According to my bizarre food calendar, today is National Shrimp Day. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk a little about America's favorite shellfish. Most of the shrimp consumed in the United States comes from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the Gulf Coast. Generally speaking, the colder the water the smaller and more succulent the shrimp. Shrimp change color when you cook them due to a heat induced chemical change in their shells. Jumbo and colossal shrimp are referred to as prawns - although the prawn is actually a different species. Shrimp are available year round: shelled or unshelled, raw or cooked, fresh or frozen. Smell raw shrimp when purchasing it and look for an oceanside fragrance. Choose plump, juicy shrimp and rinse under cold water before tightly covering and refrigerating it. Shrimp can be used in a variety of dishes but classic shrimp cocktail is one of the best recipes to highlight the pure taste of fresh shrimp. For a simple appetizer recipe

Shrimp Cocktail
From Fisherman's Express

15 large uncooked shrimp
1/2 cup chili sauce
1 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup horseradish
1 drop hot sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt

  1. Clean shrimp by deveining and discarding heads and shell if present. Leave shrimp tails intact.
  2. Boil shrimp for about 3-4 minutes. Do not over cook as shrimp will become tough. Shrimp are done as soon as they become opaque.
  3. Combine all other ingredients to make sauce.
  4. Place 3-4 shrimp in individual serving dishes with greens and lemon garnish. Pour cocktail sauce over shrimp, or dip the shrimp in the sauce.

Serves 3 to 5.