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Tail-On Shrimp Protocol


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Tail-On Shrimp Protocol

ElsieDee | | Apr 11, 2007 02:23 PM

I'm sure it's happened to most of us, at one point or another: we order a dish containing shrimp and they're presented with the tails-on. But what is the accepted manner of removing the tails (presuming that you don't prefer to eat them - some do, some don't)?

1 - Stab the shrimp with your fork and basically bite-off the flesh to the base of the tail? Then what happens to the tail? Does it fall back onto the plate/table/your lap?

2 - Secure the shrimp body with your fork and then cut-off the tail using your knife? What if you're eating a soupy or well-sauced dish and the tail ends-up floating around the dish? Or (as usualy happens with me, 'cause I'm just not that coordinated) does the tail go shooting-off onto the table - onto your lap - or (as happened the other night, and yes I was mortified) become airborne and land in your dining companions glass of wine?

3 - Secure the tail with the side of your fork (basically holding it down against the plate) and then using a knife to cut-off the body?

4 - Using your fork to attempt to cut through the body at the base of the tail (not always practical if the shrimp are at all over-cooked)?

Other questions:

If the shrimp is fried, is it permissable to pick-up the shrimp by the tail and eat it with your fingers?

When eating fried shrimp (including tempura), is one expected to eat the tails?

When eating a "shrimp tempura roll" do you eat the tail? (And just how do you get that section of the roll, with the tail sticking out of the end, into your mouth, anyway?)

Is it permissable to "peel open" the tail to get that last succulent bit of meat?

Where should you place the tails after they've been removed?

And just what is the rationale of leaving the tails on, especially if the restaurant goes through the trouble to peeling and deveining? Is this tradition? Is it rude to remove the tails prior to serving? (Seems to me, at least in cooking at home, that it's a lot easier to remove the tails when peeling and deveining rather than trying to keep them on. But maybe that's just me.)

Just wondering.

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