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Do you eat the shrimp tails?

The barbecue shrimp at Wild Ginger. Note the presence and stabilizing influence of the tails.
Nancy Leson
Seattle Times
The barbecue shrimp at Wild Ginger. Note the presence and stabilizing influence of the tails.

I do. So does Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson – but only if they're fried. Others won't eat them at all, no matter how succulently crisp those feathery little hind appendages may be.One such tail-decliner is my own wife, the lovely and talented Cheryl DeGroot, who expresses loud disdain for the practice of shrimp tail ingestion. I'm not one to point a finger but I will mention that the woman sees nothing wrong with donuts and beer. And not the shrimp-flavored donuts, either.

Dogs like 'em

After a lifetime enduring looks of wild surmise and gob-smacked "Are you really eating those?" every time I down tail, I am gratified to learn that I have fellow tailophiles amongst  Man's Best Friends.

There's even new info showing that the consumption of shrimp shells can lower cholesterol.  It's amazing what you can find on the internet.  And you know they'd never let them print it if it weren't true.

Crunch on!

"I think somebody should come up with a way to breed a very large shrimp.  That way you could ride him, then after you camped at night you could eat him.  How about it, science?"

– Jack Handey

Food for Thought” is a weekly KPLU feature covering the world of food as well as the thinking that goes into it. The feature is published here and airs on KPLU 88.5 every Wednesday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered. 


Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.