If you’ve dined in our restaurant than you have probably seen Key West Pink Shrimp listed among the options on our menu. Looking at the name, you might assume we’re simply pointing out that it’s harvested locally, but this tasty seafood is different than other commercially fished shrimp. They are typically sweeter and tenderer. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Florida supplies 85 percent of the Pink Shrimp in the U.S. fishing industry.
In addition to being delicious, Pink Shrimp are an abundant, sustainable resource which makes them easier to manage than other seafood fisheries. The guidelines and restrictions for shrimping are in place to protect other species rather than the shrimp. For example, shrimp boats must be equipped with a special net that allows other fish to swim through it without losing the catch. Instead of placing limitations on the amount of shrimp that can be harvested, their plentiful numbers and ability to adapt allow scientists to focus primarily on changing weather conditions, water temperature, and other environmental factors when monitoring the health of the population.
From New England to Florida, shrimp are prepared in a myriad of ways. Here at the restaurant, you can enjoy them with our original cocktail sauce, in a salad, as part of a combination seafood platter, fried, Alfredo style with pasta, Creole style, dipped in batter and rolled in coconut, or tossed in garlic, lemon, and butter and served over rice or pasta. Depending on your preference, each of these dishes can be paired with wine, beer, or your favorite cocktail! Below are some suggestions for pairing three of our specialty shrimp dishes.
Pair this hearty seafood dish with a glass of Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc, Blue Moon Belgian White beer, or Pina Colada. You can even get away with a glass of Francis Ford Coppola Pinot Noir if you like red wine. The Sauvignon Blanc has a crisp finish and mildly contrasting flavor that makes each bite pop! This particular Belgian White beer has a hint of Valencia orange peel that adds a touch of sweetness and a rich, creamy finish which stands up nicely with the dish. The Pina Colada needs no introduction and as you have probably already deduced, the sweetness balances out the savory batter as well as compliments the mildly sweet coconut.
Spicy and filling, this dish calls for a refreshing glass of Barone Fini Pinot Grigio, a pilsner beer like Stella Artois or Belgian White like the Blue Moon beer discussed above, and if you’re in the mood for a cocktail, try one with spiced rum. The sweetness in the rum combined with cinnamon notes and ginger notes are an excellent contrast with the savory, medium-hot Creole spices. Stella Artois offers a clean, fresh contrast similar to the Pinot Grigio, and Blue Moon is a nice blend of flavors that won’t overpower with the dish.
Like the name implies, garlic is the predominant flavor in this zesty seafood dish. It requires a glass of Robert Mondavi Chardonnay, Stella Artois, or light, white rum that won’t interfere with the dish. The Chardonnay is a perfect blend of apple, Asian pear, and melon notes that contrast well with the strong garlic flavors while the pilsner and rum provide a smooth transition between bites.
Whether you like supporting the ecosystem or you just love great seafood, you can feel good about eating our delicious Key West Pink Shrimp!