Shrimp are decapod (10-legged) crustaceans that have large, well-developed eyes and long antennae. Most shrimp spawn offshore in deep water from early spring through early fall. Young shrimp are carried by currents into coastal estuaries to mature.
Shrimp is the most popular and valuable seafood in the United States, and Florida is an important supplier. Florida harvests four species of commercial-value shrimp: pink shrimp (Penaeus duorarum), brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus), white shrimp (Penaeus setiferus), and royal red shrimp (Pleoticus robustus). Most shrimp harvested in Florida are the pink type.
Pink shrimp found along the Atlantic coast are usually brown; those found along the northern Gulf coast are often lemon-yellow; and those found in the Florida Tortugas are pink. White shrimp are grayish white with a green, red, or blue tinge on the tail and legs. Royal red shrimp are usually deep red but are sometimes grayish pink.
Shrimp has a sweet flavor and firm bite that just about everybody finds appealing. It’s very versatile and lends itself well to baking, boiling, frying, grilling, and steaming.