A seafood once considered trash is celebrating 50 years as a popular Florida cuisine.
Rock shrimp’s climb to fame was enabled by Rodney Thompson and his family.
In the late 1960s, Mr. Thompson started bringing home buckets of rock shrimp and dropping them in the middle of the kitchen. He ordered his four children to figure out a way to get past the hard spiny shells so they could experiment with ways to cook the meat inside. Mr. Thompson’s challenge to his children lasted until his oldest daughter had the idea to split them open and broil them like lobsters. They were delicious.
The discovery launched a new beginning for rock shrimp, which today ranks with spiny lobster and stone crab as a uniquely Floridian cuisine popular with tourists and residents alike.
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