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Burning Question: Is It Really Necessary to Devein Shrimp?

If you've peeled your own shrimp (and saved the shells for stock) at home recently, you may have encountered the quandary of whether or not to devein the shrimp. While most recipes call for shrimp to be peeled and deveined (removed of its intestinal tract), there are dissenters, like our very own PartySugar, who has learned from the Spanish that it's completely unnecessary to devein shrimp. So what's the real story?

It depends on the type of shrimp. When cooking with smaller shrimp that have a translucent-hued tract, deveining is unnecessary. Larger shrimp and jumbo prawns often have a dark, sandy intestinal tract. You won't fall ill from eating jumbo prawns if these aren't removed; however, it's recommended that you remove them, not only for cosmetic reasons, but also to avoid affecting the shrimp's clean taste.

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