How to buy fresh prawns

Whenever I visit my hometown, Mahe, I have to go to a few shops in a place called Mambram where Anjarakandy River passes through, to get my Shrimp-Gastronomy gene satisfied. These shops are basic and only keep seafood from that river and tend to be always fresh, especially the prawns. My benchmark for good prawns comes from there. I was there last week and just couldn’t help sharing some tips on “How to buy fresh prawns” . By the way, what you see in the pic is what I bought from there and ate soon after wink emoticon ..

1. Get accustomed to 4 notes of smell; Sea, Salt, fishy and ammonia. The rest of the points would be based on these.

2. Fresh prawns will never smell fishy, they should smell of sea and salt.

3. If it smells fishy never buy!

4. If it smells of ammonia, it has started decomposing and it’s a No-Go too

5. Fresh prawns are never slimy when you feel it.

6. Check for the firmness of the head on to the body. Firmer it is the fresher the prawn is.

7. Take one from the lot and gently press the body part with 2 fingers and it should be firm. Also, get ready for comments like “ Kyon dhabarahe ho, tere ko kuchmalum hai kya??”(“Why are you pressing it? Do you know anything about it?”). The moment you hear that, you can infer 2 things: one , you have hurt the fisher man/woman’s ego, two, they are not fresh. You will also hear things like, “kyon waas le rahe ho? Hum lokko was ki parwah nahin hai kya” (“Why you smelling it? Don’t you think we don’t care about the smell?”) or“jaa phir uski paas jo woh.. kone pe baiti hai aurkaridle karaab wali” (“Go to that lady in that corner, she will sell you rotten ones”). Don’t react, just smile and move on, as you will get used to it.

8. Never be disappointed if you go to the market and not end up buying any prawns when you really wanted. The fisher women/men who are selling would notice that and they would call you when they have a fresh lot! . Remember, if its fresh half the battle is won, if you cook it right the next 25%, add lots love and passion the rest 20% and the recipe is just 5%!

Categories: Travel Cuisine


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