Food - Drink
Is There A Difference Between Shrimp And Prawns?
By WENDY LEIGH
The differences between a shrimp and a prawn — two kinds of small, commonly-eaten shellfish that look and taste similar — are based in science, but also have to do with language and regional terms. In the UK, Ireland, and Australia, shrimp and prawns are one and the same, but in North America, the two terms refer to separate species.
Shrimp and prawns hail from the crustacean clan known as decapods, but they branch off into suborders: Pleocyemata for shrimps and Dendrobranchiata for prawns. In terms of anatomy, both species have an exoskeleton and their bodies are divided into sections, but shrimp have a single pair of claws, while prawns sport three pairs.
Additionally, these species' body sections overlap in different ways, leading to the distinctive curvy shape of shrimp and the straighter shape of prawns. As for their habitat, shrimp and prawns can live in salt and fresh waters, but most prawns thrive in freshwater, while at least 75% of shrimp make their homes in saltwater domains.
Lastly, shrimp and prawns have a similar texture when cooked, but shrimp taste slightly saltier, even when unseasoned, while prawns usually have a hint of sweetness. Prawns also tend to be larger than most shrimp varieties, so pay attention to both weight and the number of shrimp or prawns called for in your seafood recipe.