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The Prawn & Shrimp Story

A look back at the history of our favorite seafood delicacy, from the time of the Ancient Empires to contemporary cuisine.

Two of the most adored seafood dishes worldwide are prawns. These little crustaceans are well-liked for their sweet, delicate flavor and numerous culinary uses. However, as appealing as their flavor is, prawns have a fascinating history. The history of prawns is one of evolution and diversity, starting with their use as currency in ancient empires and ending with contemporary cuisine.

Prawns and shrimp are both members of the Decapoda order, which means “ten-footed,” and are classified under the infraorder Caridea. Since the Jurassic period, shrimp and prawns have been around for millions of years. It is believed that these crustaceans lived 145-200 million years ago based on fossil evidence found in rocks.

The Prawn & Shrimp Story: An overview into the timeline of Shrimp from ancient times to modern-day cuisine

Shrimp Consumption and preparation during ancient times

One of the earliest cultures to eat prawns was ancient Greece and Rome. They were known as “krangon” by the Greeks and “scampi” by the Romans. Aristophanes’ plays, Aristotle’s writings, and Pliny the Elder’s writings are just a few examples of ancient Greek and Roman literature that make references to seafood and imply that shrimp and prawns may have been eaten. These treats were deemed luxury foods in ancient Rome, and only the wealthy could afford to eat them.

Shrimp were frequently boiled or grilled and served with a condiment made of oil, vinegar, and herbs such as parsley, dill, and mint. As well as being used in stews and soups, shrimp was also used in kykeon, a famous dish that was a variation on barley soup and occasionally contained shrimp. Shrimp were not only eaten as a dish on their own but also as condiments to other cuisines. And also, to create a particular type of shrimp bread, for instance, shrimp was occasionally added to bread dough.

It is worth noting that shrimp was not as widely available in ancient times as it is today. It was considered a luxury food and was often only consumed by the wealthy. However, those who did have access to shrimp enjoyed it as a delicious and versatile seafood.

During the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, shrimp and prawns were still a rare delicacy, and they were often used as currency. In England, a pound of shrimp was worth two shillings, which was a considerable sum at the time. The high price of shrimp and prawns meant that they were only consumed by the wealthy and were not readily available to the common people.

Exploration and Expansion

During the Age of Exploration, European sailors and merchants discovered new territories where shrimp and prawns were plentiful. The Portuguese were the first to introduce shrimp and prawns to the East, where they quickly became a staple in Asian cuisine. Today, shrimp and prawns are used in a variety of Asian dishes, including stir-fries, curries, and sushi.

In the Americas, shrimp and prawns were also abundant, and the indigenous people used them as a source of food. However, it was the Europeans who brought them to the forefront of cuisine in the New World. In the United States, shrimp and prawns were a popular seafood delicacy in the southern states, especially in Louisiana, where they were used in the famous dish, shrimp Creole.

Shrimp: A modern-day culinary delight

Shrimp and prawns are consumed all over the world and are an essential part of modern-day cuisine. In Europe, the Spanish are known for their paella, a rice dish that is made with shrimp, prawns, and other seafood. In Italy, shrimp and prawns are used in a variety of pasta dishes, including linguine alle vongole, which is made with clams and shrimp.

In Asia, shrimp and prawns are used in a variety of dishes, including Thai green curry, Japanese tempura, and Chinese dumplings. In the Americas, shrimp and prawns are used in a variety of dishes, including gumbo, jambalaya, and ceviche.

Health Benefits of Shrimp and Prawns

Shrimp and prawns are not only delicious but also nutritious. They are a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Shrimp and prawns are low in calories and fat, making them an excellent choice for those who are watching their weight. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart health.

Summing it up

The shrimp and prawn story is a fascinating one that spans centuries and continents. From being used as currency in ancient empires to becoming a staple in modern-day cuisine, these tiny crustaceans have come a long way. Today, they are not only a delicious delicacy but also a nutritious one. Shrimp and prawns continue to be an essential part of cuisines across various cultures and their demand has only soared over time. Shrimp is nature’s way of telling us that health also comes with great taste.

So then, what are we waiting for? Dive into the guilt-free indulgence of healthy and flavorsome shrimp by ordering the freshest ones from Megaa Moda. We are one of the leading shrimp exporting and processing companies in India. With our wide product range, we will have you spoilt for choices!

To know more call us at: + 91 33 4063 6240, + 91 33 4029 5578

or visit our site


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