Here in the Lowcountry, we are very proud of our much-loved shrimp. It is delicate, sweet in flavor and, in most of our opinions, the best to be found anywhere. The shrimping season revolves around the life cycle of shrimp. When it is time for the shrimp to spawn, the shrimping season is closed. After the shrimp are tested and have reached an acceptable size, the season reopens to commercial shrimpers.
Last Wednesday was the opening day for the trawlers. While crossing the bridge, I caught sight of my first trawler with its nets spread wide. Just knowing this delicacy is back makes me think of all the things we can do with shrimp. I was reminded by the Island Packet that Forrest Gump did a discourse about “the fruit of the sea”, as you may recall. Forrest did a treatise on all the ways to prepare shrimp. There are whole cookbooks written just for the preparation of this delightful delicacy.
To be sure you are getting the best shrimp, try to purchase it near the source of the shrimp boats throughout Beaufort County. Also, be sure to ask your server at the restaurant if the shrimp are local before placing your order.
The good news is that a larger harvest is expected this year than in recent years. A milder winter was a good start to a more bountiful harvest and potentially lower shrimp prices in the Lowcountry. There is no time like the present to start planning for your favorite shrimp specialties.