South Carolina has a variety of foods being harvested in different seasons because the farmers have more land to grow crop from. In this article I will be focusing on the harvest of shrimp especially from the city of Charleston, South Carolina where shrimp is very popular.
South Carolina has three species of shrimp, they are brown, white and pink (the pink is less common). The brown shrimp prefer peat and muddy bottoms, but also are found on sand, silt, or clay mixed with shells and rock fragments. This species is more active in open waters than at night in the daytime. The harvesting season is in late fall, usually from July to November.
The pink shrimp are active at night and burrow in the bottom of the clay. Commercial shrimpers harvest this species from April to June.
White shrimp, also known as green tailed prefer soft muddy bottoms, with the highest abundances in areas of extensive brackish marshes. Commercial shrimpers harvest this species from August to November.
There really is no difference in taste and the white shrimp runs bigger in size. In the spring, there is a short time period to get large roe-shrimp, the white shrimp that had just sprawn. During the summer we harvest the brown shrimp, then fall produces the white shrimp, and after that we have the 60 day recreational shrimp baiting season and that’s where the action heats up a bit. With our location and climate, shrimp are available to us 8 months out of the year.
Charleston has a delicious, mouth watering shrimp dish called, Shrimp Provencal. Whenever you get a chance, I advise giving this dish a try. Recipe provided below, you can also add you own little twist, enjoy!…
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
1 Tbs. minced garlic
32 large (21/25 count) local shrimp (preferably white), peeled and deveined
2 cups diced seeded plum tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine (preferably sauvignon blanc)
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, diced
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste
1 baguette, heated and sliced
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet for one minute over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for one and a half minutes, stirring frequently so no color develops. Add the shrimp and tomatoes and cook for one minute. Turn the shrimp over. Add the white wine and continue cooking for three to five minutes, until the liquid has reduced by two-thirds. Add the thyme and parsley and cook for one minute. The shrimp should be slightly firm and plump. Stir in the lemon juice and butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the skillet from the heat. Place eight shrimp each on four dinner plates. Divide the remaining sauce evenly over the shrimp and serve with two slices of warm baguette.