Louisiana Shrimp Are Now in Season… Are You Ready?
You might be wondering exactly what I mean by “shrimp season.” After all, aren’t shrimp available year-round (at least all along the Gulf of Mexico)?
True. Shrimp are available year-round because shrimp freeze so well. But we do, in fact, have shrimp seasons here in Louisiana, and the season for brown shrimp just opened just a few weeks ago.
White Shrimp. Brown Shrimp… Is There a Difference?
Although there are six different species of shrimp in Louisiana waters, over 90% are known as either White Shrimp or Brown Shrimp. There are definite differences in taste between the two, but most folks argue that the difference is negligible. For many classic Louisiana recipes, the two can be used interchangeably.
White shrimp have traditionally been considered the premium large shrimp of Louisiana. Fishermen usually receive slightly more money for white shrimp than any other shrimp. White shrimp are slightly more tender than other shrimp and their shells are slightly softer and easier to peel than other shrimp. Also, large white shrimp do not develop the slight iodine taste that other large shrimp do.
Brown shrimp provide the bulk of Louisiana’s huge production of small shrimp. Differences between brown shrimp and white shrimp, especially in the smaller sizes, are very slight. Brown shrimp are slightly firmer shrimp and when they reach a large size, sometimes develop a slight iodine taste. This may or may not be noticeable to the average palate. But if you grew up eating shrimp regularly like I did, then my guess is that you can definitely tell the difference.
Brown shrimp typically are caught fresh April through February. However, the cooler temperatures we experienced this spring forced The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to postpone opening the season until mid-May.
According to Benjamin Alexander-Bloch of The Times-Picayune, “Young brown shrimp often begin spawning and moving into estuaries to grow in Texas and western Louisiana during February and March and then are most abundantly harvested in May, June and July, depending on environmental conditions. White shrimp mainly spawn in Louisiana estuaries in April and May and are mostly snatched up in August, September, and October…. However, adults of both species are available throughout most of the year. Typically, offshore waters are available for shrimping most of the year, although sections off Louisiana’s coast close between January and March.”
9 Classic Louisiana Shrimp Recipes (plus 3 more!)
Here are 9 classic Louisiana shrimp recipes for your cooking and dining enjoyment… plus 3 more! Let me know which ones are your favorites!
- Classic New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp
- Boiled Shrimp Louisiana-Style
- Shrimp Remoulade Salad
- Shrimp Étouffée
- Shrimp Creole
- Shrimp and Grits
- Shrimp & Okra Gumbo
- Shrimp Bisque
- Shrimp Chowder