Raw shrimps with ice cubes on black background, copy space. Top view on appetizing seafood snack, restaurant serving backdrop.
Food - Drink
The Reason Rock Shrimp Were Almost Never Brought To Market
Rock shrimp is the deep-water cousin to more widely-known shrimps, and were once dismissed by fishermen due to their hard shells that took a lot of work to crack open. Though seemingly doomed to never have a place on the commercial fishing market, a man named Rodney Thompson changed America's view on rock shrimp forever.
In 1968, Thompson debuted a state-of-the-art fiberglass shrimp trawler and caught thousands of rock shrimp, and his children figured out how to deal with the shells. His eldest daughter, Laurilee, used a steak knife to cut shrimps on their undersides, poured butter on them, and broiled them, causing the meat to curl away from the shell.
Despite their success, shelling the rock shrimp was still quite labor-intensive, driving Thompson to use a sewing machine motor and a vacuum cleaner belt to jerry-rig the first-ever automated rock shrimp-splitting device. Thanks to the Thompson family, rock shrimp is widely available today and sold fresh, frozen, and sometimes pre-split.
Like other varieties, rock shrimp are priced by size and are measured in the number of shrimp per pound, and can be stored fresh in the fridge for two days or frozen for up to six months. To split them, put each shrimp backside-down on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to split the shell from tail to neck, then rinse the sand vein away.