I usually like shrimp. Cold with cocktail sauce is fine, or splayed out neatly atop a little bundle of sushi rice is nice, but cooked is even better; stir-fried with teriaki and hot sauce, bundled up in a little har gow dumpling, sauteed with oil and garlic, deepfried with batter, bbq’d on skewers… there’s countless ways to make shrimp yummy.
At home I typically stir-fry them, or in summer I bbq them on skewers with some pineapple and a sweet-and-spicey sauce. Though if I’m feeling particularily lazy, I’ll just eat them cold a la shrimp cocktail. I usually get them in about the 25-count size. (This means, 25 to the pound.) It’s a good size, they’re not so tiny you have to deal with a million of them to make one meal, and not too expensive. The biggest ones, the 15-count, usually cost over a dollar each.
Recently I accidentally grabbed the wrong bag, and picked up the 15-count ones. The usual ones cost me about $10 / pound, these ones were about $17. But I wasn’t paying close attention and didn’t notice till I got home. I’d bought the dreaded…. Jumbo Shrimp.
“Jumbo Shrimp”. It is an oxymoron. Shrimp means tiny, jumbo means big. Big tiny. It doesn’t work.
Worse – jumbo shrimp are too big.. they’re just wrong. Cooked, peeled, deveined and with no heads and tails, they are just sort whitish pinkish things about 5 inches long, an inch across at the big end and just under 1/2 inch across at the small end.
Last time I had Jumbo Shrimp, it actually put me off shrimp for a year or two.
It’s not the taste – they taste like shrimp. It’s everything else. The size. The shape. The appearance.
I just can’t shake the impression that they are skinned, boned, deveined fingers from some big guy with fat fingers. Fat man fingers. Fat man finger cocktail.
So I had my Jumbo Shrimp last night.. and once more I have the fat man finger cocktail in my head and an uneasy feeling about all shrimps.