Sunday, October 17, 2010

Black Tiger Shrimp

Black Tiger Shrimps are commonly found in Southeast Asia. These shrimp are shipped raw shell-on, EZ Peel, PTO, cooked and other value added presentations.

Black Tiger Shrimp are a highly adaptable seafood for the kitchen, suitable for all cooking methods.

Most Black Tiger Shrimp available in the United States are raw, shell-on, EZ Peel and CPTO. Most Asian consumers prefer raw Head On.

Black Tiger Shrimp have brown, blue, gray and black striped shells which cook to a pink, orange and red color.

Occasionally you may find shrimp that have paper-thin or soft shells. These are simply shrimp that molted shortly before being harvested; they are of the same quality as others with more solid shells. All shrimp are in a continuous cycle of molting as they grow, exchanging their snug, smaller shell for a new thin shell that hardens until the next molt. Black tiger shrimp grow especially quickly, because they are grown in warm, tropical waters, so they molt quite often.

The shrimp are sometimes sold in the retail sector with classifications of medium or large, while industry sizing is based on a per-pound value. For a shrimp labeled 21/25, there will be between 21 and 25 shrimp in one pound. The smaller the number, the larger the shrimp.

Black tiger shrimp are the single most widely distributed and marketed shrimp in the world. Harvests occur along coastlines in a eastward arc from the southern tip of Africa almost to the Sea of Japan. About 80 percent of the black tigers on the market are farmed, with the remainder coming from various Asian countries. These shrimp are easy to farm, because they are quite adaptable and thrive in a wide range of environments.

Black tiger shrimp are widely available year-round, although the supply of farmed shrimp peaks in February and September and prices should be somewhat lower then. Generally, the larger the shrimp, the higher the price.

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