Sometimes you can stumble upon information when you least expect it. The other day I was researching campgrounds in the Red Bay area where the Tiffin RV factory is located when I found another blog site, Living Our Dream, written by Paul & Margery Zeller, that was full of all sorts of information about the area. (Note I’ve added a link to their site under our Links area.) They had written a post about purchasing shrimp at Billy’s Seafood in Bon Secour which wasn’t too far out of our way on our return trip from Fairhope. We had already bought fresh shrimp (yes, that is correct, FRESH as in never frozen shrimp which we don’t get in New England) several times at Blalock’s seafood market and it was very good. But for really, really fresh shrimp right off the shrimp boats, Billy’s is the place to go! Their motto is “If it swims, we’ve got it”! I don’t think I have ever seen so much shrimp in my life! And compared to other markets, the prices were pretty reasonable.
They even carried Royal Reds which you see on the menus around here. Royal Reds are larger than typical shrimp and prefer depths from 820 to 1,550 feet, although they can be found at a depth of 2400 feet. They never see daylight and prefer temps from 45-55 degrees. They are harvested by dragging nets across the seafloor. Only about 250 fishermen have licenses to net them in the Gulf of Mexico. Because they are caught in deep waters 40-60 miles off shore, they are immediately frozen. Notice that they still have their heads! We haven’t tried them yet but we’ve been told that they taste similar to lobster or crab meat and should be dipped in butter. Several people said they didn’t like them as much as regular shrimp but I think we have to try them before we leave.
We ended up buying 1 1/2 pounds of extra large shrimp at $6.99/pound. After we left there we drove down the street where we saw one boat, Morning Star, up on the grass, perhaps a result of a hurricane. There was another seafood market, Aquila, but we didn’t stop there. We also went by the Bon Secour Fisheries which is a wholesale seafood distributor which is one of the major employers in the area.
As we drove back to the main road, we passed several more signs for small markets selling shrimp. I imagine that all of these places were hit really hard because of the oil spill but hopefully they are slowly recovering.
So finally our busy day came to a close! Time to return back to Bella Terra where we had guess what – shrimp for supper after we sat outside watching a beautiful sunset! Yummy!
Will I ever enjoy frozen shrimp again?