There’s nothing tiny or insignificant about today’s food holiday. May 10 is National Shrimp Day!
Shrimp is the #1 seafood in America, ranking ahead of canned tuna and salmon in popularity. And yet, we should be eating even more, according to the USDA, which recommends 8 ounces of seafood every week. Shrimp have long been a popular and tasty food choice; evidence of shrimping off North America dates back to 600 AD. Native Americans caught shrimp in traps made from branches and Spanish moss, while at the same time early European settlers – who had no idea shrimp were so abundant off the coasts – were starving to death because they couldn’t find enough protein. During the California gold rush, Chinese immigrants began catching shrimp in San Francisco Bay, drying them in the sun, and either exporting them to China or selling them locally, officially kicking off the shrimp industry in the U.S. Shrimp trawling, a technique in which a boat drags a big net across the bottom of the ocean floor in order to scoop up shrimp, resulted in large harvests and revolutionized the industry. Shrimping grounds expanded, and the delicate seafood could now be enjoyed year-round. Shrimp got another marketing boon when Bubba from Forrest Gump waxed philosophically over his love for the crustacean. Suddenly, there were real-life Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurants everywhere. Talk about life imitating art.
I love shrimp, and enjoy it in a variety of presentations. For today’s challenge, Tara and I decided to pick up some fresh-caught shrimp from the seafood counter at Fred Meyer. We marinated it in a Mojito Lime sauce, stuck it on skewers, and grilled it for dinner. Mmm!