“I guess being Asian, I’m used to shrimp and prawn shells being prepared so they’re edible,” says Jase. “Usually it’s this type of preparation where the shell is fried so it’s thin and crackery. You get the great seafood taste but there’s no chewiness or rubberiness to it. Chinese salt-and-pepper shrimp is fried with shells on and one way of eating it is to just take a bite without peeling. If you’re into sushi, sweet shrimp heads are usually fried and served on the side while you eat the body raw.”

So Jase was horrified to see an adjacent diner at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas eating only the meat of the lightly battered garlic-fried prawns, and casting away the shells and heads. “I swear I felt physical pain seeing all that delicious shell piled up untouched and being whisked away to the trash by the waiter,” says Jase. “Meanwhile, my friend and I were being extremely polite with each other dividing the single plate and eating up every last bit of shell and garlic. I so wished there was a way we could have all the shell the other diner didn’t want. I gladly would have asked for a clean plate and silverware and separated out all the meat for him, haha!”

This is how S_K feels about crawfish heads. “There’s a dish my mother makes, a dry stir-fry,” she says. “The heads must be eaten, they are the best part, it’s creamy inside and crunchy outside; I almost cried once when people came over and threw out the heads.”

“I’m sure this is equally off-putting,” says occula, “but I really crave it on those rare occasions when we have steaks or chops with a lovely clean strip of fat around, and my husband doesn’t want his. Mmmmm, juicy, well-cooked fat. I generally do ask if I can have it but then am too shamefaced to actually take it and try to sound like I was kidding.”

Discuss: Watching an adjacent diner’s meal in disbelief and envy

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