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Distributed for Reaktion Books


A Global History


Distributed for Reaktion Books


A Global History

The small-but-mighty shrimp has lured diners to the table for centuries. Whether served as the featured protein in a main dish or as a savory flavor in snacks, shrimp are the world’s most popular seafood. These primordial-looking creatures spend their short lives out of sight, deep on the ocean floor, yet they have inspired an immense passion in cultures across the world.

In this lively and entertaining book, Yvette Florio Lane embarks on a lively historical tour of the production and consumption of Earth’s beloved crustacean. Over the centuries, shrimp have been hailed as an indulgence, a luxury, and even an aphrodisiac. They have been served to show hospitality, demonstrate status, and celebrate special occasions. They can also be culinary ambassadors, inspiring novel cooking techniques and the introduction of new tastes around the world. Demand for the creatures, however, has now exceeded supply. Whether fished from the ocean with nets or deep-sea trawlers, or raised in modern aquaculture farms, the world produces and eats more (and cheaper) shrimp than ever before, but often at great cost. Shrimp is a delicious, fascinating, and troubling history of a culinary favorite.

208 pages | 30 color plates, 10 halftones | 4 3/4 x 7 3/4


Food and Gastronomy

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"Lane ends her book on a melancholy note. Shrimp-eating does more harm to the environment, both animal and human, than most other kinds of food production. Trawling scoops up whole ecosystems and discards half of them as by-catch. Farming is a polluting, fetid business. Shrimp shuckers and sorters are as low on the global labor chain in the twenty-first century as they were in the nineteenth, held in peonage and subjected to the corrosive effects of mountains of shrimp shells. Shrimp marketing in the United States is probably the most fraud-ridden section of the supermarket, where product is routinely mislabeled as to country and method of origin. They are delicious little guys, but there may be no way of enjoying them on the scale we're accustomed to without devastation and misery ensuing."

Tim Morris | lection

Table of Contents

Introduction: Endless Shrimp?
1 What’s in a Name? The Biology and Biography of the Shrimp
2 How We Do Love Thee
3 Fashion Plates: Shrimp Cocktail on Ice
4 Powder and Paste and a Sense of Place
5 Jumbo Shrimp and Other Tidbits: Shrimp in Art, Literature and Society
6 All We Can Eat: The High Cost of Cheap Shrimp
Buying Basics: Some Things to Think About When Buying Shrimp
Select Bibliography
Websites and Associations
Photo Acknowledgements

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