Shore Up Your Gourmet Gulf Knowledge!

Father and son fishing at sunrise on jetty

Image Credit: © Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

It shore is fine living on the Gulf Coast! And if you’re a big fan of Gulf oysters, shrimp, redfish, black drum, snapper, grouper, or mackerel — you’re in luck! Not only is the Gulf Coast a fabulous place to visit and vacation at, its culinary history and influence is deliciously unique!

Sensational Seafood is Part of Our Texas History

Think you’ve been a Gulf seafood fan forever? Try the Karankawas! The indigenous people who lived along the Texas Coast from Galveston Island to Corpus Christi in the 17th century loved to snack on coastal favorites like oysters, clams, black drum, red fish, and more! During the summer and spring, they headed inland for deer and Texas pecans! (Source: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department: Gulf Coast History)

Image Credit: © Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Season That Shrimp with the Nutrient-Rich Waters of the Gulf

So why does that Gulf Shrimp taste so darn good? You can thank Mother Nature’s fine palate, according to the American Shrimp Processors Association. “Consider the Gulf like a ginormous salinity pool of natural seasoning!” says C. David Veal, the executive director of the ASPA. Shrimp are succulent because they are pulled from a natural environment, free from harsh chemicals. And because wild shrimp feed on a wild diet, that means your shrimp is that much tastier!

By all means: season your shrimp however you’d like! Like in this delicious Texas Sweet Brown Shrimp recipe from Olive & June in Austin! Or this mighty fine New Orleans BBQ Shrimp recipe from Brennan’s of Houston!

Bonus: Shrimp is also very healthy! 4 oz. is 112 calories, nearly 24 grams of protein, and only 1.2 grams of fat!

Slurp Away Year Round on this Sustainable Snack

Contrary to the old wives’ tale about only eating oysters in months that contain the letter “R,” you can actually eat oysters year round! You can snack happily knowing that those Eastern oysters are here to stay, thanks to sustainable practices by Gulf States! According to the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, anywhere from 75 to 90% of all oysters produced in the United States come from the Gulf, about $77 million in revenue!

Not only are these shelled delicacies tasty, they also provide important services to the Gulf! Oysters filter algae from the water, improving water quality. They also protect against shoreline erosion! Nature’s little protectors deserve some love in return, and that’s why so many amazing restaurants, like Tommy’s in Clear Lake, take part in Oyster Shell Recycling, which provide homes for baby oysters! We interviewed Tommy’s about it once! (Source: Galveston Bay Foundation)

Image Credit: © Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Photo taken in the Port Aransas area.

Savor the Seafood & Enjoy the Sights!

If the Gulf is one of your favorite places in the state, we encourage you to learn more about preserving it for years to come! Our friends at Texas Parks and Wildlife have infinite resources available if you’d like to learn more about the Gulf Coast and the Gulf of Mexico: click or tap here. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more amazing facts and beautiful sights and scenes from all over Texas! The Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission is also a fabulous resource for learning more about sensational seafood from the Gulf, as well as sustainable fisheries practices! We’ve told you about the Galveston Bay Foundation before, but they’re always have fun as they work to protect Gulf waters. Get involved here!

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