Friday, October 7, 2011

Exclaiming over pond-raised prawns

“This is the best shrimp fettuccini alfredo I’ve ever had!” my husband, Jim, said as he ate his meal last night. He then went on to list the Italian restaurants where he had learned to love the dish, saying he couldn’t order it at any of those places again after being spoiled by the taste of what we made at home.

Although I would like to take credit for preparing an out-of-this-world alfredo sauce, the difference was in the shrimp.

Two weeks ago when a local farm, Kemper Lane Greenhouse, harvested their prawns (the name for freshwater shrimp), Jim was there to buy some. He even got down in the mud to get some of them. Then he removed their heads and pulled out the mud vein, put them on a tray in the freezer to flash freeze, then bagged them up. He had been asking for the fettuccini alfredo since then.

I obliged with a 15-minute recipe I’ve been using for years, preparing a salad with greens from Rolling Meadow Farm and a margherita pizza with tomatoes from our back yard. Since I’m not a fish eater beyond tuna and salmon, I roasted vegetables for my pasta while Jim boiled his shrimp and removed the shells. When we put it all together, he exclaimed about the flavor, realizing he had never eaten shrimp so fresh, sweet and all-together delicious.

I have heard stories regarding health concerns about farm-raised fish. I’ve also listened to explanations about why it isn’t an environmentally sound way to raise fish. My research on the topic yielded results that pointed to both the pro and con sides. I must say that knowing we supported a local farmer and hearing Jim exclaim over the meal make it hard for me to say anything against it, especially since Jim urged me to write about how good the shrimp was. So here it is, an opinion from one seafood lover. If prawn harvests in your area aren’t finished, you might want to check it out for yourself.

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