Why Americans love shrimp.

How popular culture gets popular.
Jan. 13 2006 5:51 AM

The Shrimp Factor

Americans love it now more than ever. Why?

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The American shrimping industry has also tried to fight back with a branding effort. The Wild American Shrimp campaign contends that shrimp caught in the Gulf of Mexico are tastier than shrimp raised in a Bangladeshi pond. But the strategy is problematic: Much of the shrimp consumed in the United States is either heavily sauced or deep-fried, so the nuances of flavor can be hard to distinguish. As long as breading and frying remains the preparation method of choice for American shrimp aficionados, Pimp C and millions of his fellow, less lyrically gifted diners probably won't sweat how and where their crustaceans were raised. Just keep 'em coming.

Brendan I. Koerner is a contributing editor at Wired and a columnist for Gizmodo. His first book, Now the Hell Will Start, is out now.