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~ Culinary Q&A & Kitchen Therapy Too (8/24/12) ~

Culinary Q & A #2Next week at this time we'll be celebrating the Labor Day weekend and getting ready for the Penn State tailgate season.  Amidst all of the recent, negative media attention and press, I'm here to tell you first hand:  Penn State fans haven't skipped a beat!

I would be remiss if I did not make at least one political comment on my blog regarding this, because: This is my Happy Valley community and I love our Penn State culture!

The debacle we are in, caused by one evil man, has been allowed to turn into a train wreck via a cowardly Board of Trustees (which includes PA's Governor), a not so "Freeh" report full of heresay and inaccuracies, and, an NCAA which feels no need to follow any procedures (legal or otherwise).  Now, I might be just a foodie blogger, but it was my community that tried and convicted the perpetrator.  It was swift, properly executed, and precise... no mistakes, no "ifs, ands, buts or ors".  As for the rest of the above-named miscreants in this scenario:  shame on you... each and every one of you BOT fools.  As a mom, if any of you were my child, I would say this to you:  "You might be educated (and wealthy), but your inability (fear) to take a public stand during a time of strife renders you weak and useless.  It is you, some of you acquaintances, who have brought shame upon our PSU family."  As for you NCAA fools, I will say this to you: "Because your institution did not follow your in-place investigative procedures, you've earned a Hitler-esque, insane reputation that all American citizens, college institutions and hard-working people entitled to due-process should be in fear of."  You have ALL earned my total disrespect.  


Well, now that I got that off my chest, it's time to get back to food blogging.  Kitchen Encounters received a really great question from a Facebook foodie yesterday:

PICT0012Q.  Ted asks:  Mel, Do you leave the tails on shrimp?  I always wonder why really good restaurants do that.  Seems like a hassle to me, the eater, to separate the tail during the consumption process rather than the cooking process.  Please educate me!

A.  Kitchen Encounters:  Ted, you are not the first person to find tails left on shrimp an annoyance.  There are three reasons why the tail gets left on, and, only one reason to take it off (prior to cooking):

Reasons to leave the tails on shrimp:

PICT00061)  A shrimp with the tails left on is a much prettier presentation, and, depending upon the dish being served, if there is a chance the diner can enjoy the shrimp whole, it serves as a convenient "handle", especially if there is a sauce it can be dipped into!

2)  As all shrimp connoisseurs know, the last bite of shrimp (located inside the tail), the place where the meat meets the tail, is the most succulent, tasty bite of shrimp!

3)  Peeling shrimp is labor intensive and, this is an indication that the restaurant cares about you, and, is serving you the best quality shrimp in the best way possible!

When to remove the tails from shrimp:

6a0120a8551282970b014e8bba30e9970d-320wiWhen the shrimp are inclusive in the dish, meaning:  the diner needs a spoon, knife or fork to eat the dish. This is particularly important when smaller shrimp are used in the dish!

Enjoy your weekend everyone, and once again:  To leave a comment or ask a question, simply click on the blue title of any post, scroll to the end of it and type away... or e-mail me directly!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipes, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2012)


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