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Gulf of Maine Shrimp - 2005/2006


johnnyd
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True.

If they aren't called for at auction, there is no rule saying shrimp HAVE TO be landed at the Fish pier there, they can land anywhere.

Typically, a boat captain gets a call from someone who brokers shrimp to retail/restaurants saying the supply is low and theyneed more. The two agree on a price range (I hear a dollar a pound guaranteed right now) and out he goes to fish.

The boat is met at a pier anywhere on the coast and broker drives away with a mess of shrimp to deliver to expectant customers.

The Portland Fish Auction will serve processors who bid on large consignments. The article mentioned upthread told of Cozy Harbor Seafoods here in Portland was guaranteeing $1/lb so at least some shrimp harvested gets to their processing plant.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Today WHole Foods has printed up a couple of colorful little signs emphasizing "This Week's Special!" "Always Fresh!" "Limited Season!" and the like. Whatever the reason, they are trying to push the shrimp.

I haven't been able to cook this week for various reasons, & won't this weekend either, & it's driving me CRAZY!!!!!!

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Portland Fish Exchange Shrimp Auction - January 14, thru January 21, 2006:

6055 lbs consigned

0000 lbs sold

$0.00 - low bid

$0.00 - average

$0.00 - high bid

:angry:

So, Johnny, forgive my ignorance, but it would seem that, based on this, the fishermen and -women are basically fucked?

As someone who tries to buy these beauties whenever the season's on (and the grandson of a Gloucesterman), I find this remarkably depressing -- particularly given the frozen crap that gets $10-15/lb around here.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Chris, it appears so. :sad: The fishermen are pissed off too. All these shrimp! Such a long season! No buyers... yet.

As the press reports, the availability of other shrimp has squashed the bids for Maine product, which when processed, are pretty much like all the rest, maybe less desirable because of their small size and delicate nature. But fresh they are incredible! The deal then is the shipping radius and then cleaning them. To anyone reading this the cleaning part is worth it, but then, we're not normal. :wink: To the masses, they aren't worth the trouble.

This animal needs some smart marketing, a novel campaign that makes you look stupid if you don't buy Maine Shrimp...

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Considering that farmed Thailand shrimp are, at a minimum, $2.00 per lb more expensive than the Mainers (at least in these parts), there's also a price differential to be touted.

Not to mention the "Buy American" thing.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Or what about one of those "Shrimps Ah in Season, Ayup!" sorts of things. Play on the accent and availability -- make the "limited time" be the selling point: they're fresh, plentiful, cheap, delicious.

Man, we could market these things.... :angry:

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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We have to look back to when Lobsters morphed from prison food in the 19th century to the luxury item it is today. What kicked that animal up the star ladder? What was the tipping point? Why can't we do the same trick for Maine Shrimp? :huh:

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Agreed, it's a total shame that the fishermen cannot find a market for Maine Shrimp. Being new to Maine, I had only heard of them a few times and read a brief mention of them in the N.Y. Times a couple years back.

In my opinion, Tiger Shrimp are overwhelmingly bland and would hardly ever consider cooking with them. Have you ever tried to make a stock with the shells? Don't bother, for there is no flavor and the remainder is pretty much tinted water.

The average American is so used to a larger, uniform size due to the popularity of shrimp cocktail and "shrimp scampi" style pasta dishes, that they overlook Maine shrimp - likely due to being whole and shell-on and probably don't even notice the substantially lower cost.

As I related in an earlier post, 5# was incredibly cheap and was the source of three meals last weekend. I have a catering job in February and will definitely be spotlighting Maine seafood and showing off these beauties.

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Portland Fish Exchange Shrimp Auction - January 21, thru January 27, 2006:

18,721 lbs consigned

0000 lbs sold

$0.00 - low bid

$0.00 - average

$0.00 - high bid

Well, I don't see any point in posting the Auction results anymore - :hmmm: - except that about four times the amount of shrimp were harvested than last week. I suppose someone gave someone else a call and said "come and get 'em"...

I have a week off in mid Feb so I'll have time to go out and get some answers. Stay tuned.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Sometimes I wonder if we partly have ourselves to blame for things like this. I rarely freeze seafood, yet remember as a kid deheading and freezing fifty to a hundred lbs of Maine shrinp at a time to last us through the rest of the year. I don't really remember a huge taste discrepancy between fresh and frozen Maine shrimp. Has our commitment to fresh, seasonal, regional food has led us down this path to where our local industries are suffering because they have no market?

Clearly, I live and work with a commitment to fresh, regional, and seasonal food, but where would we be without preserved foods like salting, pickling, canning, and the like?

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Are you still seeing the shrimp in the fish market(s) in Portland? If they're not being bought at the auction, I wonder where it all goes. Please don't tell me they're all dumped back in the sea... :sad:

They certainly aren't giving away 18,000 lbs. to friends!

Well, if they are and they're reading this - can I be your friend?!

