In my opinion every good, well-known writer has had one or two soapbox speeches in their lives. One such food writer, Mr. Anthony Bourdain, has on several occasions made his sentiments known (as this is what he is particularly known for). I feel the time has come (especially after my lunch experience today) that I take my first two steps onto a soapbox of my own to let out my one particular pet peeve. You ready for it? Here it comes.

Tail. On. Shrimp.

What the heck is that all about, anyway? I am sick to DEATH of going to a restaurant and ordering up a plate of succulent and delicious little shrimps, only to have the plate arrive with the tails still on. Should this bother me? Yes! Yes it should! I am a diner at a restaurant, and I am PAYING MONEY to have to put my fingers into my food in order to take the tails off! I'm sorry, but that, quite frankly, is COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. Consider a delicious plate of angel hair pasta, tossed in a lemon-garlic-butter sauce with a lovely crown of pink shrimpy jewels. Good enough to eat, right? Until you realize you have to stick your hands into your food TO TAKE THE TAILS OFF. Then you're left with a greasy buttery slop on your fingers that ends up almost everywhere you touch as the meal progresses. Silverware, drink, rim of your glasses, the BILL, napkin, birthday card, tablecloth, hair, clothing, BABY...THE LIST GOES ON.

It's. Obnoxious. And it has GOT to stop. Would it kill the kitchen staff to pull the tails off? Honestly, no. When they get there in the morning, they should add that to the list of prep work because it just simply should not end up on my dinner plate if it is considered inedible. The only case where I want a tail on my shrimp is in a perfect shrimp-rimmed cocktail glass we Americans like to call: The Shrimp Cocktail. Then -- AND ONLY THEN -- do I want to deal with a shrimp tail in my food.

Should a person get this animated about something like this? Yes. I think so. The second we lose our expectations for a meal is the same moment the restaurant industry can throw buckets of week old SLOP on our plates without a peep of a question coming from our dribbling and senseless mouths, and that, ladies and gentleman, simply can not happen. I invite you all to make that request the next time you plan to order anything with shrimp in it. If you end up with it, I encourage you to REFUSE to eat any meal that contains something inedible. Maybe, just maybe, if enough of us make this request we can stop the hideous atrocity that is the tail-on shrimp and finally live in a world where pastas can be eaten with only a fork!

It can happen. I believe it's possible. And gosh darnit, we're good enough to deserve the right kind of treatment. The kind that doesn't force us to use our digits instead of our utensils. After all, haven't we evolved? Aren't we the top of the foodchain? We aren't uncivilized animals. And we shouldn't have to make a mess with food that we are paying our hard-earned American Benjamins for! God Bless America!

That is all.

(soapbox photo courtesy of shrimp photo courtesy of american flag photo courtesy of THANK YOU!!)


  1. a) i think it's funny that you got spammed as your first comment.
    b) what about battered/fried shrimp? i like the tails on them, cus they're kinda like fingers foods

  2. A) GONE!

    B) Yeah, that's ok too. Foods that require a handle make sense to have one (and natural handles are nice!). But for foods that I have to get messy just to thanks! =) Thanks for the comment!

  3. Honestly, i completely agree with you in all cases but the few rare exceptions (the ones above mentioned, and by yourself).

    However, while it would be easy enough in theory to just add de-tailing to the morning prep list.. It's still one more job, to an already overflowing prep-list. Not only that, but in this economic climate, where even million dollar companies are cutting corners, who is going to pay for the extra hours of work for someone to take all the tails off of their shrimp?

    Just a thought for you bestie.


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