE: Shrimp anyone?

I just returned from the farmer's market where I talked with the fish monger and his son. His shrimp is from shrimp boats that dock just a mile south of my home and his flounder is from the river that's a block from my home. Choices, choices. This a.m. I chose the flounder. Next week, probably the shrimp.

This small town has it's problems. Good seafood isn't one of them!


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