All the along the Gulf Coast, from Texas to the Florida border, you’ll find enterprising families who have made their living shrimpin’ for generations. Some small boats with a single operator, some large fleets which have become good sized corporations. If you’re interested, try and catch reruns of the reality show that follows some operators out of Alabama.
While many of the families have been in the biz for decades, Vietnamese immigrants have also taken to the business, and you’ll find a lot of them operating on the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.
I headed down to Highway 23 out of New Orleans, toward’s “land’s end” and the port of Venice, stopping at a small processing factory where you could buy shrimp off the boat, at extremely reasonable prices (nearly a 10th of what one would pay in the Upper Midwest, and about 40% less than in the stores in New Orleans).
Picked up ten pounds, some to share with BurgerDogDaughter for a shrimp boil (pronounced “berl’ down thataway) and some to tote back.
A shrimp or crawfish boil is a no muss, no fuss easy dinner to share with a large group.
Get a giant pot of water set to aboilin’, and add your favorite brand of boil seasoning. (liquid or powder).
- Drop in a mess o baby potatoes.
- After 30 minutes, add Andouille or smoked sausage pieces. Ten minutes later, add corn cobbettes, and my daughter tossed in mushrooms as well. A few minutes prior to serving, turn off the water, and toss in the shrimp (or crab or crawfish or all), and it’ll be ready in a jiff.
- Traditional serving method would be to drain the water and pour the contents out on newspapers spread over a picnic table.
- Grab, peel, and eat. Fantastic.
If you’re in the mood for a shrimp adventure when in the area, you can go out for a half day trip out of Gulfport or Biloxi, learn how the biz works, and keep your catch! Example.
BUY AMERICAN SEAFOOD! Support our “ocean’s farmers.”
Crawfish boil recipe