Best Shrimp Ever. Nature’s Place Shrimp from Hannaford

The other day I was walking around my local Hannaford and was perusing the seafood counter. It was later at night, so the counter proper had closed for the day, but I poked around the freezer counter next to it and found the best shrimp in the Albany, NY / Cap Region area.

You heard me. Best. Shrimp. Ever.

I’ve been slightly disappointed by shrimp lately, and I wasn’t sure if it was shrimp in general, or just my tastebuds changing. Thankfully, it’s not me. It’s the shrimp.

I noticed the Nature’s Place bag of shrimp next to the regualar frozen shrimp for $8.50. I skeptically looked at the front of the packaging and read buzz words like “All Natural” and “Farm Raised”. Farm raised shrimp doesn’t really strike me as something all that great, but that’s just me.

I flipped the bag over and read the ingredients list. Shrimp. Salt. Shrimp and salt. No sulfites or other added preservatives like their other Hannaford brand frozen shrimp. I don’t like Hannaford’s other frozen shrimp because the preservatives in it give it an oddly rubbery and smooth texture, and the flavor is just bland and vaguely shrimpy.

I saw it was a product of Thailand, which I’ve heard is generally not that great from a sustainability standpoint (The Montery Bay Aquarium has great info on seafood sustainability, and a handy pocket guide).

But the call of minimally processed shrimp was too great to ignore at this point. I also looked at the “jumbo” shrimp that were treated with preservatives – they were smaller than these Nature’s Place shrimp! Bigger. Better…

“JUST TRY IT!!! IT’S SHRIMP WITH ONLY SALT! SHRIMP AND SALT! YOUR TWO FAVORITE THINGS IN THE WORLD!!” my inner voice shouted.

So I marched up to the register and bought it.

The shrimp were still frozen stiff when I got home, so I cooked them in boiling water. Now here’s a test. The shrimp with preservatives from Hannaford generally take an oddly long time to cook in boiling water (3-5 minutes) and just don’t taste that good. Weird texture thing, ya know?

These cooked up in about a minute or two. Keep in mind they’re larger, too. Once I got them out of the water, the first thing I noticed was the deep pink color, and how tightly the skins stuck to the shrimp itself. Then I noticed that there wasn’t really any shrinkage in the shrimp from raw to cooked. In my experience, the meat shrinks and the peels look loose on shrimp that has been processed, and the shrimp only get a pale pink color.

See? Hardly any shrinkage. Here’s a peeled shrimp on top of an unpeeled shrimp. Once cooked and peeled, it doesn’t lose much of its size.

Flavor-wise, it reminded me of the Royal Red shrimp I ate in Mississippi. It was shrimp like it should be. The texture and flavor were spot-on. The shrimp had a nice snap to it when bitten in to, and had a slightly sweet/briny flavor of the sea. There was no rubbery texture, and no questioning that you were eating shrimp. They were so good they didn’t even need melted butter. It would have been a great addition, but these shrimp tasted so perfectly like shrimp that I couldn’t bring myself to do it this first time. Next time, I’m bringing on the butter.

I know this is post is all “I love Hannaford and this brand of product” but I promise ya that this is just consumer love and goodness coming your way for an amazing product that I highly recommend trying if you’re as crazy about shrimp as I am.

8 comments
  1. Anonymous said:

    Ooh, there's a book you have to read called “Bottomfeeder” by Taras Grescoe, about farmed fish all over the world. You will never think the same about it again. I can barely look at the words after reading it–super gross, esp. in Asia. Sorry to rain on your parade!
    Gabbygab

  2. Anonymous said:

    Or don't read that book and continue to enjoy delicious shrimp.

  3. Considering I've eaten peel and eat shrimp TWICE this week – this is something I'll want to check out when I get back to NY!! They sound great! Gotta love some shrimp, but you forgot to fill the pot of water with Old Bay before you boiled them! LOL!

    I hate “blog-dicking” but since it's relevant….

    http://dozenroses13.com/wordpress/2010/08/30/old-bay/

  4. Anon – oh man… I might selectively not read that book. My shrimp lurve is so great…

    Rose – oh dude, I cannot do Old Bay – bleck!

  5. Felicia said:

    I'm not sure what the book says about it but I do know that those farms are killing the marshland and wildlife in Thailand because the farms only last 3-4 years and noone is remaking the natural habitat after. deserted farms are everywhere and the animals have nowhere to go anymore. I know you probably don't care but think about the animals when you eat those shrimp. and look up a picture of a fishing cat sometime. These cats will go extinct if these farms keep going as they are with no sustainability

  6. Mabel said:

    They have discontinued selling this product Natures Place shrimp at Hannaford. Very disappointed. It is the best shrimp, nothing compares, the taste and color and texture.

    • Mabel said:

      Where can I buy this now if Hannaford doesn’t carry it any longer? They carry Natures Place products but not the shrimp.

      • Bummer to hear! I haven’t been to Hannaford for shrimp lately, but Trader Joe’s has shrimp with only salt in it (call them just to make sure it’s in stock. Seems like every time I go to TJ’s lately the one thing I go for is out of stock).

        Fin in Guilderland also has great shrimp, usually in the $13.50-15/lb price range.

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