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Interesting idea to prepare them as New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp. I had eaten at Pascale Manale's a couple of times while my brother attended Tulane - where they created the dish and made it famous. What is your recipe? Do you keep the shells and tails on?

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I had placed an order from Browne Trading for various seafood items for this weekend and asked for some of these beauties. Unfortunately and for some reason they were not included in the order when it arrived. :sad:

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

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New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

1 stick butter

1/3 c Worcestershire Sc.

1t salt

1t pepper

1t cayenne

1t thyme

2t garlic puree(chopped works fine too)

2t rosemary

1/2 t celery seed

1t olive oil

Combine all ingredients in sauce pan bring up to, but do not allow to, boil. Remove and cool. Pour over shrimp, marinate overnight. Bake 350.

I leave shell on(extra flavor and more moist) and if small, i eat the shells if soft.. With Maine shrimp, or smaller, much less marinating time is required, but its a matter of taste. Enjoy!!

P.S. Requires lots of baguettes!

Edited by Timh (log)
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New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

1 stick butter

1/3 c Worcestershire Sc.

1t salt

1t pepper

1t cayenne

1t thyme

2t garlic puree(chopped works fine too)

2t rosemary

1/2 t celery seed

1t olive oil

Combine all ingredients in sauce pan bring up to, but do not allow to, boil. Remove and cool.  Pour over shrimp, marinate overnight. Bake 350.

I leave shell on(extra flavor and more moist) and if small, i eat the shells if soft.. With Maine shrimp, or smaller, much less marinating time is required, but its a matter of taste. Enjoy!!

P.S. Requires lots of baguettes!

Timh,

Are the rosemary and thyme measurements for dried or fresh?

Thanks

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Ran into a gentleman a couple nights ago that used to throw around a lot of money at the bar after some good shrimping - that was years ago.

That night he was dropping off a ziploc stuffed with fresh shrimp for the cute bartender. I asked how things were going this year thinking we could start a conversation and I could learn something.

He looked at me for a bit, then turned, zipped up his coat and left without saying a word.

Are you still seeing the shrimp in the fish market(s) in Portland?

Haven't been to Harbor Fish Market this week but Hanneford supermarket had headless for $3.99/lb. Loaded up for Superbowl.

Edited by johnnyd (log)

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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  • 3 weeks later...

My local Whole Foods hasn't had the Maine shrimp for at least 3 weeks right now. Which was depressing in a general sort of way, but I didn't have a night clear for the prep & cooking over that stretch so no biggie personally.

Happily, my local Stop & Shop still has them, $5.99, or $4.99 with store card. However I got a pound for free last night because they had no one to man the seafood counter (!) & the store manager, who eventually wound up bagging them, took pity on me for all I had to go through to find him. Good customer relations, guess where I'm gonna make an effort to shop from now on. They had some terrific looking flounder too for about half the price of Whole Foods'.

Anyway, got the shrimp on ice &, finally, gonna cook tonight.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Now for a a derogatory point concerning Maine shrimp. Since moving here to Portland and experimenting with these delights, I have had anywhere from great to mixed results. I think that the glut of product and the handling of the shrimp - both Harbor and Free Range have them out atop ice, but when you think of thirty pounds of shrimp stacked 8-10" above the ice, they are bound to be held at a warmer than desired temperature. My last two purchases have actually turned out to be partially spoiled. I know what you are thinking of leaving the bag of shrimp in the refrigerator for a few days, but I shelled them promptly and cooked them in a span of a couple hours both times and then sat there pondering how I was going to throw out that night's dinner. By the way, the smell after cooking is incredibly bad and worse if it sits in the trash bin overnight

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They do go quickly, at least after they get to Jersey, even if you store them properly. I have little experience with other fresh shrimp so don't have a standard of comparison (I usually go for fish).

Still, when they're good, I love the flavor.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Now that harvesting is spotty, the number of days shrimp are out of the water is suspect. I've rarely had a problem with Harbor Fish's shrimp (I bought their last pound and a half y'day afternoon) but almost always have a problem at Free Range. Surprisingly, Hannaford sells headless for $3.99/lb and I've never had problems with their product, which they always seem to have on hand.

Either way, I cook them off no later than the second day to prevent spoilage if I can't think of anything interesting to try. I can always stir up some cooked shrimp for an excellent sandwich or add to a chowder.

I'm going to try TimH's New Orleans barbeque shrimp with this bag and see what happens :smile: I take it that's for two pounds of shrimp?

Edited by johnnyd (log)

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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I agree on the taste and succulence of Maine Shrimp when the getting is good, but I have been burned the last two times. Overall, I think the quality of Harbor is above par, although I think their prices are a bit high across the board. It seems like they have four employees working even for the slowest shifts, usually with a girl sitting on the stool by the register. Maybe its just me, but with one less hourly wage to pay, perhaps their prices would be more in line. At least its not Scales though, that are paying 4-5 people to do crossword puzzles on the concrete bartop.

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