At first glance, it’s hard to tell the difference between shrimp and prawns, but there are key factors that set them apart. Although you might be tempted by the slightly larger size of a prawn, that extra bit of food doesn’t compare to the famous flavor of wild-caught shrimp from the Gulf. It’s important to make this distinction because “shrimp” are used as an umbrella term all too often when, in reality, the differences include taste, size, smell, color and habitat. Likewise, in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, “prawn” is used as the catch-all term. Although the two are classified as decapods (meaning they both have 10 legs), chefs and shrimpers all agree it’s important to distinguish between shrimp and prawn. Here, Biloxi Shrimp Co. further explains the differences and why you should opt for Gulf shrimp every time.
What Are Freshwater Prawns?
Prawns are typically found in colder, fresh or slightly brackish bodies of water. While they do tend to grow larger than shrimp, this means you’ll end up getting fewer prawns in a 1- or 2-pound bag. Since they spend their lives in less salty environments, prawns end up tasting slightly sweeter than shrimp. While this might not make a huge difference, they’ll probably need a little extra seasoning before mealtime. Here are a few things you can look for to determine whether or not you’re looking at a prawn:
- They have three plates. The first overlaps the second, while the second overlaps the third.
- They have no distinctive bend in their body shape.
- Their second set of pinchers are larger than the first.
What Are Fresh-Caught Wild Gulf Shrimp?
So, what sets Gulf shrimp apart from prawns? It begins with the warm salt water environment they’re raised in. Feeding and growing freely in the open waters of the Gulf, these shrimp have a slightly saltier taste. After these shrimp are caught, they are cleaned and individually quick frozen (IQF) by Biloxi Shrimp Co., which means you can defrost only what you need for dinner rather than having to defrost an entire bag of shrimp.
Because our shrimp are IQF, they stay fresher for a much longer time, which is why their fishy smell might be more potent than other prawns and shrimp. And since they keep in the freezer so well, they’ll be loaded with flavor! Here are some physical markers you should look for when buying wild Gulf shrimp:
- They are often smaller than prawns, with two pairs of legs and claws.
- They have three plates, but the second shell segment overlaps the first and third.
- They have a distinct bend to their body, which is why cooked shrimp have that classic ‘C’ shape.
- Their front pinchers are the largest.
Learn More About Our Gulf Shrimp Today
Finding the best shrimp can be a challenge, and it gets even harder when shrimp are confused with prawns. But thanks to the national shipping options from Biloxi Shrimp Co., finding high-quality, flavorful Gulf shrimp doesn’t have to be impossible. For more information, contact Biloxi Shrimp Co.