However in the recent months I have started to eat seafood again. Although having seafood is still a relatively rare occasion, I do try to keep in mind exactly what I am cooking and consuming. Ever since I started volunteering at the Georgia Aquarium, and took their Seafood Savvy class, I have been much more aware of what seafood I am cooking and ordering at restaurants.
“Increased demand for popular seafood is depleting global fish stocks and harming the health of our oceans.”
When we went to purchase the shrimp for this low country boil, I made sure to select shrimp that were fished from US boats. This was important because shrimp are fished by bottom trawling, which is fishing by dragging a fishing net behind a boat along the bottom of the ocean. The cons of this type of fishing is that there is a lot of habitat destruction and a lot of by-catch. Many times this by-catch includes sea turtles. Sea turtles are very dear to me, I think they are magnificent creatures and I love getting to see them when I go scuba diving.
Luckily, all US boats that fish by trawling are required to use TEDs (Turtle Exclusion Device) and BRDs (By-catch Reduction Devices). In fact, the state of Georgia led the nation in using BRDs and TEDs.
A fun tip: If you do get a chance to visit the Georgia Aquarium, make sure to ask a volunteer or staff member to show you where the Turtle Exclusion Device is. There is one hanging from the ceiling in the Georgia Explorer exhibit, it’s pretty neat to see in person.
Lowcountry boils are prominent throughout Georgia and South Carolina, as well as Alabama – as I have discovered while tailgating before college football games. A lowcountry boil is very similar to Louisana’s crawfish boil, however shrimp is used instead of crawfish and the boil is cooked with a relatively mild seasoning compared to Louisana’s concoction of cayenne pepper and hot sauce.
The orgins of this lowcountry boil come from the Gullah people of the islands along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina. When Africans in the slave trade would bring African, French and Spanish cooking influences. The lowcountry boil was born through the need to quickly and easily create meals for large groups of people.
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): Inspired by Paula Deen’s recipe.
- Crab/Shrimp boil seasoning, 2 tbsp per quart of water
- 5 new potatoes
- 4 ears of yellow or white corn
- 1 pound of shrimp, unpeeled
- Optional: Juice from one lemon
Fill a large pot with enough water to cover all of the ingredients, and bring to a boil. Add the crab boil seasoning seasoning. While cooking the rest of the ingredients, adjust the crab boil to suit your taste. Add the potatoes and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Add corn and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and serve. Enjoy!
Photo credit: Thank you to Jacob of Esther JuLee Photography for the fun instagram photo of me and Esther fighting the balmy Georgia heat to get the perfect food photo before we dig in. Yes, “patience is key when eating with professional photographers.”