By Tiffany Howard
“What are prawns?”
Clay Kelley of Kabill Farm in Burlison, Tennessee, is quite familiar with this question, commonly asked by locals who see his signs during prawn harvesting season. The answer: Prawns are a variety of shrimplike decapod crustaceans of the genus palaemon. Or, you can just call them freshwater shrimp.
Although prawns and shrimp appear to be very similar, that’s not exactly the case. The two creatures are of two different suborders and have very different gill structures. These are just two of the major differences; another difference can be found in their taste.
“Prawns are a little bit sweeter than saltwater shrimp, more similar to the taste of lobster,” Kelley says. As with lobster, a popular way to cook prawns is to boil them in water and dip the meat in butter.
These freshwater shrimp can be enjoyed in the fall, which is prawn harvest season. The Kelleys, who farm traditional row crops in West Tennessee’s Tipton County, diversified their farming operation by adding prawns as a hobby in 2008. Clay, along with his daughter, Katie, and son, Bill, are involved in the care, harvest and marketing of this family project. They begin the harvest season by draining their 1-acre pond and then sell the prawns locally.
Interested in trying this Tennessee product? Pick up your share at the Kabill Farm, located at 1066 Garland Detroit Road in Burlison, or visit them at a local farmers market. For more information about the harvest dates for 2011, give them a call at (901) 476-4505. Visit www.tnfarmfresh.com for more products you love, fresh from the farm.