Types of Shrimp

Published on: Jan 26 2011 by Zaheer

Shrimp is a kind of small shellfish or decapods crustaceans found in both fresh and salty waters. It has a sweet, tender taste and is available the entire year. Shrimp is rich in protein and has very low quantity of carbohydrates, fats and calories naturally. Shrimp is also a great source of getting omega-3 fatty acid, which medical science has proved that is very good in lessening the chances of heart attack. Those who are health conscious and want to lead a healthy life can opt for shrimp.

In United States of America, shrimp is the most famous seafood. It is a great natural resource to obtain protein. Shrimp are produced away from shores in the deep water in the season from early spring to early fall. A single female shrimp produce thousands of eggs which spawn within 24 hours. The newly born shrimp are taken to the coastal estuaries with flow of water. In the warm temperatures, shrimp really grow very rapidly. A shrimp has an average life of thirteen months or even less.

Most of the shrimp are collected in Florida which is known for producing quality shrimp. Depending on their shell color, shrimp are grouped into four types: pink, brown, royal red and white. There is a fifth type also which is known as rock shrimp that has shell is rock solid.

A brief description of all the five types of shrimp is given below:

Pink Shrimp

Pink shrimp are the major wild-caught shrimp in Florida. Pink shrimp are commonly produced in the Gulf and southern waters of Florida. It has a sweet, tender taste. The shrimp found in Florida bear light pink shells along with pearl like texture. Few of them have a pink-colored dot on their heads. The shrimp found in Gulf are lemon yellow or brownish in appearance. They have a firm texture with tender taste.

Pink shrimp found in Gulf region are known as the largest species of shrimp which can grow up to the length of 11 inches and have a life span of about 24 months. The peak season of shrimp collection is in spring and fall, i.e. from March to May and from October to December. These are also available in the frozen form the whole year.

White Shrimp

White shrimp is another type of shrimp which grow in the direction of Northwest Florida Atlantic coast. It is popular seafood among the residents and tourists. Wild-caught shrimp has a very delicious sweet flavor, having a firm texture. Due to its crunchiness, it has been used in several recipes. Despite the fact that they are given the name white shrimp, they have shell of greenish-gray or bluish-gray in color; however, it turned to pink once cooked. The peak growing season of shrimp is from March to November. They have a size of about 8 inches with a life span of around 24 months. They are collected in the months from October to December.

Brown Shrimp

Brown shrimp is a kind of shrimp which is available in Atlantic and Gulf waters the entire year; however, the peak productive season is from June to August. They have reddish brown shells and are therefore given the name brown shrimp. They bear a firm texture than white or pink shrimp. Also, their flavor is also stronger. They have a life span of 18 months and can grow up to 9 inches.

Royal Red Shrimp

Royal red shrimp have strong, deep red color. They are known for their unique taste which has no substitute. They have a soft, flimsy texture. Royal red shrimps are rich in salt contents and don’t require any addition of the salt while cooking them. Royal red shrimp are also used to make tasteful and colorful sauces by boiling them for extended time. The peak season of fish for shrimp in the deep Atlantic waters away from the coast of St. Augustine is from late summer to fall. They are hard to fish because they enjoy living in the deep water, to say 2400 feet deep where they enjoy a particular temperature. Royal red shrimp and brown shrimp are often exchanged for each other in the recipes.

Rock Shrimp

Florida rock shrimp is often referred to as the small lobster. It usually found in deep water as compared to pink, brown or white shrimp. It has a sweet, tender taste with a firm texture. Rock shrimp are given this name because they have a shell which as hard as a rock. Rock shrimp can be fished the whole year closed to the Atlantic coast and also in some regions of Gulf of Mexico. They are small in size as compared to other shrimp and can grow only to 21-25 pound. These are available in the seafood markets in the United States in raw form where they are peeled. You can have it fresh or even in frozen form throughout the year.

Rock shrimp are sweet and tender in flavor with a chewy, delicate texture. The rock shrimp when cooked turn plump with white color with red skin tones. Their smaller size reduces their cooking time and also allows them to use them with paste, rice and salad.

Health Benefits

As far as health benefits are concerned, shrimp are a great source of protein as four ounce of them can give you about half the RDA of protein.

Another benefit of shrimp is that they are not just rich in protein contents but also has very low contents of carbohydrates, fats and calories. So, they outclass the meat and dairy products in this manner. Although, meat and dairy products are also rich in protein but they also contain high contents of calories.

Apart from that, shrimp are also a good source of vitamin B12, iron, zinc, iodine, potassium, selenium, sodium and magnesium which are good for bones, teeth and skin.


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