The prawn is a crustacean with excellent meat, a delicate taste and therefore very appreciated. It is brownish or gray in color, with darker bands and the tip of the bluish tail, visible above all in fresh specimens. When cooked, it turns a nice pink-orange color. It can reach 20 cm in length, but is more common than 12-15 cm.
It lives on the sand and mud bottoms near the coast, throughout the Mediterranean, where it is fished with trawl nets, mainly at night. In Italy about 500-800 tons per year are caught, mainly in Emilia Romagna and Marche.It is also imported in large quantities from Central American countries and Asia in various forms, such as refrigerated and frozen shrimps and as sole tails of frozen shrimp.
These are different species, difficult for non-specialists to recognize. If you buy fresh prawns , they must have a shiny shell and a bright black eye; after a few days they become opaque, a dark color appears behind the head and the meat loses consistency.
Prawns can be cooked on the grill , or, if very fresh, boiled and seasoned with mayonnaise , or sautéed in a pan with oil and chilli. Shelling is fairly easy, particularly after cooking.