As frequent visitors to the Georgia and North Carolina coasts, our family devours shrimp in many forms – cocktail, fried, grilled, scampi and more. But in my land-locked hometown of Charlotte, finding shrimp to equal the “fresh off the boat” variety presents quite a challenge.
After buying a funky-tasting batch from the other side of the world, I vowed to cook only with shrimp caught in the United States. I can usually find decent Gulf Coast shrimp at our local Harris Teeter stores, but the best find is Georgia shrimp occasionally available at Whole Foods.
During our recent trip to Brunswick, Georgia, we decided to bring home a stash from the city once known as the “shrimp capital of the world”. Shrimp still flourishes on the South Georgia coast, though Mazatlan, Mexico currently holds the aforementioned title.
My mother-in-law brought me to stock up a cooler at City Market, her go-to spot for seafood near downtown. Operated by the same family since 1948, City Market sells fresh shrimp caught by local fisherman and delivered to their packing house on the Brunswick River. I picked up four pounds of large Georgia shrimp for $9.99 per lb., medium shrimp sold for $6.99 per lb. We refrigerated the shrimp until our trip home, then packed up a cooler with ice and placed in the freezer upon arrival.
We defrosted a batch to make shrimp scampi at home the following week, marveling at the superior taste of the Georgia specialty. You don’t have to make a pilgrimage to the Golden Isles to buy some of the best shrimp in the country - City Market ships via their online store at: http://www.citymarketseafood.com/
We always follow and highly recommend this Tyler Florence recipe for shrimp scampi from FoodNetwork.com. And of course for a favorite Southern dish, nothing compares to the Crook’s Corner recipe for Shrimp and Grits via Southern Living.
To learn more about Georgia Shrimp, visit: http://www.wildgeorgiashrimp.com/