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traditional shrimp and grits recipe

traditional shrimp and grits recipe

traditional shrimp and grits recipe

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Shrimp are decapod crustaceans with elongated bodies and a primarily swimming mode of locomotion – most commonly Caridea and Dendrobranchiata. More narrow definitions may be restricted to Caridea, to smaller species of either group or to only the marine species. Under a broader definition, shrimp may be synonymous with prawn, covering stalk-eyed swimming crustaceans with long, narrow muscular tails (abdomens), long whiskers (antennae), and slender legs.[1]
Any small crustacean which resembles a shrimp tends to be called one.[2] They swim forward by paddling with swimmerets on the underside of their abdomens, although their escape response is typically repeated flicks with the tail driving them backwards very quickly. Crabs and lobsters have strong walking legs, whereas shrimp have thin, fragile legs which they use primarily for perching.[3]

pawning season

Shrimp are widespread and abundant. There are thousands of species adapted to a wide range of habitats. They can be found feeding near the seafloor on most coasts and estuaries, as well as in rivers and lakes. To escape predators, some species flip off the seafloor and dive into the sediment.[3] They usually live from one to seven years.[4] Shrimp are often solitary, though they can form large schools during the spawning season.[3][5]

traditional shrimp and grits recipe
traditional shrimp and grits recipe

They play important roles in the food chain and are an important food source for larger animals ranging from fish to whales. The muscular tails of many shrimp are edible to humans, and they are widely caught and farmed for human consumption. Commercial shrimp species support an industry worth 50 billion dollars a year,[3] and in 2010 the total commercial production of shrimp was nearly 7 million tonnes. Shrimp farming became more prevalent during the 1980s, particularly in China, and by 2007 the harvest from shrimp farms exceeded the capture of wild shrimp.

25 cm

There are significant issues with excessive bycatch when shrimp are captured in the wild, and with pollution damage done to estuaries when they are used to support shrimp farming. Many shrimp species are small as the term shrimp suggests, about 2 cm (0.79 in) long, but some shrimp exceed 25 cm (9.8 in). Larger shrimp are more likely to be targeted commercially and are often referred to as prawns, particularly in Britain.




You want the nice, big, pretty shrimp: a 15-20 count like in my shrimp scampi recipe. These babies are the main star of our shrimp and grits so we want them to be a nice size.

I used wild-caught Red Royal shrimp since they’re local and fresh here in Florida, but I do suggest you use frozen shrimp if you’re not comfortable with fresh, since health and safety is incredibly important when dealing with seafood, especially shrimp since it goes bad quickly.

To learn how to choose fresh shrimp and what’s up with frozen shrimp, click here.


There are plenty of ways to season your shrimp, don’t be afraid to play with some old bay, some cajun seasoning, add in that holy trinity, whatever you want. I like giving it some flavor with a little bacon fat.

It’s optional, but since I’m usually making bacon with a big breakfast anyway, I melt in the butter with my reserved bacon fat and it’s just amazingly delicious.

Seriously, don’t skip the bacon. Put some chopped bacon in your shrimp and grits, too; it’s a delicious addition and adds a nice crunchy texture to those tender, plump shrimp and the creamy grits.

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