- Shrimp and their importance in cooking
- What is a caliber?
- Small shrimps
- Medium shrimp
- Large and extra large
- What are cocktail shrimp?
- How to choose shrimp
- Decorative value
- Giant shrimp: myths and reality
Our article will not only help you learn how to determine the size of shrimp, but also tell you about these unusual creatures. Today, shrimp are distributed almost throughout the planet. These marine inhabitants have also mastered many fresh water bodies, but even this seemed not enough to lovers of their valuable and tasty meat. That is why shrimp are also artificially grown on farms. There are a huge number of species that differ from each other in taste, color, composition, size.
Some breeds were bred artificially, but not at all for later consumption, but for the sake of aesthetic pleasure. Aquarium shrimps also come in different sizes: both large and small. Anyone who loves the magical underwater world can populate the aquarium with the inhabitants they like.
You will learn from our article a lot of useful things for anyone who is interested in shrimp: size, photo, color, culinary value and many other interesting facts about these animals.
Shrimp belong to the class of Higher Crayfish. The closest relatives of these arthropods are crabs, crayfish, wood lice and amphipods.
As you might guess from the name of the squad(Decapods), shrimp have 5 pairs of legs. Almost all representatives of the infraorder also have a pair of whiskers.
The body of the shrimp is segmented, the tail is bent towards the abdomen. Sexual dimorphism is practically not expressed, but in most species the male is slightly more intensely colored than the female. But during the breeding season, you can quickly identify a female by the presence of a clutch of eggs, which is stored on the abdomen between the legs.
Specialists have a huge number of types of shrimp. The size of their representatives varies from 2 to 30 centimeters.
Shrimp and their importance in cooking
It is difficult to list all the peoples in the world who consider shrimp a national product. They are adored by Italians and French, Spaniards and Greeks, residents of South America, Australia, Oceania, the Far East and many other regions in which this arthropod lives. Some cuisines of the world are simply impossible to imagine without shrimp dishes: boiled, grilled, smoked, marinated, fried with hot spices.
Shrimp is served in both inexpensive bars and luxurious restaurants. The price tag for dishes with them varies in a huge range. Luckily, you don't have to go to a restaurant to enjoy this delicacy, you can make them at home.
Once upon a time, residents of many regions remote from the seas and oceans could only dream of such dishes and enjoy them only on trips. But these days, many species are quite affordable. In any supermarketyou can easily find shrimp. Size 90 is considered the most common. But what does this number mean? We'll figure it out now.
What is a caliber?
Surely you have come across similar markings when choosing products. The word "caliber" can be read not only on the packaging of shrimp, but also on a jar of olives, olives and other delicacies. Of course, we are talking about size. The size indicates the size of the shrimp.
What does the number mean? The answer to this question is easy to remember. We are talking about the number of individuals in a kilogram. It follows from this that the smaller the number, the larger the size of the shrimp. Each caliber is good in its own way and suitable for different dishes.
In many countries of the world, such a trifle is not very popular. But the size of shrimp 90/120 has a number of advantages. The main advantage of a small caliber, as you might guess, is the price.
Small shrimps are great for adding to salads, smoothies, sauces. You can decorate them with toasts, canapes, vol-au-vents, pizza, sandwiches. You can also make soup with 90/120 shrimp.
The color of most varieties ranges from soft pink to rich peach. The taste of small shrimp is usually pronounced.
There is an even smaller caliber of shrimp. Surely everyone who has ever been to Odessa has tried or at least seen an unusual delicacy, which the locals call crustaceans. This species is found in the coastal zone of the Black Sea, and only gauze and a bucket are required to catch it. Mostcountries of the world, similar varieties are used only in the preparation of feed for animals and commercial fish, but every inhabitant of Odessa considers a small bag of crustaceans to be one of the symbols of South Palmyra. This trifle is prepared quite simply - boiled in s alted boiling water.
