I start salivating (more) at this time of year knowing that wild B.C. spot prawns are within my reach. The month of May brings the start of the harvest as well as memories of working at the spot prawn festival on Fisherman’s Wharf in Vancouver when I was in cooking school. I loved it, as not only did I get to rub shoulders with renowned chefs, but I also got to be elbow deep in these beautiful prawns, handing them out to happy people waiting patiently in the sunshine.Spot prawns are a delicacy and resource that we as British Columbians can celebrate. Our west coast is home to these world class prawns and they begin the harvest in May, with the season lasting for about 6 to 8 weeks. This is a sustainable fishery and the sweet flavour and firm flesh of spot prawns is hard to resist.
For the record, I’m not the only one caught up in the magic of these prawns. In B.C., about 2500 metric tonnes are harvested every year, with about 90% exported to Asia and enjoyed there. Here at home, people across the province flock to their local spot prawn festivals to take part in prawn boils, to watch chefs prepare dishes using these savoury delights or to purchase some prawns to take home and eat fresh or freeze for later. Here are some links to just some of the spot prawn festivals happening around the province:
If you‘re able to access these little gems, I highly recommend trying them out. Attend one of the festivals to support your local economy, take part in the community and enjoy some of the local seafood we are known for. Otherwise, ask your local fish monger if they'll have spot prawns available (fresh or frozen) for purchase.
For more information on wild B.C. spot prawns, including how they’re caught and how to handle, prepare and cook them, check out the Wild BC Spot Prawns site.
Photo Credit: Karen Hamilton