What is Prawn and Why DO the English Love it So Much?

May 10, 2013

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Piyachok Thewornmat

Prawn is something I had not seen before arriving here in London. I came across it in places you would expect such as on pasta or in a stir fry or fried, but I also came across it in unexpected places such as in a salad on a sandwich and as a flavoring on crackers and chips. I wanted to see what the hullabaloo was about.

Prawn is basically jumbo shrimp. Often times in the US prawn are incorrectly labeled as such. They are nutritionally the same as shrimp, however the English use prawn in ways Americans would never think of. Prawn contains a relatively high amount of cholesterol but a low amount of saturated fat. The English make up for the lack of saturated fat when they fry prawn or make prawn salads with mayonnaise to put on sandwiches. One may think this is similar to a tuna fish sandwich but allow me to assure you the texture is quite different. Prawn is a good source of iron, which is important for oxygen transport in the blood and red blood cell production. Prawn also contains a good amount of omega-3 fatty acid, which is important for heart health. Zinc and Selenium, present in prawn, are important for maintaining a healthy immune system. Prawn is also a good source of many B vitamins such as Niacin, B-6 and B-12 which help to maintain nerve function, contribute to red blood cell and energy production.

The English may have found a great sandwich meat substitute, for those that do not mind the cold, sometimes slimy texture. The consumer, however, must not forget the high cholesterol content. This should be kept in mind with individuals who typically consume a great deal of cholesterol regularly. It is a wonder how the English keep their cholesterol down with all of this prawn and ‘fish and chips’.  It is most certainly an interesting flavoring choice for chips and crackers, though I hardly think the nutrients on the flavoring accurately reflect the nutrients in the crustacean. 

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