To the editor:

Thank you for serving up a savory shrimp course in the March issue, “Great American Shrimp.”  I gobbled it up, as I realized how “malnourished” I was in knowledge.

For me, growing up in Aroostook County, shrimp came from a can  to be offered in salad, or, combined with green peas in a cream sauce and served over soda crackers, as Shrimp Wiggle. At 17, a friend I was visiting in Bangor said, “We’ll have green shrimp tonight. Strange?  No, they’re really good.” I was too green to realize that green meant fresh.

More recently, last December a friend was upset that the shrimp she had bought frozen in a bag were from India. Later on she said, “I took them back, but others came from Thailand and Indonesia. I don’t want to think about what’s in the water over there, so I’ll eat shrimp only once or twice a year.”

For many of us, shrimp got swallowed up in the news of mercury and PCBs in fish, with the safe and unsafe lists. If fish were dangerous, shrimp, as bottom-feeders, must be worse. Now, finally, shrimp are listed as completely safe. Even earlier, there were unnecessary warnings about cholesterol.  Apparently, neither of these scares hurt the market much.

After reading your article, I did some calling and found Wild Gulf Shrimp available  at $19.99  a pound fresh, $14.99 previously frozen (medium, 26-30 in a pound).  Next I tried a place where I had seen trucks out in front, with Lobster Trap on them.  They bring in their seafood from Maine every Tuesday and Thursday.  The frozen shrimp  packed in a box is $6.99 or $20.99, depending on their size.

So I’ll check it out tomorrow, get some shrimp, and tell everyone I know that they can get wild Maine shrimp. It may not make a blip on the market growth graphs, but — can’t hurt, can it?

Byrna Weir
Rochester, New York