Shrimp size 70/90 is often chosen by those who are going to cook pasta or pilaf. This category is also relatively affordable.
As we already know, this marking indicates the number of shrimp. In one kilogram there can be 72, and 79, and 85.
Shrimp this size are most often caught in the Atlantic Ocean.
Large and extra large
Many mistakenly believe that the larger the shrimp, the tastier and more expensive it is. Unfortunately, this common misconception plays into the hands of unscrupulous sellers who diligently cultivate it. In order not to get into trouble, it is worth studying this issue in more detail.
Surely you are familiar with such a name as king prawns. Their sizes are large, as are the prices for dishes with such an ingredient. But is the excitement justified? In fact, the name "king prawns" has nothing to do with science. This kind simply does not exist. With these beautiful words, sellers and cooks call completely different varieties of shrimp in order to sell them at a higher price. Often even not very tasty breeds grown on farms are called royal. To get large samples, not the most useful components that provoke growth are added to the feed. True connoisseurs are unlikely to encroach on thisquestionable product.
Ocean giants are another matter. The maximum size of tiger prawns can reach 30 centimeters. Their caliber is 2-3 individuals per kilo. It is easy to recognize this species, because the dark transverse stripes fully justify the name. Unfortunately, in our time, you can also run into a fake, because these shrimp also learned to breed artificially, so it is important to know how to choose a quality product.
What are cocktail shrimp?
It should be understood that when it comes to caliber, we mean a whole shrimp, with a shell, legs and head. But along with unpeeled ones, there are also so-called cocktail shrimp on sale. This term means that the product is completely cleaned, and sometimes even boiled before freezing.
Of course, if you peel a kilogram of 90-caliber shrimp, then the weight of the carcasses will be much less than a kilogram. The difference can reach 40-50%, that is, peeled shrimp per kilogram will no longer be 90, but 170-180.
Another way to outsmart the customer lies in the technological features of freezing. Dry freezing practically does not change their structure and perfectly preserves the product. But in domestic supermarkets, another category is more common - glazed shrimp. This "delicious" word means nothing more than ordinary water. Due to the fact that the body of the shrimp is covered with a layer of ice, a much smaller amount will fit in a kilogram. Keep in mind that shrimp are artificially oversized if you see the label “glazed” on the package.
How to choose shrimp
You have already guessed many of the pitfalls. Our little cheat sheet will help you not get confused in the store when choosing the best shrimp.
- Give preference to the packaged product, not loose. Packaging is harder to fake.
- Pay attention to the country of origin. The best shrimp are caught by Norwegian, Danish, Finnish companies. An excellent product is provided by the Japanese (although it is more expensive and less common). Pretty good Russian shrimp. But most of the shrimp from the Far East are raised in captivity.
- Pay special attention to the ice. It should not be on the shrimp themselves or in the pack.
- Cocktail shrimp that have been steamed or boiled have a shorter shelf life than raw shrimp. Look at the numbers.
Did you know that shrimp can be bred in a regular aquarium? Many breeds get along well with non-aggressive fish and other neighbors. But some prefer to be alone.
If you want to get such a pet, be sure to consult a specialist who can give recommendations on care, regimen, feed.
The average size of shrimp for an aquarium is small. Most of them reach an average of 5-6 cm. But the color variety is truly huge! You can choose from blue, black, red, yellow, spotted and even completely transparent.
Giant shrimp: myths and reality
Have you heardscary stories about giant squids and octopuses? Maybe there are other underwater inhabitants, the size of which is much larger than encyclopedias say?
In the case of shrimp, we are unlikely to be sensational. In any case, there is no information, even indirect and doubtful, at present. Shrimp size does not exceed 30 cm.
Often langoustines are confused with shrimps. But these are completely different animals, albeit similar in appearance. In order not to be considered ignorant and not to be confused, it is enough to remember that the langoustine has claws.
As we could see, the variety of shrimp is very large. We hope that our article told you something new about these unusual creatures.