Jumbo Prawns vs. Shrimp | Gills and more

Obviously, if you are cooking up a pot of jumbo prawn stew, it is less than likely that you have a concern as to whether the jumbo prawn gills are lamellar or dendritic, and as you might expect the distinction between prawns and shrimp is most blurred when it comes to culinary aspects. In the US and North America, the term 'shrimp' is often applied to both shrimp and prawns, although you may see 'prawn cocktail' and 'shrimp cocktail' applied about equally in the United States. Quite the opposite is true in many European countries (e.g. the United Kingdom), where more often than not shrimp will be called prawns rather than the opposite.

Aside from adhering strictly to the exacting rules of prawn and shrimp taxonomy, cultural differences and variances of English language globally mean that prawn and shrimp is not a meaningful distinction as far as whether morphologically a prawn is really a prawn and a shrimp is really a shrimp. What is more relevant to the 'real world' is how the term is applied to differentiate a 'shrimp' form a 'prawn' within a given cultural or local language. If prawn means a larger shrimp than a small prawn - that is more relevant than the fact that the large shrimp called a prawn might be a true shrimp and the small 'shrimp' might really be a true prawn!


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