Pop Rock Shrimp

Lang’s Marina Restaurant

307 West St. Marys Street
St. Marys, Georgia

Remember Pop Rocks—the tiny colorful candy nuggets that came in tightly sealed packets? You placed a few kernel-sized pieces on your tongue and they detonated in your mouth with a sizzling sound.I always thought the candy left a tingling sensation on my tongue.

Biting into a fried rock shrimp at Lang’s Seafood Restaurant in St. Marys, Georgia is very similar.The small shrimp are covered in a thin batter and briefly fried.They puff to the size of a cotton ball, but should not to be confused with popcorn shrimp.

The preparation results in a burst of lobster-like flavor. The pieces literally explode in your mouth and then, more or less, dissolve on the tongue.The texture is definitely not chewy; the taste mellows on the palate like fine wine. Dip them in a bit of cocktail sauce to add tang, but don’t overdo.These babies are scrumptious.

Rock shrimp (Sicyonia brevirostris) have a hard, spiny shell more like a lobster rather than typical shrimp. The shell is “hard as a rock,” hence the term rock shrimp.I think they are the rock stars of the shellfish world.From now on I’ll follow the seasonal catch like paparazzi.