Prawns vs. Shrimps: The Definitive Guide
Prawns. What are they? Do they have feelings? Do they ever just get fed up and move to Oregon? Most importantly, are they different from shrimp, or are they really just the same crustacean in disguise?
Welcome to the Bunny Ears definitive guide to …
Prawns vs. Shrimps!
We here at Bunny Ears care about your ability to enjoy hors d’oeuvres on your next mega-yachting vacay without fretting about making an embarrassing shrimp-related faux pas, so read on to make sure you know the facts.
The easiest way to distinguish prawns from shrimps and vice versa is size. All shrimps are smaller than prawns, except for jumbo shrimps, obviously, which are mega-size, and also big claw river shrimp, which are mondo-size. DO NOT FORGET that baby prawns are smaller than average-size adult shrimps.
Taste Means Nothing
Prawns and shrimps taste exactly the same. Fake news says prawns are sweeter, but they are the enemy of the people. Fake news also says they are different species, but scientific taxonomy is also part of the lie.
Money Talks, Prawns Walk (On 10 Legs)
Prawns are more expensive than shrimps. This is because, even though they taste the same, prawns are more chic. That is not a scam. You aren’t eating arthropods for the taste. You are eating them to look and be fabulous in your tuxedo Speedo on the deck of the yacht. You don’t eat shrimps to be chic. Shrimps are gauche.
Color Me A Gastro-Entomologist (Get It?!)
I probably should have made the joke before demanding to know if you got it. But really, prawns and shrimps are, for real, different colors. Shrimps are, like, orange-colored, and prawns are gray, I think? Nobody knows for certain.
Water Is Life
Shrimps come from saltwater. Prawns come from salty water. It’s important.
Big Prawn has been in bed with the Vatican since the First Council of Nicaea, when Emperor Constantine I famously baptized half a dozen oysters with a holy mignonette. Do not mention priest molestation scandals around prawns. It’s okay to discuss heresy over shrimps, though.
In the United Kingdom, “prawn” just means “shrimp.” Do not get confused if you are yachting with Brits.
Crayfish, crawfish, crawdads, and crawldads are all the same thing. They are not prawns, and they are not shrimps. At this point, you are probably asking “Okay, but what the hell are langoustines?” I will tell you. Langoustines are extremely persnickety crustaceans with a more delicate and complex taste than lobster. They are very chic because they hate each other and so have to be shipped alive in solitary confinement.
Some people call both prawns and langoustines (but not shrimps!) “scampi,” which is downright madness.
Literally the only thing we know for sure is that crabs are a whole other thing.