What Are... Shrimp?
It may seem like a silly question, but there's more to shrimp than meets the eye
Purchase only as much shrimp as needed since they are highly perishable. Ideally, "fresh" raw shrimp should be used within 24 hours. Frozen shrimp, however, can be stored for up to three months. Keep in mind, however, that the majority of shrimp sold has actually already been frozen and is sold thawed, and should not be placed in the freezer again.
Most of the flavor in shrimp actually comes from the shell, so you may want to consider purchasing shell-on shrimp and cooking them in the shell. Peeling them after they're cooked may seem like an extra step, but it also means a juicier and more flavorful eating experience. Of course, whether this is practical and sensible or not will depend on the recipe.
Keep in mind also, when deveining shrimp you may see two "veins" running along the body of the shrimp — one on the outside of the curve and one on the inside. The one that should be removed is the one that runs along the outside, which is the digestive tract. To save time however, it is also possible to purchase shrimp that are already peeled and deveined.
And last, but not least, when selecting shrimp, always select shrimp that smell fresh, are firm, and free from any black spots. Avoid shrimp that smell, are slimy, or mushy. Shellfish decompose quickly when removed from their native habitat and shrimp are no exception.
There you have it — armed with a few juicy tips, you should be well on your way to shrimp-eating heaven.
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