I’m often asked to explain confusing things and, one of the most often asked and confusing things is Shrimp sizing.
What do the numbers mean? What is the first number and what’s its relationship to the second? What does U10, U12, U15 mean?
The best way to explain it is … they’re sold by weight.
Quite simply, the first and second numbers refer to the average count per pound.
Small, Medium, Large, Jumbo and Colossal are not standardized “terms” so, it’s important to remember that 61/70 means there’s 61 to 70 shrimps per pound (these I would consider salad shrimp) and conversely, 31/35 ( 31 to 35 shrimps per pound) would be a nice size for Cocktail shrimp.
Also, when you see the “U” designation, in this case the “U” stands for “Under” meaning there are “Under “X” number of shrimp per pound”. For example U10 means there are under 10 shrimp per pound and these bad boys are HUGE!!
Shrimp are sold MANY different ways … Fresh, Frozen, Farmed, Wild, Headless, Whole, Cooked, Raw, Shell-less, Deveined … you get the picture.
Keep in mind that this sizing method only refers to Fresh or Frozen shrimp in their shell on state, with their heads removed. Either veined or deveined … same thing.
Click here for a Shrimp sizing chart, kindly borrowed from the Seafood Wholesalers web site.
There you have it Carnivores … hopefully this explains and demystifies the whole shrimp sizing dilemma for you.
Now, get out there and throw a couple of jumbos on the Barbie.
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