“You don’t peel the shell off the shrimp before you eat them?” I questioned my Filipina better half as we ate Shrimp Sinigang together. My wife answered, “I eat the shrimp with their shells…always have.” At first I was shocked, appalled, disgusted, amazed, and flabbergasted all at once. Had I married a crazed backward un-cultured barbaric island woman? Then I started to think that it sure would save a lot of time and contact with the sinigang sauce if I just took my spoon and cut the shrimp and crunched it up in my mouth shell and all. Also, my wife actually is unhappy with me touching my food with my hands while eating, because that is a right reserved only to Filipinos. It was about 8:30 pm and I had just put in a 13+ hour work day and was exhausted. I decided I was going to try to eat shrimp Filipino-style with the shell on.
I took my spoon and I cut a shrimp in half and scooped some rice with the spoon. I put the shrimp and rice in my mouth and started to chew crunching up the shrimp shell and all. The Shrimp Sinagang was delicious! To my surprise eating the shrimp shell and all did not hurt the taste and was not uncomfortable for my mouth. Leaving the shell on instead of peeling it off actually made the shrimp taste better, because when one removes the shell one loses some of the sinagang sauce flavor. For the record I now eat the body, shell and legs of shrimp if it is prepared with them intact. I always thought you had to peel the shell off a shrimp, but now I know that I have been wasting my time all my life. I no longer peel and eat shrimp; I crunch and eat them.
Questions of the Day
As always feel free to answer any or none of my questions.
- Are there any adverse effects from eating shrimp shells?
- Have you ever tried eating your shrimp shell and all?
- Share with the readers a way that your interaction with Philippine culture and Filipino people has changed the way you do things.
- What is your favorite Filipino seafood dish?