National Shrimp Day
Even though salmon might be America’s favorite type of fish, it’s shrimp that takes the prize for favorite seafood. According to the World Wildlife Fund, Americans eat approximately 4 pounds of shrimp per every man, woman, and child. That’s a lot of shrimp, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that someone just had to invent National Shrimp Day. This holiday falls on May 10th every year and allows Americans to eat even more shrimp than they already do.
The History Of Shrimp
Since we couldn’t uncover the history of National Shrimp Day, we thought that we’d do a history of shrimp—although we do admit that sounds kind of funny. After all, shrimp have been around for at least 200 million years, and through all that time, they’re virtually unchanged. So, we’re not actually going to discuss the history of shrimp, but we’re going to instead talk about the history of shrimp in human cuisine.
Shrimp as a human food source goes all the way back to ancient times. In old Greek and Roman texts, there are plenty of allusions to shrimp in everyday life and in cuisine. It’s likely that shrimp goes back even further than 4,000 years and may even go back as far as 100,000 years.
Modern shrimp harvesting in the U.S. goes back to the 17th century. This is when residents of the Louisiana territories used giant seines to scoop up batches of shrimp. Around World War II, mechanized methods of shrimp harvesting began to be put into use, thereby increasing the yield of shrimp that could be caught at one time.
Facts About Shrimp
As we researched National Shrimp Day, we came across some interesting facts that we thought everyone interested in this holiday would like to read. So without further ado, below are some fun facts about shrimp.
- Americans eat over 1.32 billion pounds of shrimp per year. That’s 1/5th of the world’s supply.
- Five billion pounds of shrimp are harvested every year.
- Some shrimp are capable of living up to 6.5 years, although some species have a significantly shorter lifespan.
- There are almost 130 different species of shrimp.
- Scampi is shrimp that’s been broiled or sautéed—usually in butter and garlic.
- The average shrimp has approximately 10 legs.
Celebrating National Shrimp Day
National Shrimp Day is easily celebrated by a person taking the time to enjoy a plate of shrimp in some form. This could be a shrimp cocktail, shrimp scampi, or even a seafood gumbo. A great way to enjoy shrimp is to make a shrimp DeJonghe—a dish that’s a casserole of whole shrimp that has been covered in bread crumbs and baked. No matter how you enjoy your shrimp, however, just be sure to use the hashtag #NationalShrimpDay on all of your social media accounts to let everyone know that you’re eating some of the 1 billion shrimp harvested every year.