I'm posting here because this is an active board of foodies, and I want to know if I am alone in my experiences of shrimp lately. And when I say "lately", I'm talking within the last 5 years or so. This is not a question specific to NYC. I live about an hour's drive outside of Manhattan, so I'm not sure if the shrimp I get up here in Orange County is the same as what is in the city. Let me try to describe what I'm tasting.
Shrimp used to be an item that I would gravitate towards on any menu. However, that has changed over the past five years. Now I almost never order shrimp. There is a distinct taste that I get sometimes that is hard to describe, I just know I don't like it. It's not the taste of "bad" or spoiled shrimp. I'm not sure if it is a chemical taste either. What is really strange is often it is not all the shrimp on the plate tasting like this. Sometimes I'm lucky and one has the taste, other times half or all of them do. It's almost like a bad aftertaste. Gosh, this is so hard to describe! I don't know, maybe it's like a Chlorine taste? I don't know. I do find that the bigger the shrimp the more likely they are to have this taste that I don't like. Are we getting our shrimp from a totally different part of the world now a days or something?
And I don't think it's just me because my wife knows the taste I'm talking about and she doesn't like it either. In fact, we have a name for it. We call it "taint". They just taste off. Once in a while one of us will be brave and order shrimp. And with that first bite the other one is looking on waiting to see if we get the "taint" face or not.
I do not have this problem with any other seafood: lobster, crab, scallops, clams, oysters, in the same restaurants. It's just the shrimp that are not dependable.