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The Prawns (gamberi): description and recipes

Prawn (gambero) it the generic name of many edible and middle size crustaceans (sub order Dendobranchiata). They are similar in appearance to shrimp, but can be distinguished by the gill  structure which is branching in prawns (hence the name, dendro=“tree”; branchia=“gill”), but is lamellar in shrimp. It has a long abdomen, and at its end is the tail, permitting to the animal quickly go back. It is common to distinguish the prawns in two kinds based on their dimension: king prawns (7,90 inches/20 cm) and prawns (2,75 inches/7cm). The see prawns are divided in white or grey (light red) and red or pink (they live deeper). There also the prawns living  in the rivers.

On the market you can find both the grey or the pink: somebody consider the grey better. In any case the most important is the freshness: for this reason prefer the intact product and not the tail only, whose age is more difficult to recognize. Should you have any doubt choose the frozen product: decent results and without intoxication risk.

For cooking the only limits are our fantasy, its meat is tasty and compact, easy to cook in different manners and combined with many ingredients.

By cleansing remember to remove the intestines (the black rope called vein).  The "vein" can be removed by making a shallow cut lengthwise down the outer curve of the prawn's body, allowing the dark ribbon-like digestive tract to be removed with a pointed utensil. Alternatively, if the tail has been detached, the vein can be pinched at the tail end and pulled out completely with the fingers.

The step-by-step photographed recipes with prawns proposed by Italian Homemade Cooking


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