Sunday, March 22, 2015

Got Shrimp? Ft. Myers Beach Shrimp Festival

When Jake and I were in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida for spring break, the city was hosting its 57th annual shrimp festival. The shrimp festival is huge in Ft. Myers Beach– during the weekend of the event, major roads are closed and traffic is backed up for miles. We didn't attend the shrimp parade, pageant, or any of the other festival events, but my dad took us to the food expo. I love food (especially seafood) so meandering past tents serving fresh shrimp, fish, and crab was tempting to my taste buds. Thankfully my dad loves seafood just as much as I do, and he bought a few dishes for me, him, and Jake to share.

First we got a huge, fresh, tender crab cake. I'm not the biggest fan of crab cakes, but this was the best crab cake I've ever had, besides the one my mom makes. Huge pieces of soft crab were packed into the cake, which put the emphasis on the crab rather than the mayonnaise and bread crumbs. Lettuce and tomato were served on the side, and the crab cake was topped with a mayo-dill sauce.

Jake and I had never eaten crawfish before, so we got an overflowing plate of the little guys to share. Twisting apart the tiny bodies to get the small piece of meat was kind of sad, but the crawfish tasted pretty good with their pepper-y seasoning. The flavor was reminiscent of crab legs without the butter.

Since this was the shrimp festival, we obviously had to eat some shrimp! My dad chose a variety platter so we could try a few different kinds of shrimp: battered, coconut, breaded, and butterflied. I savored them all, but was especially partial to the butterflied and coconut varieties. I don't like when coconut shrimp has an overpowering coconut flavor, but the coconut in the shrimp we bought was toned down to the perfect degree.

Festivals are a great way to try delicious foods for a relatively cheap price. I hope to visit more food festivals in the future – especially if seafood is involved!