As most Americans know, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, when settlers and Native Americans sat down for a three-day feast in celebration of goodwill.
Ever since 1863, when Abraham Lincoln officially set the final Thursday in November as Thanksgiving, it has filled our minds (and stomachs) with visions of turkey, potatoes, turnips and pies. Contrary to popular belief however, turkey played a very minimal role in the first Thanksgiving.
Although there is no official record of the menu served during the most famous meal of the 17th century, historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Being that this festival took place in a coastal area, historians believe that seafood played an important role in the first Thanksgiving meal. It is likely that much of the menu consisted of fish and shellfish, including, lobster, mussels, clams, oysters and bass.
Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower's sugar supply had diminished by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which along with turkey, have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.
Based on research by the Calorie Control Council, "the average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat from snacking and eating a traditional dinner with turkey and all the trimmings'. The Food Research and Action Center reports that "two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese", that totals 154.7 million Americans age 20 or older, according to the American Heart Association.
We may be 392 years apart from the first Thanksgiving celebration, but it doesn't mean that we need to be bound to the conventional standards. While turkey may have become a Thanksgiving staple, in New England, lobster and other shellfish are frequently served alongside the bird. If that sounds up your alley, you should stop by your local fish market and bring a little of the sea to your Thanksgiving table (and maybe enjoy a more historic meal).
For this holiday season's kick off, we decided to go with a healthier menu option. Charred Texas Fiery Sweet Shrimp; this can be served as an appetizer or a side. If you're looking to make this, don't forget to use fresh Ecuadorian Blue Foot White Shrimp, you'll sure leave your guests asking for more!
As we all know, this year's shrimp production has faced challenges; from the EMS crisis in Thailand to the Norwegian shortage in wild catch this summer. With the holidays only 4 weeks away, America's #1 consumed seafood is sure to continue to hold its place at the top of the chart. While looking for fresh shrimp supply, you can turn to Tropical to fulfill your needs.
At Tropical, our shrimp production offers a variety of sizes and presentations of L. vannamei (white shrimp). Branded under the name Blue Foot White Shrimp, our shrimp is raised on the coast of Ecuador in sand-bottom ponds. Blue Foot White Shrimp is flown to US ports in less than 36 hours of harvesting and has 8 days of shelf life.
The location of our farms allows a natural mixture of pure mountain water and saltwater to enter the farms with every high tide. The size of the farms allows the shrimp to grow in a low-density environment to avoid overcrowding, promote good health and eliminate the need for chemicals and antibiotics. The Swiss-based Institute of Marketecology (IMO) validates our eco-friendly shrimp practices.
Our farming methods have proven to be sustainable, responsible and in fact, may hold some answers to a consistent shrimp supply. At this year's GOAL conference in Paris, France; attendees had the opportunity to discuss the clues that may lead to the solution of EMS. Amongst others, these include:
- Survival in ponds is better if well water is used instead of surface water. It may be possible to simulate ground water by fine filtration of surface water.
- Although P. monodon (Asian tiger shrimp) die when fed pellets coated with V. parahaemoticus, they don't usually die in ponds. This suggests their behavior is different than L. vannamei (white shrimp) and reduces their exposure in ponds.
- Chlorination and addition of nutrients such as molasses may be counterproductive in managing EMS, because chlorination kills competing bacteria, and nutrients may stimulate the growth of V. parahaemolyticus.